a beautiful piece of crimson thread woven through a tapestry is
the theme of the Lamb of God in the Bible.
of redemption begins in the heart of a loving God even before
the first couple was created. The cross was there in the heart
of God before human history began. The cross of Christ was no
afterthought in God's plan of redemption.
Prospect of a Lamb for Redemption
begins as an incipient idea in Genesis 4:37 and grows through
the remainder of the Bible. The concept of a required lamb is
planted in the account of the first act of worship. Abel evidently
brought a lamb because of previously given divine instruction.
So it came
about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the
Lord of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought
of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And
the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain
and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry
and his countenance fell. Then the Lord said to Cain, "Why
are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do
well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you
do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is
for you, but you must master it.
The New Testament
commentary on Abel is found in Hebrews 11:4. "By faith Abel
offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he
obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about
his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks."
True Cain had an attitude problem, but it may have included his
ideas on worship and way of approaching God apart from His revelation.
When we worship God, we always come by the Lamb of God slain as
propitiation. Clearly after Abel's sacrifice, man is always seen
bringing the animal as a sacrifice.
Provision of the Lamb for Redemption
is clearly seen in Genesis 22:68. God provided a substitute
lamb for Isaac.
the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and
he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So the two of them
walked on together. Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said,
"My father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son."
And he said, "Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is
the lamb for the burnt offering?" Abraham said, "God
will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son."
So the two of them walked on together.
idea in the whole experience is summed up in the words, "God
will provide Himself the lamb." After seeing God provide
the required lamb Abraham named the place Yahwehjireh,
"Yahweh will provide." The LORD God did just that at
Protection Provided by the Redeeming Lamb is
evident in the Passover lamb. The lamb had to be appropriated
by faith. It had to be slain and the blood applied to each home.
The father of each household was required to take an unblemished
one-year-old lamb and kill it. "Moreover, they shall take
some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel
of the houses in which they eat it" (Exodus 12:7). Moses
explains the reason for the sacrifice. "For I will go through
the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the
firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against
all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgmentsI am the Lord.
The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live;
and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will
befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt"
(vv. 1213). With the application of the blood of the lamb
to the lintel and doorposts, the household was protected. "For
the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He
sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord
will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to come
in to your houses to smite you" (v. 23). In order
to receive the protection the lamb had to be slain and appropriated
comes our way and says in effect, "When I see the blood,
I will pass over you" (v. 13). The lamb had to be slain,
and man had to trust in God's provision of that lamb.
Perfect Lamb for Redemption
is emphasized throughout the book of Leviticus. The lamb must
always be a lamb "without blemish." It must be perfect
in its character to remove sin and guilt. The priestly handbook
made it clear, "it must be perfect to be accepted; there
shall be no defect in it" (Leviticus 22:21b).
in the Old Testament anticipated the true and perfect sacrifice
which the Lamb of God would one day offer. They were shadows of
the coming perfect sacrifice for sin. Christ is the end of all
these sacrifices. These sacrifices were a witness to the people
that they were sinners and could be saved only by substitutionary
death offered in their behalf. The worshipper testified that he
lived only by virtue of the slain victim in his stead. The continual
sacrifice of animals testified that the blood of animals could
not take away sin. It was a promise, prophecy and pledge that
God would accomplish it with His own Lamb. "Without the shedding
of blood there is no remission of sins" (Hebrews 9:22) is
a commentary on Leviticus 17:11. "For the life of the flesh
is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make
atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the
life that makes atonement."
were mere shadows of the sacrifice of Christ and looked forward
to it. These Old Testament sacrifices were worthless in their
own right, but were accepted for the time as tokens of the future
sacrifice of the Lamb of God (Hebrews 10:1014). Once that
sacrifice was offered all other sacrifices lost their meaning,
and ceased to be. The infinite value of the savior's death was
enough to pay the penalty for the sins of all men for all time.
Hebrews 10:1920, "Therefore, brethren, since we have
confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a
new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil,
that is, His flesh . . . "
Perfect Redeeming Lamb God will Provided is a Person
who was "wounded for our transgressions . . . Yahweh has
laid on Him the iniquity of us all . . . He is brought as a lamb
to the slaughter." Isaiah 52:1353:12 tells us the lamb
will be a person of God's choosing who will die a substitutionary
death for our sins. You can find almost all of Isaiah 53 quoted
somewhere in the New Testament.
Lamb of God is Identified as the Person Jesus Christ
by John the Baptist. All of the Old Testament lambs typified the
Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. John saw Jesus and declared, "Behold,
the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John
1:29). The next day John saw Him again and declared, "Behold,
the Lamb of God!" (v. 36). Our sins are removed only by the
sacrifice of the Lamb.
Lamb of God is Proclaimed as our Redeemer
in Acts 8. An Ethiopian government official was speeding his way
home after having been to Jerusalem to worship. In his lap was
a copy of the book of Isaiah. As he rode along, he pondered "He
was led as a sheep to slaughter; and as a lamb before its shearers
is silent, so He does not open His mouth. In humiliation His judgment
was taken away; who shall relate His generation? For His life
is removed form the earth" (Acts 8:3233, quoting Isaiah
53:7, 8). God sent Philip the evangelist to interpret and expound
the passage for him. "And Philip opened his mouth, and beginning
from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him" (v. 35). The
Ethiopian man appropriated the provision of the Lamb of God by
believing on Christ. "I believe that Jesus Christ is the
Son of God" was his response.
Proof of the Precious Redeeming Lamb of God
is seen in His resurrection from the dead. The apostle Peter sums
up the whole message of the Lamb with these words: "knowing
that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver
or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,
but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless,
the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation
of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake
of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from
the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in
God" (I Peter 1:1821).
Preeminence of the Lamb of God as our Redeemer
is the message of the book of Revelation. He will receive everlasting
worship. The Lamb of God is the Lion of the tribe of Judah who
reigns as the sovereign King of Kings and Lord of Lords for all
eternity. The whole book focuses our attention on the "Lamb
standing, as if slain" at the throne of God. The elders fell
down before the Lamb and worshipped Him singing a new song, "Worthy
are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were
slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every
tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to
be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon
the earth . . . saying with a loud voice, 'Worthy is the Lamb
that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing.' And every created thing which
is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea,
and all things in them, I heard saying, 'To Him who sits on the
throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory
and dominion forever and ever'" (Rev. 5:910, 1213).
Talk about worship! The book ends in the presence of the throne
of God and the Lamb. The Lamb is the Shekinah glory of
God that illuminates heaven. Please don't miss the message. It
is clearly taught "only those whose names are written in
the Lamb's book of life" are present in heaven worshiping