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Lamb of God


LAMB OF GOD

When John the Baptist “saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world’” (Jn 1:29). The expression “Lamb of God” had diverse implications for John the Baptist and his listeners:

1. It could mean the paschal lamb, whose blood saved Israel at the time of the exodus from Egypt (Ex 12:1-13). The pascal lamb without blemish stood for Jesus the sinless God, the blood of the lamb at the door posts stood for the blood of Jesus posted on the cross, and sacrifice of the innocent lamb for the deliverance from slavery stood for the innocent Jesus who died on the cross to deliver sinful humanity from the bondage of sin and Satan.

2. “Lamb of God” means a lamb that God provided. When Abraham travelled with his son Isaac for sacrifice at Mount Moriah, Isaac asked, “ ‘The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?’ Abraham replied, ‘God himself will provide the lamb for the sacrifice, my son’ ” (Gen 22:7-8). God gave only a ram (Gen 22:13) to substitute the sacrifice of Isaac. Whereas, God provided a lamb later, as Abraham predicted. That was Jesus, His only begotten son (Jn 3:16) who got sacrificed at the same mountain centuries later.

3. Jesus stood for the sacrificial lamb in the Temple of Jerusalem. The priests sacrificed a lamb each in the Temple every morning and evening as reparation for the people’s sins (Ex 29:38-42). They sacrificed more lambs and other animals during the Passover. However, these animal sacrifices could not take away Original Sin. They were foreshadows of the sacrifice of the true Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.

4. Prophets Jeremiah and Isaiah predicted a suffering servant led like a lamb for slaughter as a sin-offering (Jer 11:19). “He was harshly treated and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb led to the slaughter” (Isa 53:7).

5. At the end of time, we will see a victorious apocalyptic lamb who shall destroy all the evil in the world (Rev 5–7). John the Evangelist saw “a Lamb standing between the throne and the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb appeared to have been slain. It had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out to all the earth” (Rev 5:6). “They will fight against the Lamb, but the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with him are called, chosen and faithful” (Rev 17:14).

REFLECTION

Though Jesus voluntarily surrendered as a sacrificial lamb for the remission of our sins, he is a victorious lamb. He rose from the dead, ascended to heaven, seated at the right hand of his Father, and he will return in royal glory to judge the nations. He wants us to gain the crown by taking up the cross for the mission he has entrusted to us.

 


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