The Lamb was slain from the creation of the world. He was Abel’s better sacrifice of faith. He was the substitute provided by God for Isaac. He was the Passover Lamb whose blood provided salvation and deliverance for Israel. He was every sacrifice offered during the Mosaic age.
He came into the world to save sinners from their sins. His birthplace was a stable and His cradle was a manger. He would be introduced formally by John the Baptist as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” The Lamb of God alone is the Lamb without blemish. All others, like sheep, have gone astray. All have sinned and the wages of sin is death. Life is in the blood, but without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness. So, the Lamb died.
He died for our sins according to the Scriptures. He was buried and then raised to life according to the Scriptures. In the bloody sacrifice of the Lamb is found peace with God, forgiveness, justification, sanctification, cleansing, redemption and freedom. In His blood-stained cross the wrath of God is appeased, the justice of God is satisfied and the love of God is demonstrated.
He demonstrated His great love for us in that while we were yet sinners, He died for us. It was for our transgressions that He was pierced. It was for our sins that He was crushed. He was punished and we found peace and healing. He bore our sins in His body. He paid the price.
The Lamb died and the temple veil was torn. The Lamb died and the earth shook. The Lamb died and the sun became blood dark. The Lamb died and the dead came to life. We came to life.
Worthy is that silent Lamb. Worthy is that Passover Lamb. Worthy is that Lamb without blemish. Worthy is the Lamb who washes our robes white in His blood. Worthy is the Lamb who was slain but now stands at the throne of God. Worthy is the Lamb who writes our names with blood in His book of life. Worthy is the Lamb who destroys His enemies with the sword of His mouth. Worthy is the Lamb who invites us to His wedding feast. Worthy is the Lamb, who with His blood purchased people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.
He identified with us. In baptism we unite with Him in the likeness of His death — a death to self and sin and are raised to walk in the newness of life. In view of His mercy, we should obey the gospel and present our bodies as living sacrifices. Jesus, the Lamb, is worthy of nothing less.
Ken Haskins is pastor of First Christian Church in Carson City.