24th MESSIANIC SYMBOL for the Advent Season: Lamb

DECEMBER 24:  Isaiah 53:7

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 her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth (NIV)

Many nativity sets include figures of lambs because the first people to hear the news of Jesus’ birth and come to visit Him were shepherds. Perhaps some of the shepherds had lambs with them. When the shepherds visited baby Jesus neither they nor Mary and Joseph understood that Jesus was to be God’s lamb. Mary did know that God wanted her to name His son Jesus, which means “the Lord saves.” Joseph and the shepherds also knew that Jesus was to be a savior because the angel had told them. None of the people at Jesus’ birth understood that in order to be a savior Jesus had to die. But when John the Baptist saw Jesus coming, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

Before Jesus came to this earth the only way sins could be forgiven was to offer an animal sacrifice to God. Lambs were often used for these sacrifices. Offering a sacrifice did not mean that all a person’s sins were forgiven. Each time a person sinned they would have to offer a new sacrifice. In God’s better plan He sent His Son into the world to be a sacrifice for sin. “We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10). Jesus’ sacrifice is sufficient to cover all the sins of everyone who would believe in Jesus—“the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sin of the whole world” (John 2:2). To be that sacrifice Jesus had to die.

Isaiah tells us that God’s lamb would not say anything as He was killed. When Jesus was put on trial, He did not defend himself or beg not to be sacrificed. He quietly and willingly died in order to forgive our sins and give us life.

Years after Jesus died, rose again, and returned to heaven, Jesus’ disciple John had a vision of heaven with Jesus as God’s lamb. He saw angels singing praise to Jesus: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise! (Revelation 5:12) He also saw people from all over the world singing: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever! . . . Amen” (Revelation 5:13).

Worthy is the Lamb
Seated on the throne
Crown You now with many crowns
You reign victorious

High and lifted up
Jesus Son of God
The Darling of Heaven crucified
Worthy is the Lamb

Darlene Zschech (b. 1955)

Thank God that He sent His Son as a lamb that was sacrificed and died so that our sins could be forgiven.

Ask God that we would share the joyful story of Jesus’ death for everyone’s sins.

Paschal Lamb, by God appointed,
All our sins on Thee were laid;
By almighty love appointed,
Thou hast full atonement made.
Every sin may be forgiven,
Through the virtue of Thy blood;
Opened is the gate of heaven;
Peace is made ‘twixt man and God.

John Bakewell (1721-1819)

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