Gift Bag - Day 16

"The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29)

Today’s object of reflection is a lamb or sheep. What does lamb and Advent/Christmas have in common?

  • Roast lamb and mint sauce on the Christmas lunch table perhaps?

  • Or maybe the sheep that were among the livestock in the stable where Jesus was born?

These may be a couple of sentimental links perhaps between a lamb and Christmas, but Dear Friend, it actually goes way, way deeper than that.


The lamb in Old Testament biblical history was often associated with the Jewish sacrificial system. A sacrificial lamb is what is slaughtered and eaten at Passover to commemorate God’s deliverance of Israel from Egyptian captivity when the Angel of Death ‘passed over’ the homes that were marked with the blood of the lamb. We don’t have time to look at that in detail but do go and have a read for yourself – Exodus 12.


The Passover lamb was the provision – the people needed to respond in faith and receive the protection it offered (it being attached to the promise and provision of God). Those that did, and were inside the house, lived. Those that did not, and refused to enter the house, died.

The idea that a lamb was to die and its blood was to ‘cover’ the homes of God’s people, thereby protecting them and providing a ‘death-exemption’ makes for some very powerful spiritual imagery. As powerful as this was, however, it was insufficient. Year after year, a lamb would have to be sacrificed, whether at Passover or one of the other religious celebrations, in order to provide a ‘covering’ for the sins of the people. Time and again, a lamb would have to die.

But, enter Jesus! Hear the words of John the Baptist:

"Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29)

This Lamb was a different Lamb.

Lamb
  • This Lamb was without spot and blemish. He was tempted in all ways like we are, but was without sin.

  • This Lamb was Who was spoken of when the Angel declared to Joseph:

"She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21)

The Passover lamb of the Old Testament provided a ‘covering’ for sin. This Lamb of God provided a washing away of it, a cleansing, forgiveness. The Passover lamb of the Old Testament provided temporary protection for those in the house; the Lamb of God, provides eternal security, life everlasting, eternal deliverance from death, hell and the grave.


"Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life" (1 John 5:12).

Friend, this Advent season, it’s our prayer that you will heed the words of John the baptist and that you will look to the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, no longer a babe in a manger in Bethlehem but the triumphant and victorious King of kings and Lord of lords. In your looking to Him, may you have eternal life through Him. Jesus Christ is the Provision – humankind needs to respond in faith and receive the forgiveness He offers. Those that do, and are 'in Him', live. Those that do not, and reject Him, die.


If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9).

Prayer

Keep my eyes focused on the Lamb of God,

My gaze locked squarely on His love for me;

Not distracted by the cares, concerns of this life,

Someday with you in my Eternal Home will be.


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