Jesus the Lamb of God
by Gini Crawford, MSW
Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God. The only sacrifice that can secure our salvation is the sacrifice of the Lamb of God. This is because He is the One True God.
(John the Baptist) said, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" NASB®
The Old Testament revealed the need for a sacrifice (a lamb) to cover our sins. In Exodus 12 we are told flawless lambs were to be chosen and sacrificed during the Feast of the Passover. The blood of the lambs would be used to cover the peoples' sin, delivering them from death at that time. Another example is in Isaiah 53, where hundreds of years before Jesus' life and death, He is described as our Lamb.
The Lamb of God is our substitute
I think by now you understand how destructive sin is! It took death to pay for even one sin (James 2:10). Therefore because of God's love for us, He chose sacrificial blood as payment for a person's life. This allowed us to have a substitute die for our sins. (Leviticus 17:11).
In the Old Testament, God revealed to the Jews it was necessary for them to consistently shed the blood of innocent animals (their substitute) to cover their sins. The sacrifice of the animal would become their substitute when the guilty person laid their hand on its head, signifying the innocent animal was dying for them. (Leviticus 1:4, 4:27-28, 32-35). The bloody Old Testament animal sacrifices made people realize how awful sin was, and that it was impossible to cleanse their evil hearts by those sacrifices. It became apparent to them, only God could truly take care of their sins and cleanse their evil hearts. (Psalm 51:1-7, 16-17; Jeremiah 17:9-10; Hebrews 9:13-14).
God didn't take pleasure in animal sacrifices. He knew only His one sacrifice - His death - His blood, had the power to be the substitute that would permanently take away our sin. (Hebrews 10:1-22).
To Him (Jesus) who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood. ...knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold...but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. Revelation 1:5b; 1 Peter 1:18-19 NASB®
Jesus chose to be our Lamb. In Russia at the height of the cold war, a colonel on night duty had to choose in just moments, whether the signal going off at the Soviet military early warning facility was a false alarm or a real US nuclear attack. The colonel made the right decision (it was a false alarm) and saved millions of lives around the world from his choice. Since Jesus Christ is the One True God, He could have at any moment chosen to stop His arrest, His suffering and crucifixion, yet He chose not to. Jesus was our sacrificial Lamb because He chose to yield up His body to death. (Matthew 27:45-54; John 10:17-18, 19:30). His sacrifice was most definitely the right decision to save everyone who chooses to be saved. (1 John 2:1-2, 5:11-13).
Have you chosen Jesus as your Lamb? It's a choice you need to make. If you don't make that choice, you will end up eternally away from God. And believe me that is not what you want.
Jesus the Passover Lamb
About 2000 years ago in Jerusalem, the Passover was about to be celebrated. People were there to sacrifice their Passover lambs to cover their own sins. Outside Jerusalem on a hill that looked and smelled like death, the Roman soldiers were crucifying three men. Two of the men were criminals and deserved death. But the third was God Himself, being nailed to the cross because of our sins. Jesus Christ is our perfect Passover Lamb, our substitute (1 Corinthians 5:7b). He died in our place.
Jesus, our Lamb, chose to take the punishment we deserved upon Himself, and as a result covered all of our sins, so we could be fully forgiven, have our evil hearts totally cleansed, and be reconciled to Him. Jesus' sacrifice took place in time, but stands over all history to cover all sins. (Isaiah 53).
...namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them... 2 Corinthians 5:19 NASB®
Frankly, it is just hard to entirely explain and even grasp the magnitude of what Jesus did for us, isn't it? As the refrain of a song exclaims, "Amazing love! How can it be that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me."
The Lamb is a name that will be used throughout eternity. We tend to call ourselves our favorite name, whether it is our formal name or a nickname. Don't we? While teaching the Book of Revelation, I realized something very special. Out of all the names Jesus could be known by in Revelation, such as Creator, LORD, I AM or King of kings, His favorite name is The Lamb. It is used 30 times in the book. Why is this? It is because Jesus, as our Lamb, made it possible for us to be with Him. The fact that Jesus in eternity uses The Lamb as His favorite name, makes me realize how much He truly rejoices over being with you and me. (Jeremiah 32:38-41; Zephaniah 3:17; Hebrews 12:2). This is certainly a wonderful reality to ponder.
Jesus' name the Son of Man is explained
The Son of Man is another title Jesus was fond of for Himself, and is the name He called Himself the most when He was on this earth. (It is used over 80 times in the Gospels.) So what does this name of God mean? Son of Man comes from a prophecy given to Daniel where the future eternal sovereign rule of Jesus Christ on this earth is foretold (Daniel 7:13-14). This name emphasizes both Jesus' humanity and His humiliation as our suffering Servant and Lamb (Matthew 17:22-23, 20:28); as well as His deity and eternal glorified state. (Matthew 25:31, 26:64).
Jesus explained in the gospels that as the Son of Man, He came to serve, and suffer, and to give His life as a ransom for us, bringing the guarantee of eternal life and the resurrection for all who want it. Jesus further explained that in the future, the Son of Man will come again in all His glorious majesty, power, and sovereignty as the One True God, to literally rule this earth in peace and love, but in righteousness and justice too. (Isaiah 9:6-7; Revelation 1:5-8, 7:9-17, 19:6-16, 20:4-6).
Why do you think Jesus used the name the Son of Man more than any other name when He was on this earth?
What does it mean to you that someday, maybe soon, the One True God will come again to this earth in bodily form, not as a servant, but as the King of kings?
What does it mean to you personally that Jesus is your Lamb?
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