"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Lamb of God

The title "Lamb of God" is one of Jesus' most familiar names. It carries many layers of meanings throughout Scripture and throughout time. In order to understand who Christ was and what He did, we must begin with the Old Testament, which contains prophecies concerning the coming of Christ as a “guilt offering”(Isaiah 53:7-10). In fact, the whole sacrificial system established by God in the Old Testament set the stage for the coming of Jesus Christ, who is the perfect sacrifice God would provide as atonement for the sins of His people (Romans 8:3; Hebrews 10)

 Probably the best known New Testament reference is when John the Baptist saw Jesus approaching and proclaimed "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world" (John 1:29). Here the prophet John declared the atoning sacrifice of Jesus. By his death on the cross, Jesus would pay the penalty for all sin, once and for all.

The gentle, docile Lamb of the apostle John's gospel undergoes a radical transformation, however, when we see him again in the same John's apocalyptic vision in Revelation. Here the Lamb emerges as almighty, worthy of praise and authority, and wielding righteous wrath. The resurrected Lamb is one to be worshipped and even feared. Being written in his Book of Life is our only safety.

For the one seeking to understand the way to relationship with Jesus, the Gospel of John is arguably the best place to start. It is very easy to find, being the fourth book in the New Testament (the second part of your Bible). Bibles are available free online these days, so if you are serious, take a couple of days and read this love letter from God. John's Gospel is relatively short and to the point. Less concerned with the retelling of miraculous stories than the other gospels, here, more clearly than anywhere in the New Testament, John quotes Jesus about the way to salvation. Probably the most famous quote of Jesus to emerge from John's gospel is:

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16

Jesus willingly laid down his life for us. He put aside his power and authority in submission to God the Father out of love for us. Having done so, God has given him the name above all names, that at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. (Philippians 2). When he appears again, it will be to gather his followers to him and to judge the world. How you view his second coming depends entirely upon your relationship with him--or lack thereof. Each of us is given a choice. Choose wisely.

Isaiah 53:7-10

"7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand."

John 1:29      

"The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"

Revelation 6:16

"and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb;"

Revelation 17:14

"These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful."

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