Imagine the scene: you’re hanging out at the Jordan River, watching baptisms, when John the Baptist catches sight of Jesus and calls out, “Behold, the Lamb of God!”
My knowledge of Jewish terms of endearment is quite limited, but I feel certain this was not a common pet name like we would use “Honey,” “Sweetheart” or “Schnookums.” Nor was it a name typically used among cousins like John and Jesus, a “Hey, cuz” kind of greeting.
My conviction is that this title was intentionally exclusive and, as such, kinda weird to those eavesdropping that day.
Listeners would likely hear “Lamb of God” and think of the Passover lamb they ate each year as they remembered God delivering them from bondage to the Egyptians. They ritually retold the story of how the lamb’s blood, sprinkled on the doorposts of their ancestors’ homes, had caused the angel of death to “Passover” their homes and had protected their firstborns from dying that night.
That blood freed God’s people to pursue the Promised Land.
Or perhaps the new nickname conjured images of the lambs which were sacrificed in the temple each day as a sin offering.
Only time would give us the perspective to understand that Jesus was the substitutionary, unblemished Lamb of God; the final sacrifice; the culmination and fulfillment of the prophecies which the Jews had catalogued.
It’s no wonder John the Baptist had dubbed Him thus.
Like the lambs foreshadowing Him, Jesus saved us from slavery and death and provided restitution for our sin. He made it possible for us to pursue the Promised Land of Heaven.
But wait. There’s more! The Apostle John recorded His vision of heaven. Catch this:
“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
As we celebrate Easter this month, we demonstrate gratitude for Christ’s sacrifice and celebrate His victory over death. But we also look forward to a day when we fall before the Lamb and sing praise because He purchased all people with His blood.
Today, and throughout this Easter season, let’s pray for those from every tribe and nation who have not yet acknowledged Jesus is the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world. Oh, that one day we can praise the Lamb together!
Please also include the following praises and requests in your prayers:
- The first child has been placed in our Russian Christian Foster Home! Please pray for Yana as she adjusts to her new family and ask that the Lord would continue to provide the necessary funds for a larger home where other children from state-run orphanages can join her.
- Megan and Joelle are in the process of saying goodbye to the girls at Daya Vihar Children’s Home, where they have served for 10 months. Please ask God to comfort them and the children during this separation.
- Thank God for His faithfulness to our staff. He continues to meet our needs as we live by faith and are supported by God’s people.