Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
I wonder what God’s people expected when they thought about the promised Messiah. Did they expect trumpets and fanfare as a King descended from above with a sword to eliminate all evil in the world? Certainly they must have expected He would be born to someone of prominence—to a king or a prophet.
We looked at Jesus as Servant. He did not come with earthly power but with an attitude of humility. When John the Baptist saw Jesus coming and proclaimed He was the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world his words must have held so much wonder at the same time so much promise.
Throughout the Old Testament when people sinned god required blood to be shed as a payment for that sin. Most often a lamb was sacrificed—killed in place of the one who had sinned and deserved death, or separation from God. The lamb that was chosen wasn’t random. It needed to be perfect, without defect or blemish, no lameness. It had to be a spotless, perfect lam. Of course the lamb had done nothing to deserve death. Sheep are some of the most docile and meek animals who follow their shepherd and go where they are led. When a lamb was sacrificed it went willingly to the altar.
This sort of sacrifice was exactly why Jesus came to earth as a baby. Scripture tells us he was fully God yet fully man. While He lived on earth Jesus never sinned.
He followed His Father’s plan for Him and allowed God to lead Him eventually to be sacrificed on the altar of the cross. When the Lamb of God was sacrificed it was the last sacrifice God required. His blood was exchanged for ours and by His death our sins are forgiven.
While we are not Jesus and do not live perfect lives we can follow His example of allowing God to lead us through life, echoing the words of Paul: “follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1)
Jesus gave up all He had in Heaven to be the sacrificial Lamb who opened the door for us to live there one day with Him. I wonder if there’s anything we could sacrifice this Christmas season to follow His examples and lead others to Jesus.