MYSTERY OF THE LAMB
Mystery of the Lamb
The mystery of the Lamb is prominent in the Bible. It is mentioned approximately 200 times when the Old Testament and New Testament are combined. When Adam and Eve sinned, they covered themselves with fig leaves. But God made garments of skins for them. It is possible they came from a lamb.
Cain and Abel
The scene on TV showed an elderly woman sitting outside a tent in the woods. Kindness and tenderness could be seen on her face and body language as she pulled one of the goats closer. She called the animal by name, stroking the soft head, then gently slit its throat. She held him lovingly and then the camera pulled away. Meat was needed for her sustenance.
That would be the opposite of the first murder in the Bible. Cain and Abel were the first two sons of Adam and Eve. Both men brought sacrifices to God. The Lord was pleased with Abel's but not with Cain's. Cain brought produce from his farm. Did he bring it with unbelief? Abel brought choice cuts from the first born of his herd. God was pleased.
Cain started sulking, but was promised restoration from God if he did right. Cain did not do right. He killed his brother Abel. God heard Abel's blood crying out to Him from the ground for revenge. It sounded like a shriek! Blood can speak? Yes. Blood can talk? Yes.
Thank you, Lord, that we cannot hear the voice of our loved one's blood! That would be unbearable!
And, my readers and listeners, don't tell me yuck! Blood! Why not? Because it is plastered all over the TV: Crime shows, the news, etc. You really cannot get away from it.
Abraham and Isaac on Moriah
The next time we see blood and a 'lamb' is when God tested Abraham. He told Abraham "Take your son, Isaac, whom you love and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about." They left the next morning and on the 3rd day Abraham could see their destination in the distance. The boy Isaac asked his father "Where is the lamb?" Abraham answered "God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering." And he did! Abraham built an altar and bound his son on it. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called Abraham's name from heaven and told him not to do anything to the boy.
God Himself provided a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. Here is a relationship between a father and a son so tightly woven together that God decided to step in between them. Abraham would have been willing to die himself rather than to offer up this child. But he finally reasoned that if he himself did what God requested, that God would bring his child back to life. (Hebrews 11:19). Remember Isaac was a miracle child from God as both he and Sarah were very old. Scholars think 100 and 90's respectively. The ram caught in the thicket was offered for 1 person - Isaac.
Is there a person, place or thing that you value above God? Have you realized that fact or not even thought about it yet? God knows . . He knows . . even if you don't. Who or what is it? Will you know when you are brought to the testing place? Maybe. There will only be 2 choices: God's way or your way.
Thank you, Lord, that you do not ask us to literally sacrifice a person that we love.
The blood of the Passover Lamb
Think 10 Commandments movie for the general idea. The blood of a Passover Lamb was placed on the doorposts of each family's dwelling. The Israelites were slaves to the Egyptians. The 10th plague was the death of the firstborn males and animals. The Passover Lamb was offered for each family. When the death angel saw the blood of the lamb on the door posts, he would pass over that home. Those inside would be safe. Finally . . . Pharaoh let the people go.
In the Old Testament a bullock, goat or ram was used for a sin offering. The focus was on the character of the animal. It must be without blemish and was offered for the sins of the nation.
This chapter foretold the suffering Lamb would be a person, suffering "as a lamb". Jesus would be offered for ALL WHO WILL COME TO HIM.
John the Baptist lived, taught and preached in the wilderness. For this reason he was born as a miracle child to the aged Zechariah and Elizabeth. When John saw Jesus coming toward him, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. Behold the Lamb!" Jesus was offered for the sins of the whole world. That statement probably confused many because a Lamb is not a likely example for those waiting on a messianic deliverer.
To be continued on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021.