“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29
I find it fascinating that the very first description of Jesus, as He was beginning His ministry here on earth, is that He was declared to be the “Lamb of God”. For us today, the imagery provokes something soft and huggable. My granddaughter has a fluffy lamb doll. We have several in our home. Our kids would play with them and cuddle them. It was, and is, always cute.
But for those standing there on that day, we must not forget that these words were ominous.
For them, the lamb stood for sacrifice. It harkened their minds to the annual festival of the Passover where they were yearly reminded of the lambs that were slain so that their blood could be smeared on the lentils and doorposts of their homes. Why did they do such a gruesome thing? So that the Angel of Death would not enter. He entered many homes that night—homes without the protection of the lamb’s blood. He entered the homes of the poor, the middle-class, the rich and powerful. He entered the heavily guarded palace of the mighty Pharaoh. And when he did enter, the first born of that home was struck down dead. Without the blood of the lamb, no home was spared.
It was the blood of the sacrificed lamb which provided salvation from the wrath of God.
Do not let the deep implications of this escape your notice. When John first declared of Jesus: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” it was a heavy declaration.
This isn’t fluffy. This isn’t snuggly or huggy or cute. It is ominous and portentous and should be accompanied in your mind with some kind of foreboding music. From the get-go, Jesus was declared to be the One who would be sacrificed for your sins and my sins.
This imagery of Christ was foretold by Isaiah:
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth. Isaiah 53:7
And this continues in the Revelation to John:
And I saw between the throne a Lamb standing, as if slaughtered… Rev 5:6
Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered… Rev 5:12
… they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Rev 7:14
And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb… Rev 12:11
All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Rev 13:8
But there is something both incredibly wonderful and terrible about this revelation that Jesus is the Lamb. It is often overlooked or forgotten, yet it is nothing but marvelous and worthy of great awe and reverence and even fear. Yes, Jesus is declared to be the Lamb that was led to the slaughter without resistance, without a word. But the Revelation to John presents to us the Lamb of God in His fullness.
The Lamb will be the object of praise:
And I heard every created thing which is in heaven, or on the earth, or under the earth, or on the sea, and all the things in them, saying, “To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be the blessing, the honor, the glory, and the dominion forever and ever.” Revelation 5:13
And it will be the Lamb who will open the seals of judgment:
Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, “Come!” Revelation 6:6
It will be the wrath of the Lamb from whom kings and the prominent and commanders and the wealthy and the strong and the slaves and the free will hide themselves in caves and cry to the mountains and the rocks:
“Fall on us and hide us from the sight of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of Their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” Revelation 6:16-17
In the great imagery of Revelation, the beast and the ten horns will wage war, and their war will be against the Lamb, but it is the Lamb who will be victorious:
These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them because He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful. Revelation 17:14
And it is to the Lamb that the people of God are married, and the wedding feast will be the Lamb's feast:
Let’s rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, because the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His bride has prepared herself. Revelation 19:7
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls, full of the seven last plagues, came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” Revelation 21:9
Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” Revelation 19:9
There are nearly 30 references of Jesus as the “Lamb” in the book of Revelation. In fact, it would be proper to say that in this book, the primary image of Christ is portrayed as the Lamb.
We are gazing at no small attribute of God here.
He is the Lamb who was slain for our sins. He is the Lamb who will bring judgment and wrath on those who are not His. It is the Lamb who is the Husband of the bride of Christ who will sing the song of the Lamb (Revelation 15:3). It is the Lamb who will stand on Mount Zion (Revelation 14:1) and it is the Lamb who will receive “power, wealth, wisdom, might, honor, glory, and blessing”. (Revelation 5:12)
Worthy is the Lamb!
Spend time this week contemplating and meditation upon the marvelous revelation of God.