Our Passover Lamb Lives!
Every year, as I approach Easter and Christmas, it seems like some particular aspect of the day begins to stick out to me. This past Christmas it was the approachability of Christ, the fact that we can approach Him, God, freely, without reservation, was what weighed on my mind all through Advent, leading up to Christmas Day.
This year as we approached Easter, the Lamb of God was prevalent in most of my thoughts as I prepared sermons leading up to Easter. The simplicity of the picture of a Lamb, representing our Lord and Savior, kept swimming around in my mind. When I think Family of sheep I think of a flock of big fluffy sheep scattered in a green pasture. Much like you see around here.
But a lamb… that puts an entirely different picture in my thoughts. A little lamb, looking up at you with soft, non-threatening eyes. A little lamb, almost helpless and needing care.
But, when you look deeper into the person of Jesus Christ, you realize He is not just a Lamb, but the Lion of the Tribe of Judah Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals. (Revelation 5:5), The Rose of Sharon I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. (Song of Solomon 2:1), the Creator For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. (Colossians 1:15-16), and the Judge of all Creation And He has given Him authority to judge because He is the Son of Man. (John 5:27). All those persons are rolled into one, a Lamb, our Sacrificial Lamb.
If you want to see where the Lamb is written about the most, where this meek, mild, innocent representation of Christ, is written about most in the Bible, you have to go to The Revelation. After all, John’s Book of The Revelation of Christ is about Jesus Christ, Himself; all about Him and only about Him. In the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible the Lamb is written about 31 times. It’s the same in the New Living Translation (NLT) and in the King James Version (KJV).
I believe seeing Jesus as the Lamb of God makes Him more approachable for each of us. And that takes us right back to Christmas doesn’t it? No matter which way you approach it, you can’t separate Easter from Christmas or Christmas from Easter. They are connected by a Cord of Life that is undeniable. To separate one from the other denies the complete picture. The meek and mild Savior had to be born in a manger if He was to be able to hang on OUR Cross. Yes, OUR’S. He had to die on MY Cross for me to receive the full forgiveness of My sins. (You can feel free to insert your name in there at any time.)
The Representation of Christ as the Lamb is seen early in the Gospel of John with John the Baptist standing in the Jordan River. The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.” (John 1:29-31) The Meek and Mild Lamb, that takes away all sin, appeared on the scene. And He had to be a perfect Lamb in order to accomplish the substitution, the propitiation of our sins. Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. (1 Peter 1:17-20)
On the eve of the Exodus, the Israelites had to prepare a lamb for their Passover Dinner. Once prepared, the lamb had to be consumed completely. If any of it was not eaten, it had to be burned completely. It had to be completely consumed, one way or the other. In order for the Sacrifice required by God for our sins to be complete, the Lamb of God had to be completely consumed.
First, all of the sins of the world had to be poured onto Him. Then all of His life had to be drained from Him. He had to be completely consumed on the Cross. And He was. He told us in so many words: When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” (John 19:30) (NIV)
As with the Sacrificial Lamb of the Israelites, our Sacrificial Lamb was completely consumed. If that was the end of the story then what the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:17-20 – And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. would be true; but it’s not.
This Easter as you go through all the rituals your families has developed for Easter, please take time among all the bunnies to remember The Lamb that takes away the sins of the world. And remember He was poured out for you. In addition, remember… OUR Passover Lamb Lives!
Bostwick UMC 4/4/21