At the time of this writing we are just weeks away from the annual observance of Passover. Of course we meet for that solemn assembly on the evening, preceding the Passover day. In this year of 2007, Passover will be on April 1, Sunday evening, just after sunset. Our minds will be focused on several things that evening, including the establishment of the first Passover by the Great God in the O.T. (Who was the One who became Jesus Christ: I Corinthians 10:4). We'll review the events surrounding that ancient occasion, including the eating of the Passover meal. We'll find the main event was the slaying of the Passover lamb and the importance of having its shed blood displayed on the doors of the Israelite houses. Then we'll read about the New Testament Passover, instituted by the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. (He ate the Passover meal, before changing it to the New Testament Passover, with the symbols of the unleavened bread and wine.) So the title of this article will be "Behold the Lamb of God!", taken from, John.1:29 "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world. 34. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. 36. And looking upon Jesus as He walked, he saith, Behold, the Lamb of God."
What can we learn about this "Lamb" of God? Usually we associate the word lamb with an animal that is pretty helpless as far as defending itself; certainly not too aggressive or threatening in its behavior. We picture them as being soft and cuddly and very easily controlled. Little children like to pick them up and pet them at the zoo or on the farm. And, they are that way! They are beautiful and lovable and nice to be around, I would think.
Jesus Christ Demonstrated Some of The Characteristics as the Lamb of God.
He was obedient enough, docile enough, willing enough to lay down His life for the sins of all mankind. Isaiah 53:1-7-9-12; Acts 8:26-32-35; John. 10:17 "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again 18. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father." Notice the humility and the willingness of the Lamb of God to lay down His life for us. How sobering this ought to be for us! How thankful we ought to be for this all encompassing Sacrifice! He was not forced to do this. And continuing: Ver. 11. "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep."
Sheep or lambs are willing to follow the directions of their shepherd.
John 10:1 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber 2. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep heareth his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 4. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.5. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. 6. This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which He spake unto them. 7. Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 8. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 9. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10. The thief cometh not, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: but I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." Ver.16 "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; there shall be one fold and one shepherd." (One Church, with Jesus Christ as its Head)
Just how are we, as the "sheep" of God's flock to follow in the same manner as the Lamb of God did? Notice His attitude in all matters. John 8:29, 30—32 In Ver. 30, some of the Pharisees "believed in Him", but in Ver.37 "I know you are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me. 38. I speak that which I have seen with my Father; and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. 44. Ye are of your father the devil and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." (So, He revealed their real feeling toward Him.)
Turn now to Matthew 26:30,31, we read: "Then Jesus said to them, 'All of you will be offended (made to stumble) because of Me this night (Passover night), for it is written: 'I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered abroad." Here we see that Christ was both a type of a Lamb and of a Shepherd. He can see from the perspective of the two sides. He can understand our weaknesses and tendencies to want to sin, although He never once sinned Himself. Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. 14. Seeing then that we have a great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15. For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."
What Are We Commanded to Do?
Notice Luke 9:23: "Then He said to them all, 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross (stake) daily, and follow Me;" Also Luke 18: 18"And a certain ruler asked Him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life and Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? None is good, save One, that is, God. 20. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor thy father and thy mother," (Same advice as given in Mt.19:16-21). He was obviously referring to all ten of the Commandments of God.
Read I Peter 2:21: "For even hereunto were ye called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:" (K.J. version) If the Lamb of God was willing to follow His Father's will in all things, we must also be of the same attitude. Ephesians 5:1,2: "Therefore be followers of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and hath given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour."
Jesus Christ, as the humble, obedient and loving Lamb of God was willing to suffer the agony of a cruel death on the stake for us. In fact, as you know, Christ is called our "Passover". He was, and is, the ultimate and total fulfillment of the Passover Lamb to atone for the sins of all mankind. I Corinthians 5: 6 "Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 7. purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover (Ex. 12:5) is sacrificed for us: 8. Therefore let us keep the Feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." This Scripture absolutely proves, that the New Testament Church is to be observing the Passover, as Jesus Christ instituted it with the new symbols of unleavened bread and wine (with the foot washing service as well) and follow up with keeping the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days!!
Some Final Thoughts
The Lamb of God now has other attributes and characteristics!
Revelation 5:1"And I saw on the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. 3. And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open and to read the book, neither to look therein. 5. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof."(Did you notice this?!) He has taken on the attributes of a LION, AS WELL AS A LAMB! Verse 7 "And he came and took the book out of the right of him that sat upon the throne. 9. And they (four beasts and twenty four elders around God's Throne) sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us (Christians) to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10. And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth." (When we are saved and receive our "reward", this is what we'll be doing: reigning with Jesus Christ, on this earth!) Verse 12 "Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and srength, and honor, and glory, and blessing."
The "Lamb of God" Now Has Great Power and Authority!
He alone was worthy to open and reveal the meaning of the Book with seven seals! And the four beasts, the twenty four Elders and the Holy Angels around God's throne worshipped this Great Lamb!
Then we come to the opening of the six seals of Revelation 6. Great trouble is ahead!
Revelation 6:16 "And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17. For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?"
This Lamb can execute great wrath upon evil men. He is not coming again the second time to be beaten, tortured, ridiculed, spit upon and slain as a sacrificial Lamb, but One with great power and wrath upon this present evil world! This "Lamb" is coming as a great conquering Ruler, sitting upon His Throne as "King of Kings and Lord of Lords".
He is to take a wife, the Church, unto Himself to be co-ruler with Him over this earth.
Revelation 19:7 "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. 8. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints."
He also is a coming as a conquering King! Verse 11."And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. 12. And His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself. 13. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God." 14. And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15. And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." This Great Warrior King and the Lamb are one and the same Personality!!
Finally, God the Father, will descend with the Holy City, New Jerusalem, to join with the Lamb and to begin the awesome opportunity of going into the universe and ruling "all things". That is all described in the last two books of Revelation, Chapters 21 and 22.
Revelation 21:2 "And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for he husband. 4. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 7. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 9. And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. 22. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 23. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light of it."
(Read both these chapters to see a preview of our absolutely marvelous future.)
We'll soon be commemorating the death of our Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ, on Passover evening, the fourteenth of Abib. (English calendar, April 1) But He is no longer dead --He is alive for evermore! And the "Lamb of God" is now poised to fulfill all of His other roles, such as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. If I may echo the Words of Revelation 22:7 "Behold I come quickly----", I say Amen! Lamb of God!