Jesus Is The Lamb of God
Has Jesus Christ become your Passover Sacrifice by Faith? Have you had His shed blood applied to protect your life from God's wrath? Have you eaten Him for your salvation? Do you rest safely in the shelter of His great salvation?
When John the Baptist stepped forward in John 1:29 and introduced Jesus as the Lamb of God he did so as the final Old Testament prophet, the son of a priest, and as the chosen forerunner of Christ. He identified Jesus as the Passover Lamb of God, how powerful, complete and transforming is that truth. Think of the dramatic sequence God had planned just on the day of Christ's crucifixion. On the day Christ died on the Cross-for our sins, it was the fourteenth day of Abib, A.D. 33.
At the third hour (9:00 A.M.), Israel’s high priest tied the Passover lamb to the altar for sacrifice. At that exact moment outside the city walls of Jerusalem, Jesus, the Lamb of God, was nailed to the cross.
For six hours both the Passover lamb and Jesus the Lamb of God, awaited death. Finally, at the ninth hour (3:00 P.M.), the high priest ascended the altar in the temple and sacrificed the Passover lamb.
At that exact moment from the Cross Christ's words thundered out over the city of Jerusalem, "It is finished!”
On Calvary’s stark mountain, God the Father, the final High Priest of all creation, placed His holy hand on the head of His only begotten Son, allowing the total sin of the world to descend upon Jesus. Barely able to lift His blood-spattered face toward heaven, Jesus shouted in triumph, “It is finished!” (John 19:30).
Jesus as the Lamb of God summarizes God's Word completely. It is the greatest summary of Who Christ WAS, What HE DID, and how we participate. This morning the panorama of Scriptures cries out to us:
In the Old Testament the question was, “Where is the lamb?” (Gen. 22:7)
In the four Gospels, the emphasis is “Behold the Lamb of God!” (John 1:29) Here He is!
In Heaven all who come to Jesus sing with the heavenly choir, “Worthy is the Lamb!” (Rev. 5:12)
The people of Israel were familiar with lambs for the sacrifices. At Passover, each family had to have a lamb; and during the year, two lambs a day were sacrificed at the temple altar, plus all the other lambs brought for personal sacrifices.
Men brought those lambs to men, but here is God’s Lamb, given by God to men!
Those lambs could not take away sin, but the Lamb of God can take away sin. Those lambs were for Israel alone, but this Lamb would shed His blood for the whole world!
Now read with me John 1:29. Who was Jesus? THE LAMB OF GOD!
Now, please turn to I Corinthians 5:7, what Lamb is Jesus? Christ our PASSOVER!
The paschal lamb and the seder: The Passover lamb stood apart in Israel’s sacrificial economy. It was like, yet unlike, the other sacrifices. Alfred Edersheim notes:
“It was neither exactly a sin offering nor a peace offering, but a combination of them both.” Israel’s paschal lamb was a kind of summary expression of all that the sacrificial system projected prophetically. Although every sacrifice and ceremony set forth a particular aspect of the Messiah’s person and ministry, it is Passover that is singled out as the unifying typical illustration: “For Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed for us.” There is a sense in which all other sacrifices were taken as grafts from Passover and rooted into the trunk of Levitical typology.
John explains Jesus by the seven titles in chapter one
In a gospel written to the whole world, John presents us with the Divine Jesus. He is the Son of God -- his Divinity -- the Divine nature of God is very clearly seen. We have already seen John's incredible introduction of Jesus as the Word, the Dwelling Presence and the Glory of God. John reveals Jesus as God's unique ("only begotten," KJV) Son, and refers to God as His Father more than any other book of the Bible. The Old Testament refers to God as Father only 12 times, John 120 times! But there is one major theme that runs throughout John’s Gospel: Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and if you commit yourself to Him, He will give you eternal life (John 20:31). In this first chapter, John recorded seven names and titles of Jesus that identify Him as eternal God.
- Jesus is The Word (John 1:1-3, 14)
- Jesus is The Light (John 1:4–13)
- Jesus is the Son of God (John 1:15–28, 49)
- Jesus is the Lamb of God (John 1:29–34) John the Baptist called Jesus “the Lamb of God,” a title he would repeat the next day (John 1:35–36). This morning as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, the message of the Bible can be summed up in this title.
The Lord Himself established seven occasions of worship to guide Israel through the centuries until the Messiah comes. Christians often falsely assumes these feasts are exclusively Jewish occasions. But the Bible makes it clear these days belong to the Lord. These feasts of the Lord are established for divine purposes, and everyone has a right to draw near. Just as seven days finish a weekly cycle, seven festival occasions complete the work of God on earth. Each holiday was and is a trail marker pointing to the future. The seven feasts are: The Feast of Passover, The Feast of Unleavened Bread, The Feasts of Firstfruits, The Feast of Pentecost, The Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah), The Feast of Atonement (Yom Kippur), The Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot). Each of the feasts of Israel points to and describes what lies ahead.
The seven Jewish feasts also became the outline for Jesus’ ministry. It is amazing how precisely Jesus fulfilled the feasts that had been celebrated for more than 1,450 years.
- Passover speaks of redemption. Messiah, the Passover Lamb, has been slain for us. He died on Passover (as God’s Lamb),
- Unleavened Bread speaks of sanctification. He was set apart. His body would not decay in the grave. He was buried on the Feast of Unleavened Bread (as the Bread of Life),
- Firstfruits speak of resurrection. Death could not hold her Foe. On the third day, Jesus rose triumphantly from the grave. He arose on the feast of First fruits (as the first fruits of those who will be raised to life),
- He sent His Spirit on Pentecost so His followers could begin “harvesting” those who would believe. Pentecost can be a powerful reminder to Christians that they have become the dwelling place for God’s Spirit- His Temple.
- Rosh Hashanah (the trumpet call to judgment).
- Yom Kippur (judgment day) in some sense will be fulfilled upon Jesus’ return, though He has already fulfilled some elements of these two feasts.
- And what comes after the final judgment? Heaven! The new Promised Land! Sukkot is the feast that celebrated the Promised Land, God’s deliverance, living water, and God’s blessing. Sukkot is a feast that will be fully realized in heaven. There will be living water (Revelation 7:17), the eternal presence of God (Revelation 21:22), and the light (Revelation 22:5). Sukkot taught the Jewish people to be joyful, in anticipation of heaven. Take the most joyful celebration that ever existed and imagine it lasting forever. That is heaven. No wonder some Jewish Christians (and some Gentile ones, too) celebrate Sukkot.
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