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Lamb of God

Jesus and his disciples had been very busy about the business of ministry. In every direction they turned, pleas for healing awaited them. If you have served in the ministry then you understand that the work of Jesus takes precedence over everything, including your own needs. The disciples had been so busy they hadn’t even had the chance to eat. Jesus recognized their impending exhaustion and called for them to come away with him to a quiet place where they could recharge.

I am sure on the boat ride to their retreat they were finally able to begin unwinding. That is until they got ashore only to find all of the same crowds had run ahead of them to be in the presence of Jesus on the other side of the lake. If it had been me, I would have sighed and rolled my eyes, but the scriptures say that Jesus was moved with compassion when he saw the crowds because they were like a sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:36. Sheep are animals that must have a shepherd to survive. Without a shepherd, sheep would literally follow each other off a cliff. They are the blind leading the blind.

Jesus went to work right away in the role of shepherd. Teaching, healing, and then feeding these thousands who were desperate to have Jesus. They needed a shepherd. But even as Jesus had compassion on them and led them as a shepherd leads his sheep, he was keenly aware of what would take place for him to become our Great Shepherd. To be able to shepherd all of mankind in the future, he would have to become the most vulnerable member of the flock, the lamb.

Throughout the Old Testament, blood was the only atonement for sin. Every Israelite made regular sacrifices of lambs to atone for their sins. The lamb had to be inspected for three days to ensure it was perfect. Only a spotless lamb of perfection would be adequate for the atonement of sin. Jesus went through this time of inspection before he went to the cross to see if there was anything imperfect within him. “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 its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” Isaiah 53:7.

We can look back to Genesis and find the first animal sacrifice. It was made by God Himself. Why? To cover sin. In Genesis 3:21, God lovingly made garments of animal skin and clothed Adam and Eve. Their sin exposed them, and they realized they were unclothed so with compassion for them, God sacrificed his own creation to cover them. From that point on, blood was the atonement for sin. In a final act of atonement, He came as near to us as possible and observed our humanity first-hand. In and of ourselves, we were lost. He witnessed the blind leading the blind just like sheep. He wanted to be our shepherd and so he became the lamb for sacrifice.

He went to the cross as a lamb so that we could be forgiven for our sins. But it doesn’t end there! He rose with the mighty roar of the Lion of Judah so that we may also live in victory and power over the grave. If you are living without freedom from sin, I ask you to consider the cross. The torment that a sinless man endured was for you. It is the gift of salvation; you only need to receive the gift. And Christian, if you are living without power or victory, look to the empty grave. Once you have received salvation, it is only the beginning. You are equipped and enabled to carry the message of Easter to the world!

Villeda Concrete

Nadolyn has served in the local church for over thirty years. Creator of DIRT ROAD BELIEVER YouTube, Nadolyn delights in sharing her faith, family and community to help believers slow down and deepen their relationship with Christ.

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