Lamb of God
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth. Like a lamb led to the slaughter and like a sheep silent before her shearers, he did not open his mouth.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
1 Peter 1:18-19
For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things like silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of an unblemished and spotless lamb.
I did not see a temple in it, because the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, because the glory of God illuminates it, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. 25 Its gates will never close by day because it will never be night there. 26 They will bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. 27 Nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Behold The Lamb
Imagine what it must have been like in Jerusalem in the days leading up to the Passover Festival. Hundreds of thousands of people making their way to the Temple Mount. The entire nation coming together to celebrate God’s faithfulness in delivering their ancestors from Egyptian slavery.
Fathers and grandfathers would gather everyone around a table to recount the ways in which God had worked on their behalf:
“God’s judgement,” they might say, “was being poured out upon our oppressors. Plague after plague ensued, and yet pharaoh’s heart remained hard. He would not set us free. But God was working on our behalf. The hardness of pharaoh’s heart was no match for the mighty hand of our God. The Lord told Moses that there would be one, final plague: He, Himself would pass through the land and kill the firstborn of every family (Exodus 11:4-5).
The only way our ancestors could be spared from God’s judgement was to be covered by the blood of an unblemished lamb (Exodus 12:5). At God’s command, Moses instructed the people to kill the lamb and place it’s blood on the doorposts of their homes (Exodus 12:7). This blood would serve as a sign and cover…their protection from the punishment of disobedience to God: when I see the blood, [God said] I will pass over you (Exodus 12:13).
On that fateful night, God’s wrath was poured out upon the land of Egypt, but the people of Israel were spared because they’d been covered [or marked] by the blood of a lamb.”
As the gathered family heard this story, they themselves would’ve been preparing to sacrifice a lamb in remembrance of what God had done. It was into this setting, some two thousand years ago, that Jesus arrived on the scene. After sharing one final meal with His disciples, Jesus allowed Himself to be delivered over to death.
Like a lamb led to the slaughter and like a sheep silent before her shearers, he did not open his mouth (Isaiah 53:7). He went willingly to the cross, offering His precious and unblemished blood (1 Peter 1:19) as the better and final covering for all who wish to escape God’s soon-coming judgement for sin.
Why? Because without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22). This is why He had come…to die. The cross was always in view for Jesus, from His first breath to His last, Jesus lived a sinless life so that He could offer Himself as a substitute in the place of sinners. He appeared in order to take away sins (1 John 3:5), which He has done by sacrificing Himself in the stead of us sinners who could not escape God’s righteous judgment on our own.
Prayer & Reflection:
Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world! Gracious Father, we glorify you for supplying the blood of Your Son so that we, who were destined for wrath, could be redeemed and set free.