The Lamb of God
“Behold, the Lamb of God who comes to take away the sins of the world” (John 1:29).
We are just a few weeks from Passover, which will be Thursday night April 21st. You will start to see some Passover-related devotionals to help you relate Passover to your daily life. When John the Baptist saw Jesus, he proclaimed that Christ was the Lamb which would take away our sins. When John said this, many people do not realize that the Jewish people listening to him would have immediately thought about Passover. Understanding the Passover Story will help us understand Jesus Christ as our Lamb.
Jacob and his sons moved down to Egypt at the end of the book of Genesis. While they were there, they prospered. As time passed, a Pharaoh came to power that did not remember the children of Israel and the kind things that Joseph had done for them. This ruler enslaved them and treated them cruelly.
The Israelites cried out to the Lord in their bondage. The Lord answered their prayers by raising up for them a deliverer named Moses. The Lord gave him a message of hope and deliverance for the people of God. His assignment was first to tell the people that God was going to save them. Secondly, he had to deliver this word to Pharaoh: “Let my people go!” When they approached Pharaoh with this message, he stubbornly refused to let the Israelites go. God used Moses and Aaron to release 10 plagues on Egypt so that Pharaoh would free them.
The tenth plague, much more devastating than the ones before it, would take the life of every first born in the land of Egypt. This included both humans and animals. To prevent this plague from falling on the Israelites, God gave them instructions in Exodus 12. Each man of his house was to kill a one-year old male lamb and place the blood on the tops and sides of the doorposts of their homes. They were to eat the lamb with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. When the death angel came through the land, everyone who did this was passed over for judgment. All of the Egyptians, including Pharaoh, lost his firstborn. Heartbroken, he let the people leave Egypt.
This story from the Old Testament emphasizes something important for us today: we need the blood of Jesus. Egypt is used as a symbol for sin in the Bible. To leave a life of sin, we need the blood of the Lamb of God. Christ’s blood allows us to be passed over from God’s wrath just as the blood of the Passover Lamb allowed Israel to be passed over by the Death Angel. “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!” (Romans 5:9).
Four days before Passover, the Lamb was chosen and examined for defects. Just before His crucifixion, Christ was arrested and examined by the High Priest, Herod, and Pilate (Luke 22:66-23:25, John 18). Isaiah 53 is an entire chapter prophesying the coming of the Messiah to die for mankind. In verse 7, God said, “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.” This verse came to pass just as was prophesied in the Old Testament!
Matthew 27:12-14 reads, “When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate asked him, ‘Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?’ But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor.” Isaiah wrote hundreds of years before Christ’s death! Christ was found to be innocent in the eyes of men. Despite His innocence, He was condemned to death for our sakes. Jesus refused to try and defend His own innocence. Like a lamb is silent in its slaughter, so was Christ.
Let’s take time to remember and thank the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, for laying down His life for us. His blood on our hearts and minds wipes away our sins so we can leave a life of sin and live a new life for Him.