April 22 - Good Friday
The Lamb of God
Jesus is called by a variety of names—Messiah, Lord, Christ, Rabbi, Teacher—but the one that is probably the most unfamiliar to the modern world is the Lamb of God. Since most of us do not have a Jewish background, we have a limited understanding of this title. But the Israelites of that day understood the significance of this name. Lambs were for sacrifice.
God has always dealt with sin through the blood of sacrifices. When Adam and Eve sinned, an animal was slain to cover the nakedness and shame of two individuals(Gen. 3:21). On the first Passover, each householdcovered their doorway with sacrificial blood (Ex. 12:1-7). Later, a goat was slaughtered for the atonement of the entire nation (Lev. 16:15). Now in John 1:29, we see the ultimate sacrifice—the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world.
Usually a person’s most impressiveachievements are completed while he or she is alive, but think about what Jesus accomplished through His death. Just as innocent animals had died in place of the guilty, so Christ gave His perfect life for sinful mankind. He assumed full responsibility for all our sins and took the punishment that we deserved. As He hung on the cross, the judgment and wrath of God was poured out on Him instead of on us.
Since we are limited by our human minds and senses, we cannot fully understand all that the Lamb of God endured to bring us salvation. But we know enough to realize that we owe Him our lives. He took our place on the cross; let’s give Him first place in our hearts.