Summary: Looks at the need of mankind for a sustitute found only in the Lamb of God
A PROVIDED LAMB
Many, many years ago, Abraham and Isaac took the journey from which this text comes. We have talked before about this journey, about Abraham’s faith, Isaac’s obedience, and the ram caught in the thicket.
As I was thinking in my quiet time this week, the thought rang in my heart of a provided lamb. This text stuck out in my mind, as did the text in Exodus 12.4 – and if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbor take it. My mind was also drawn to the book of Ruth, where we see the typology of a kinsman redeemer.
We talked last Sunday about fruitless trees in fertile soil, and then on Wednesday we looked at the personality issues that a Christian should put off as a result of a new heart in Colossians. This seems fitting today, as God always is when we listen.
1) THE LAMB
* John the Baptist proclaimed, "Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world." Isaiah said that he would be led like a lamb to the slaughter. In Revelation 5, we see the Lamb again.
* Why would God allow His Son to be called the lamb? Why would He give such a name to His Son? After all, lambs aren’t very brilliant creatures. They aren’t vibrant in color, they are a bit unstable and awkward. They aren’t quite leaders. They will follow one another over a cliff to their own death. They are virtually helpless and defenseless.
* Jesus Christ was called the lamb of God. Could it be that God wanted His Son to be known as weak, defenseless, and awkward? Not at all. God had placed in the heart and mind of the Israelite a special understanding of a lamb. It was used to symbolize forgiveness of sins, the process of atonement.
* In Exodus, the lamb was an important part of the Passover. As a matter of fact, the lamb was the source of the passing over. Without the shed blood of the lamb, there would be no passing over.
* The culture that the NT finds John the Baptist in, was one of such deep religion that they sacrificed a lamb twice each day in the temple.
* The title of Lamb of God was not one to symbolize weakness or defenselessness. It was actually a title of great honor, significance, and meaning.
2) THE NEED.
* The great need of mankind is to be acceptable in the eyes of God. The priests of the Old Testament, the priests in the temple sacrificed twice daily, the people came once a year to sacrifice for their sins, yet the sin was still there.
* For Abraham, the need was a miracle. For Isaac, the need was for a substitute. Without a substitute, Isaac would have to die. Abraham trusted without question the command to sacrifice his son.
* In almost 6,000 years of human history since this event, the need has not changed. Each one of us needs a miracle in our lives, and like Isaac, each of us needs a substitute, or else we must die.
* The need for these things is not limited to just one group, one community, or to one denomination. The need is worldwide, spans every generation, every race, every creed, every religion.
3) THE PROBLEM.
* The great problem that exists is that man cannot do it for himself. Abraham could not provide his own miracle. He could have chosen a substitute, but that substitute would not have been acceptable in the eyes of God. God told Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac.
* Isaac could have refused, could have rebelled, could have bucked up, but that would have served no purpose. God’s demand was for Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Rebellion would have done no good.
* Mankind’s problem is that God demands perfection. Man is born in sin, and is a sinful creature. It is impossible to be perfect. It is impossible to please God in our flesh. Man, like Abraham tries to choose his own substitute for himself. We choose religion, education, psychology, and worldly cures. These are to no avail. All of these are manmade, all of these come from the hands and minds of men. With man being a sinful creature, these things are born out of sin, and are inherently sinful, giving man no hope.
* Man has tried countless ways to make himself acceptable in God’s eyes, yet man is still sinful, man is still unacceptable in God’s sight, man is still unrighteous, man is still in need of a miracle, still in need of a substitute.
* Man’s need for a substitute stems from the fact that man is sinful and cannot redeem himself. In order to be redeemed and stand acceptable in the sight of God, man must stand before God without sin. The lamb of the Old Testament was to symbolize the forgiveness of sin so that man could be acceptable to God, but the moment after the sacrifice was made, man began to accumulate sin in his life again.