“The lamb of God” is another title for the King, a title that describes Him well. Why did Jesus have to be the sacrificial lamb?
Did God the Father demand sacrifices, or did he desire mercy? He desired mercy. This is what God says;
“For I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.” Hosea 6:6
This world is short on mercy. People had to learn that a sacrifice was needed in order to pay for sin.
Sacrifices were to provide an atonement for sin. They were designed to point to the fulfilment of God’s ultimate sacrifice for us.
Do you know the story where Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son Isaac on the same mountain that Jesus was crucified on? When they came to Mount Moriah, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”
“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together. Genesis 22:6-8
God asked Abraham to do this because he was pointing to a future sacrifice that He, as a Father was going to make of His Son. That was the first sign.
God provided that sacrifice. It cost Him everything.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that we may not perish, but have eternal life”. John 3:16
The Passover was the next sign. Lambs were first sacrificed at Passover, on the night before Israel’s exodus out of Egypt, nearly 3000 years ago. The lamb was taken into the household 4 days before the Passover. Why, I wonder? The Passover lamb, a male lamb with no blemish, was sacrificed on the 14th day of Nisan, the first month of the Jewish year. The blood was to be a sign for Israel.
The blood of the lamb was put on the sides and tops of the doorframes. On that night, the firstborn of both people and animals were struck down in Egypt. When God saw the blood, He passed over the houses where they were, and the people were spared.
The story of that first Passover is detailed in Exodus 12.
When Jesus began His ministry, John the Baptist said “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” John 1:29
The prophet Isaiah saw the Lamb of God 700 years before His birth. He prophesied “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” Isaiah 53:7
1250 years later, Jesus made it clear to the Disciples that He was going to give up His life in exchange for ours at Passover. “When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, “As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.” Matthew 26:1
When He died on the cross, his final words were “it is finished”. The actual word was “Tetelestai” – meaning to bring to a close, to finish, to end, passed, finished, to perform, execute, complete, to fulfil.
Do you believe that Jesus is the Lamb of God? If you do not yet believe, will you take the lamb, and examine him for yourself over the next 4 days?