The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)
Lamb Of God
There is no animal that depicts the character of gentleness and humility as the sheep. Young sheep under the age of one year are called lambs. From the early recorded days of Abraham lambs were used for sacrifice and were a pivotal part of the sacrifices under the Law of Moses. When Israel prepared the Passover meal a lamb was required (sheep or goat) to take the blood and strike the lintel and two doorposts so that when the Lord saw the blood He would not strike death upon the house. Jesus would become the sacrificial lamb of the new Passover as His blood was struck upon the cross so that God would pass over the sins of mankind. Salvation is found in the cross of Jesus Christ and through His blood the remission of sins is granted to those who obey the will of the Father. The symbolism of Jesus being the Lamb of God is fully realized in the imagery God placed in the character of the lamb and the history of worship requiring the offering of a lamb.
Jesus is the Lamb of God as the humble servant who followed His Father’s will. Everything He did was to the glory of the Father. His teaching, miracles, purpose and life was fully given to serve the eternal plan of God. Before the earth was formed Jesus became the lamb who offered to sacrifice Himself for the redemption of men. Coming to live as a man in a world of darkness, Jesus took the form of a servant, learning obedience through the cross and left an example of humble obedience to the glory of God. John the Baptist clearly identified the man from Nazareth as the Lamb of God. Embodied in the life of Christ was a meek and gentle spirit filled with compassion for suffering man. The Lamb of God healed multitudes of people through eyes of love. His hands touched lepers, sinners, cast down women scorned by men, little children and blind beggars. Nothing in the life of Jesus was filled with pride or arrogance. Characteristic of the gentle lamb, the Lord impressed upon the hearts of those who would follow Him the knowledge of God’s love. The Lamb of God showed men God.
Sheep and lambs were used often in sacrifices. Solomon dedicated the Temple with an offering of 120,000 sheep. Jesus would offer Himself as the lamb to be slain once for all men. The prophet Isaiah would proclaim the Christ would be sacrificed like a lamb led to the slaughter that was silent before his executioners. Jesus stood before the Jewish council and the Roman courts and having the power to call twelve legions of angels to wipe out the human race; chose rather to remain silent and allow man to do what His Father desired. God watched His only begotten Son die like a lamb. The Father was silent too. When Jesus died the creation trembled. The Lamb of God had taken the heavenly scroll and willingly offered Himself to worthless man as a final sacrifice. John saw the Lord as the Lamb of God and proclaimed He would take away the sin of the world. We must see Jesus for who He is and understand that as a lamb He was lead to the slaughter and because of His love died to save you and to save me. As the meek and gentle creature formed by the hand of His Father, Jesus became the Lamb that would bring all men to know the truth, the life and the way. The kingdom emblem of God is the Lamb. A. W. Tozer said, “Faith is not a once-done act, but a continuous gaze of the heart at the Triune God. Believing, then, is directing the hearts’ attention to Jesus. It is lifting the mind to ‘behold the Lamb of God,’ and never ceasing that beholding for the rest of our lives.” Let the Lamb be always in your mind, heart, soul and body.