There stood the Lamb

Revelation 5:6 And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.”

The lamb of God is an interesting look into one of the many ways God has manifest His love towards us. The image of a perfect lamb has its history in the Jewish temple.

1 Peter 1:17-19 “And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; 18knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

This image of Christ as the lamb of God is the model for all that was necessary for our redemption.

The Passover lamb was the sacrifice that God made necessary for salvation during the plagues inflicted upon Egypt, for their stubbornness and refusal to allow the people to leave and sacrifice upon the mountain of God. The Angel of death was sent as a result of Pharaoh’s stubbornness, rebellion and pride while God was also diminished the power of the god’s of Egypt. As He descended upon the region and He killed every firstborn man and beast, those who spread the Passover lambs blood on their door posts and header frames were allowed to live. This story has been one of the greatest single events in Jewish history.

Exodus 12:7-11And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. 8Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire—its head with its legs and its entrails. 10You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire. 11And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover.”

The Passover celebration that is observed every year in late March/early April, is an annual celebration of this great deliverance by God that resonates in the hearts of all Jewish faithful. The Passover lamb is at the center of this celebration!

The great deliverance of Israel from bondage was a sign also to the Egyptians that the Lord, He alone is God. Every plague that was brought upon Pharaoh was a denial of their false god’s and an exaltation of the Lord God Jehovah as King.

During the Passover meal, God instructed the Israelites to prepare unleavened bread and eat it for 7 days. Now in tradition, the Seder meals use of unleavened bread while eating it in haste was an act of recognizing that deliverance was coming soon and they just couldn’t wait for the rising of the yeast. The problem with this ‘hurry up’ narrative is that God had them eat it for an entire week. A look into this traditional Biblical text is a focus more on the yeast rather than on the rush.

1 Corinthians 5:6-8 “Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 8Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

Paul reflects on the dangers of allowing sin within the congregation of believers. Just as a little yeast affects the entire batch of dough, so a little compromise of sin affects the people adversely. Sin spreads like a cancer or like a spreading infection it eventually consumes its host.

The Israelites had 400 years of idolatrous Egyptian practice that affected their people. The Lord instituted a practice that served as a sign to them that it was time for the purifying of the people. The number seven has often been a sign of completion in God’s history and this seven day ceremony was a sign of God’s desire for them to be completely pure of all Egyptian influence and corruption.

We now, as children of a new covenant, have been grafted into a spiritual heritage and we likewise have a responsibility to consider the leaven of sin as well as Israel did in the time of the Exodus.

Romans 11:16-18 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember thatyou do not support the root, but the root supports you.”

*The Passover lamb had a subsequent deeper meaning in the spectrum of salvation.

John 1:29The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

The scourge of sin has penetrated deep within the annals of mankind. The suffering we see today and read about in history has directly been influenced by this blight on the souls of men. To much greater detriment, the enmity that was created between God and man has created a chasm that is impossible to span on our own merits.

The lamb of God came to pay the redemption price for mankind. The cost of sin is death. From the moment Adam sinned until Jesus came, the requirement to be justified from the conviction of sin could not be fully met.

Isaiah foretold of a promise in 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.”

The offering up of the Lamb of God was the great act of mercy and grace that bridged the impossible divide sin left in its wake. Jesus willingly forsook His throne, humbled Himself and gave us His life that we might be spared.

Matthew 20:28 “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

This ransom paid was a debt He didn’t owe. We saw glimpses of the need for a sacrificial lamb when Abraham ascended the mount to offer his son Isaac upon the alter. once the Lord stopped Abraham by commuting the act, He provided the sacrifice as an atonement for Abraham’s sin. The lambs atonement was incomplete, it could not sufficiently assume our sin, but only provide a reprieve from God’s wrath.

Jesus became the perfect sacrifice for us.

Hebrews 10:8-10 “Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), 9then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. 10By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

The old sacrifice, that which was according to the law, was abolished when Jesus came. The Moral law required death for breaking it, Jesus brought the complete sacrifice for us.

Hebrews 10:11-14And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

The Old Testament patriarch’s could never be completely free from sin. As a result of their sin, they waited patiently in Sheol, for the lamb of God to free them from the exclusion that sin created. Once Jesus arose from the grave victorious, the captives were released and death lost its sting.

We have been granted this offer of new life. We have a choice as to whether we will receive His sacrifice or reject it.

*The sacrifice was great, nothing in all of history comes remotely close to the magnitude of what Jesus accomplished. For those who have spurned His love, the magnitude of their error will be realized as well. If the Father did not spare His Son from the cross, how much will He spare those who have rejected so great a salvation?

Accept the sacrifice Jesus gave for you and be set free. You will then know the joy Israel experienced as they crossed into the promised land, except now in much greater measure!

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