Summary: Part 6 of our study looking at the Extra Ordinary man Jesus. In this sermon we will look at His life.
We have spent a lot of time looking at the birth of Jesus and His existence before His birth, and I have tried to get us to focus on Jesus as the King of kings and Almighty God. We've seen Him as the 'Commander of the Army of God' and walking through the furnace of fire with no ill effects.
And the picture we have painted of Jesus throughout the Old Testament is that of a Lion who will come and bring peace on earth and set the captives free! This is what the Jews were expecting; this is what they still are expecting! A great warrior to come and deliver them!
But here we have John the Baptist, the last of the prophets, the one sent before the Messiah to prepare the way for Him and proclaim His coming and he shouts 'Behold! The Lamb of God...'
What a contrast! If you describe someone as a lion then you are thinking of someone who is strong and courageous, and if they are a soldier they are ferocious too.
But a lamb?! Gentle and meek and cute and the complete opposite of a lion! If I was going out to fight I'd much rather go against someone called 'The Lamb' than someone called 'The Lion'!
There are some great names throughout history- Alexander the Great, William the Conqueror, Richard the Lion heart, Ivan the Terrible! All leaders, all conquerors, and none called 'The Lamb'.
So why, after 1000s of years as seeing Jesus as this mighty, courageous warrior, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, does John introduce Him as the Lamb?
Is there any significance in this title?
Throughout Jewish history the lamb has a very significant meaning. And to really get it we have to go right back again to the book of Genesis!
Abraham was a man called by God to be set apart and father of a nation. In his old age God promised him a son, Isaac, and when Isaac was born and grew a bit God told Abraham to sacrifice him.
So Abraham took his son, built an altar, and prepared the wood for the sacrifice and then Isaac said 'Where is the lamb for the sacrifice?' to which Abraham replied 'My son, God Himself will provide a lamb...'
And here we see a picture of what is to come, a lamb, provided by God, sacrificed in the place of man!
And then in Exodus, we have the Passover feast, one of the most important feasts in the Jewish year which celebrates God delivering the Jewish slaves from their bondage in Egypt. And what happened on Passover was that every Jew was to take a spotless, unblemished lamb, slaughter it and then sprinkle its blood over the door posts so when the angel of death passes over Israel the blood of the lamb would save them!
So in these two events we see the significance and importance of the lamb. Provided by God, Jesus was sent here, given to the world by God; and it was to be spotless, unblemished, perfect, sinless and Jesus' life was a life without sin!
And this title sums up the whole of Jesus's life!
Morally perfect! Sinless! Complete and total obedience with God the Father! In complete and total fellowship with God the Father! Remember those words God spoke as His baptism? 'This is My Son with whom I am well pleased!'
Jesus' life is an example of the life God intended at creation! Everything we see around us is contaminated by sin and the curse of sin! Morally corrupt! Sinful! Rebellious towards God the Father! Separated from God the Father!
Jesus' life is an example to us of how we should strive to live ours! He was human yet perfect! He was tempted yet didn't sin! He knew the voice and the leading of the Holy Spirit and was obedient to Him even to death! And His life was full of the power of God!
He and only He was the spotless Lamb of God! He and only He was qualified to take our place on the altar and be sacrificed for us! His blood and only His blood shed on that cross is enough to save us and shelter us as the wrath of God passes over!
He and only He should be our role model! His life and only His life should we ever try to imitate! We should study it and learn from it, and draw strength and hope and comfort from it!
When we face temptation we can look to Jesus' life to see how to overcome it- The Word of God and prayer!
When we stand in the face of persecution, when people do wrong against us we can look to Jesus to see how we are to react- with forgiveness and love!
When we are in need we can look to Jesus to see how to survive- with faith in God!
All aspects of how we should live a life pleasing to God can be seen in the life of Jesus!