For this week’s edition of Word Nerd Wednesday Kelsey shares with us what it means that we call Jesus the Lamb of God.
Lamb of God
“The Next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ”Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”*John 1:29
The Strong’s Lexicon definition of “lamb”:
Noun – Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong’s Greek 286: A lamb (as a type of innocence, and with sacrificial connotation). Apparently a primary word; a lamb***
John the Baptist is the one who says, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” When Jesus is called the Lamb of God in John 1:29 , John is referring to Him as the perfect and ultimate sacrifice for sin.**
The Old Testament Lamb
In order to understand what is the intent of this statement; we have to look back at the Old Testament. The Old Testament prophesied the crucifixion and how Jesus became the sacrificial lamb for all of mankind. The sacrificial system established by God in the Old Testament set the stage for the coming of Jesus Christ and how He would provide the perfect atonement for the sins of His people.
The sacrifice of lambs played an important role in the Jewish religious life and sacrificial structure. The book of Leviticus laid out specific instructions of what animals were to be sacrificed for the various offerings to be presented to God (Leviticus 2-6). God gave detailed prescriptions for different types of offerings which were to be submitted to Him on the altar. A specific event was the Passover feast and how the sacrifice was to be the Passover lamb. The Passover feast was one of the main Jewish holidays and a celebration in remembrance of God’s deliverance of the Israelites from bondage in Egypt. The slaying of the Passover lamb and the applying of the blood to doorposts of the houses (Exodus 12:11-13) is a beautiful picture of Christ’s atoning work on the cross. His death and His blood covered and protected us from the angel of (spiritual) death.**
The Perfect Sacrifice
God’s perfect sacrifice for sin was the death of Jesus on the cross. His resurrection three days later validates how we can have eternal life if we believe in Him. God Himself has provided the offering which atones for our sin and is part of the glorious good news of the gospel that is so clearly declared in 1 Peter 1:18-21:
“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.”**
Jesus was the ultimate “lamb” offered up as the sacrifice to save mankind from the sin of the world and offer an option for us to pursue an eternal life with our God.
* The Study Bible for Women, Holman Christian Standard Bible Copyright 2014 by Holman Bible Publishers Nashville TN
My journey involves grief, faith, hope, love, and continues to grow and mature. I continue to hone in on my purpose and see how God uses my pain to define, develop, and deepen my character.
I am a widow, wife, mother of three children, and two granddaughters living in Southeastern Louisiana. I volunteer for an awesome non-profit called Ragan’s Hope who supports families with critically ill or injured children. In my spare time I love to read, write, and be a little crafty!