THE LAMB OF GOD:
PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE
THE LAMB OF GOD IN THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS:
Same study on blog: THE LAMB OF GOD - preceptaustin
GENESIS: In the OT, the question is “WHERE IS THE LAMB?” In Genesis 22 God commanded Abraham "Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you." (Ge 22:2-note) On the way to the mountain, Isaac asked his father “Where is the LAMB for the burnt offering?” (Ge 22:7-note) to which Abraham replied "God will provide for Himself the LAMB for the burnt offering, my son." (Ge 22:8-note). As Abraham prepared to sacrifice Isaac whom he loved, he “raised his eyes and looked and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of (as a "substitute" for) his son." (Ge 22:13) "Abraham called the name of that place the LORD WILL PROVIDE, (JEHOVAH JIREH) as it is said to this day, "In the mount of the LORD it will be provided." (Ge 22:14-note) JEHOVAH JIREH is more literally "Jehovah will see,” which conveys the idea that Jehovah sees the need before it arises and provides for the need! The Omniscient One sees your need beloved. The amazing God of all grace (1Pe 5:10-note) not only foresaw Abraham's need for ”A” lamb, but even more amazing, foresaw our need for “THE” LAMB OF GOD to be our Substitute. And so Paul could testify that “God saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works (not because of any “merit” or because we deserved it), but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus from all eternity (Jehovah saw our need for the LAMB OF GOD, even before time began!)” (2Ti 1:9-note) Spurgeon writes that we "admire Abraham's giving up his son to God. Much more admire Jehovah's giving up His Son for sinners. Jehovah is the great Provider, and He provides the offering, not only for us, but for Himself, for the sacrifice was necessary to God as well as to man. And it is a burnt offering, not only a sin-offering but an offering of a sweet savor unto Himself."
EXODUS: In Exodus Israel was groaning because of enslavement by Egypt and in great need, a need which Jehovah saw, declaring “I will DELIVER you from bondage. I will REDEEM you with an outstretched arm (In light of the Cross, ponder God's redemption by His “outstretched arm!”) and with great judgments.” (Ex 6:6-note) God redeemed Israel from slavery in Egypt with the blood of a LAMB, instructing Moses “your LAMB shall be an unblemished male a year old…You shall keep it until the 14th day of (Nisan–Jewish Passover 2013 falls on March 25), then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. Take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts (vertical motion) and on the lintel (horizontal part of the doorframe) (ponder the application of blood vertically and horizontally – could this foreshadow the Cross?) of the houses in which they eat it. And they shall eat the flesh that same night….it is the LORD'S Passover… For the LORD will pass through to smite 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 come in to your houses to smite you." (Exodus 12:5-8,11, 23-note) Clearly Christ's death on the Cross was foreshadowed in Exodus 12-note by the sacrifice of an unblemished lamb whose blood was applied to the entry door, for centuries later Paul recorded the inspired words that “Christ our PASSOVER [LAMB] has been sacrificed.” (1Cor 5:7Amplified-note) Paul adds that "now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ." (Eph 2:13-note) Beloved, may God grant each of us the Spirit's power to “conduct ourselves in (reverent) fear during the time of our (relatively short) stay upon earth, knowing that we were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile (useless in light of eternity) way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with PRECIOUS BLOOD, AS OF A LAMB unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” (1Peter 1:17-19-note)
Spurgeon comments on the precious blood of the Lamb of God: "Standing at the foot of the Cross, we see hands, and feet, and side, all distilling crimson streams of precious blood. It is “PRECIOUS” because of its redeeming and atoning efficacy. By it the sins of Christ’s people are atoned for; they are redeemed from under the law; they are reconciled to God, made one with Him. Christ’s blood is also “PRECIOUS” in its cleansing power; it “cleanses us from all sin.” (1Jn 1:7-note) “Though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” (Isa 1:18-note) Through Jesus’ blood there is not a spot left upon any believer, no wrinkle nor any such thing remains. O precious blood, which makes us clean, removing the stains of abundant iniquity, and permitting us to stand "accepted in the Beloved" (Eph 1:6KJV-note), notwithstanding the many ways in which we have rebelled against our God. The blood of Christ is likewise “PRECIOUS” in its preserving power. We are safe from the destroying angel under the sprinkled blood. Remember it is God’s seeing the blood which is the true reason for our being spared. Here is comfort for us when the eye of faith is dim, for God’s eye is still the same. The blood of Christ is “PRECIOUS” also in its sanctifying influence. The same blood which justifies by taking away sin, does in its after-action, quicken the new nature and lead it onward to subdue sin and to follow out the commands of God. There is no motive for holiness so great as that which streams from the veins of Jesus. And “PRECIOUS,” unspeakably precious, is this blood, because it has an overcoming power. It is written, “They overcame through the BLOOD OF THE LAMB.” (Rev 12:11KJV-note, cf 1Jn 5:4-5) How could they do otherwise? He who fights with the precious blood of Jesus, fights with a weapon which cannot know defeat. The blood of Jesus! sin dies at its presence, death ceases to be death: heaven’s gates are opened. The blood of Jesus! we shall march on, conquering and to conquer, so long as we can trust its power!"
ISAIAH: "All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way, but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him (literally "laid on Him with a death-dealing blow"). He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth. Like a LAMB that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth.” (Isaiah 53:6-7-note) Centuries later when the Ethiopian Eunuch ask Phillip “of Whom does the prophet Isaiah speak?” “Philip opened his mouth and beginning from (Isaiah 53:7-note) he preached Jesus to him.” (Acts 8:32-35-note)
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN: John the Baptist answers the Old Testament question, declaring “Behold the LAMB OF GOD Who takes away the sin of the world.” (Jn 1:29-note). The renowned preacher C H Spurgeon once tested an auditorium in which he was to speak that evening. Stepping into the pulpit, Spurgeon loudly proclaimed, "Behold the lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world." Satisfied with the acoustics, he left and went his way. Unknown to him, there were two men working in the rafters of that large auditorium, neither one a Christian. One of the men was pricked in his conscience by the verse Spurgeon quoted and became a believer later that day! May Spurgeon's experience encourage all of us to boldly, unashamedly proclaim the Gospel of the Lamb, which is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (Ro 1:16-note).
THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST: Keep in mind that the most common Name for Jesus in the Revelation is "THE LAMB." (Lamb -29x, Jesus-14x!) After our Lord Jesus Christ had been raised from the dead on the third day according to the Scriptures (1Cor 15:4-note), He came into the room in the presence of the 11 disciples, and encouraged Thomas (who was doubting the truth of His resurrection) to “Reach here your finger and see My hands and reach here your hand, and put it into My side and be not unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" (Jn 20:27-28-note) Those same nail-scarred hands John saw in that room on earth, were the very scars he saw in his glorified Lord's hands in heaven when he testified “I saw between the throne and the elders a LAMB standing, as if SLAIN (The same Greek verb [sphazo] was used to describe the slaughter of the Passover lamb in Ex 12:6!)” (Revelation 5:6-note). Spurgeon asks "Why should our exalted Lord appear in His wounds in glory? The wounds of Jesus are His glories, His jewels, His sacred ornaments. Jesus wears the appearance of a SLAIN LAMB as His court dress in which He wooed our souls, and redeemed them by His complete atonement. Nor are these only the ornaments of Christ: they are the trophies of His love and of His victory. He has divided the spoil with the strong. He has redeemed for Himself a great multitude whom no man can number, and these SCARS are the memorials of the fight. Ah! if Christ thus loves to retain the thought of His sufferings for His people, how precious should His wounds be to us!"
In Isaiah Jehovah declared “Behold, I have inscribed (engraved) you on the palms of My hands.” (Isa 49:16-note) Spurgeon asks "What are these wounds in Thy hands, these sacred stigmata, these ensigns of suffering? The graver’s tool was the nail, backed by the hammer. He must be fastened to the Cross, that His people might be truly graven on the palms of His hands. There is much consolation here. We know that what a man has won with great pain he will keep with great tenacity. Child of God, you cost Christ too much for Him to forget you." Spurgeon goes on to add "It does not say, “Thy name.” Yes, the name is there, but that is not all: “I have graven THEE.” See the fulness of this! I have graven thy person, thine image, thy case, thy circumstances, thy sins, thy temptations, thy weaknesses, thy wants, thy works; I have graven thee, everything about thee, all that concerns thee; I have put thee altogether there. Wilt thou ever say again that thy God hath forsaken thee when he has graven thee upon His own palms?" In the face of such amazing love, how could God ever forget His people? Do you ever feel like He has forgotten you or your difficult circumstances? Then take heart, for He Himself has declared “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.” (Heb 13:5-note) and the scars on the Lamb that was slain seal His promise forever! Augustus Toplady spoke of this great truth writing "My name from the palms of His hands eternity will not erase; Impressed on His heart it remains, in marks of indelible grace. Yes, I to the end shall endure, as sure as the earnest is giv’n; More happy, but not more secure, then even the glorified spirits in Heav’n." (Hymn: A Debtor to Mercy Alone) As Spurgeon remarks "How loving, then, how full of superlative, super-excellent affection is God toward you and toward me in so recording our names." In view of so great a sacrifice procured by the meek and gentle Lamb of God, let us join now with that heavenly throng singing with a loud voice “Worthy is the LAMB that was SLAIN to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing… To Him who sits on the throne, and to the LAMB, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever." (Revelation 5:12-13-note)
TO SUMMARIZE: The question in the OT was “WHERE IS THE LAMB?” The answer in the NT is “BEHOLD THE LAMB!” Our cry throughout eternity will be “ WORTHY IS THE LAMB!” And all God’s children said “Hallelujah! Amen!”
In the mysterious working of God, the LAMB Who died to redeem us and give us new life in Himself is now our SHEPHERD (cf Rev 7:17-note) Who ever lives to make us, His SHEEP, lie down in green pastures, to lead us beside still waters, to restore our soul, to guide us in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake, to walk with us through the valley of the shadow of death, to prepare a table before us in the presence of our enemies, to anoint our head with oil, to cause our cup to overflow. “Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow (us) all the days of (our) life, and (we) will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” (Ps 23:1-6-note)
Father, as we BEHOLD THE LAMB "slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev 13:8KJV-note) and ponder with wonder and awe the REDEMPTION wrought by our REDEEMER’S precious blood, may Your Spirit use this eternal Word of Truth to enable us to daily die to self and lovingly follow the Good Shepherd all the days of our life. Amen
Worship the Lamb singing "My Redeemer Lives" by Nicolle Mullen