Introduction

Introduction

Devotional

Lamb of God

The Lamb of God in my place. 

Your blood poured out, my sin erased.  

 

Ok.  Go back and read that one more time. But this time, pretend that you have never read the Bible, and you haven’t ever stepped into a church. Take yourself out of your Christian bubble into the middle of the post modern thought of this world.

 

The Lamb of God in my place. 

Your blood poured out, my sin erased.  

 

What a crazy thing to say!  To many, if this statement isn’t offensive, it is at best extremely confusing.  We have the sober responsibility to give folks some context to this sentence that happens to be the crux of every Bible-believing person who has ever lived.    

 

Scene 1 – The Passover

The  Lord  said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt,  "This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you.  Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb  according to their fathers' houses, a lamb for a household.   And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbor shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb.  Your lamb shall be  without blemish, a male, a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats,  and you shall keep it until the  fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight."  

" Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the  two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with  unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it.    Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but  roasted, its head with its legs and its inner parts.   And  you shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn.    In this manner you shall eat it: with  your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand.  And you shall eat it in haste.   It is the Lord's Passover.   For  I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on  all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments:  I am the  Lord.   The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are.  And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt."  (Ex. 12:1-13)

"For the  Lord  will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on  the lintel and on the two doorposts, the  Lord  will pass over the door and  will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you. You shall observe this rite as a statute for you and for your sons forever.   And when you come to the land that the  Lord  will give you,  as he has promised, you shall keep this service.   And  when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?',  You shall say,  ‘It is the sacrifice of the  Lord's Passover, for he passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt, when he struck the Egyptians but spared our houses.'  And the people  bowed their heads and worshiped".  (Ex. 12:23-27)  

To this day, for Jewish folks, the Passover meal is at the center of their worship; the center of their faith.  And for the Christian, what the Passover is celebrating is at the core of ours.  Holding up the faith of both Jews and Christians is this: an innocent, spotless lamb dying in our place.

Not to be overly morbid, but think with me on this moment in history…"And there was  a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where someone was not dead" (Ex 12:30).  Think about that!  In every home in Egypt, there was either a dead boy or a dead lamb.  And every Jewish firstborn looked at that lamb on the table and thought to himself, “the lamb of God in my place.”    

 

Scene 2 – The Last Supper

"Now on  the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, 'Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?'  He said, "'Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, ‘The Teacher says,  My time is at hand.  I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.'"   And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover."  (Matt. 26:17-19)

At the Passover meal at that time, there were always three very significant things: The unleavened bread, the 4 cups of wine, and the Lamb.  Typically a man would stand before the meal to explain it.  He would lift the bread and say something like "this is the bread of affliction.  Because our people suffered in the wilderness, we can live free."  I am sure it was shocking when Jesus took the bread and said something very different than that traditional saying.  He broke it and said, “this is the bread of MY affliction.”  

“This is my body broken for you.”  

And then the wine.  Representing the blood of the Lamb in our place.  And then the lamb.  Where was the lamb?  What is a Passover meal with no lamb on the table?!  He was AT the table!  “Behold,  the Lamb of God, who  takes away the sin  of the world!” (John 1:29)   

 

The Lamb of God in my place.

Your blood poured out, my sin erased.

 

Jesus was the final and perfect sacrifice for your sins and mine.  John 19:33 tells us his bones were not broken.  Why? Because he had to be the lamb without spot or blemish.   Matthew 27 pointed out that Jesus died at twilight.  Why?  Because the Passover lamb shall be killed at twilight.  The whole of human history pointing to this moment when Jesus would fulfill all that was foretold in ages past.  I hear my pastor say often, “believing in Jesus as the Lamb of God is THE most Jewish thing you can do!”   I would add today that it is the most FREEING thing you can do!  Not just political freedom from oppression and slavery, but freedom from sin and death itself!  

And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” (Rev. 5:13)  

 

Excerpts taken from Timothy Keller’s “The Story Of The Lamb”