“…Lamb of God, Savior to all…”
We have a plastic nativity set that our girls love playing with. One day while they were carting the various characters around the house, baby Jesus went missing. I think I remember my two year old Emma say, “Baby Jesus was playing under the bed and then he disappeared”. Well, that was a special ability that Jesus did employ at various times… like the time when angry Jews were about to stone him (not with Marihuana but with actual real stones!) after he claimed to be “I AM” (the LORD YAHWEH!)
But now, there is no baby Jesus for our nativity’s feeding trough (the manger). So… we used a lamb and put it in the manger instead. Jesus was, after all, introduced by John – the guy who was fond of pushing people under water during swim parties – I mean, the baptizer, as “the Lamb of God“.
“Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the WORLD!” ~ John
What’s this all about anyway?
Well, every year at Spring time the Jewish people would have a huge family reunion and a great big feast and celebration at a festival called Passover (see Exodus) in the City of Peace (Jerusalem). To the Passover these one and only true worshipers of God would bring a one year old flawless lamb. They would bring the lamb to the temple and place their hands on the lamb. All the sins they had committed over the past year would symbolically and metephorically pass to the lamb and all the lambs innocence would pass to the worshiper. The lamb was then killed for those sins. It became the substitute that payed the death penalty that our sins deserve and demand. Justice demands that someone pay.
By the way, this sacrificial system was a tangible and physical way of showing their faith that God would provide the Lamb (Genesis 22) and once for all deal with the sin problem. The ‘seed of the woman would one day soon crush the serpent’s head’ (Genesis 3) and liberate all of humanity from the power of sin and Satan.
Well, Jesus was the ‘once for all’ Passover Lamb. When he died on that cross it was as if all humanity was placing their hands on Christ and ALL our sin passed to him. He payed the death penalty for our sin. The beauty part is that all of his innocence and right relationship with God passes to us who receive the free gift. This is the great exchange that occurred at the cross.
Have you received that gift? Have you made that exchange yourself? I can tell it you it feels great to be forgiven and reconciled to our loving heavenly Papa!
If you have received his gift of right relationship (righteousness), the Bible says that you now are “holy and without blame before him in love” (Ephesians 1) and now finally, at long last “we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made his friends of God” (Romans 5:11).
I am enjoying, as the Scripture says, “one blessing after another”, in my relationship with God. I have been wanting to, and realizing my pressing need to, forgo all distractions and develop a closer intimacy with God and really get to know him and then start to do everything and more that Jesus did! (John 14:11)
Have you ever noticed how distracted we are? (Or is is just me?) I get most distracted by those who are steeped in judgmental religiosity. I have a chip on my shoulder when it comes to the demon of the religious spirit and those who represent and exemplify (and glorify?) this bully. But, alas, this too is a distraction from doing what is most important… that which Mary modeled for us when she chose to sit at Jesus feet and learn from the wise sage that is the Christ.
I need wisdom (Christ is wisdom). I need intimacy with him so I will not be so quick to be lured into the darkness, turning my back on the One who is Light (1 John 1).
I have learned that to remain holy before the Lord one needs only to keep looking at the Light (who is Christ). Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus the author and perfecter of your faith (Hebrew 12)… the One who was “lifted up” as the snake in the wilderness (John 3:14) who saves everyone who looks to him for salvation.
Are you struggling with anything? Nasty habits? Addictions? Depression? They all fade away in a moment when you are beholding Christ. Come to him and experience it for yourself. He is the One step program for complete and total healing (see previous post) and abundant life! (John 10)
If you are fully turned to the Lord, your whole body will be filled with light (Ephesians 1) and just like Christ, there will be no darkness in you. Do you want that?
So now we live by faith (by simply trusting) in the Son of God who loved you and gave himself for you. (Galatians 2)
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