Summary: I would like for us to look at one of the most fascinating and central themes of the word of God. The Lamb. And I hope as we go through this that we will see how God's ways and thoughts are higher than our own.
Foolishness or Faith
I would like for us to look at one of the most fascinating and central themes of the word of God. The Lamb. And I hope as we go through this that we will see how God's ways and thoughts are higher than our own.
Events which take place in our lives that leave lasting impressions on our minds. One such for me was seeing the sunrise over the Grand Canyon. Another was visiting a church in Houston, Texas.
Robert Benjamin grew up in Monterey, Mexico in a conservative Jewish home. His parents had fled Germany during the holocaust. So, living in Mexico a predominantly Catholic country, he found himself going to Catholic mass. For many years he heard many things he didn't understand, things that didn't make total sense, but there was one thing that stuck out in his mind that made absolutely no sense at all. It was a responsive saying: The priest would say Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. And the congregation would respond Have mercy on us. He said for many years he heard this but didn't understand it made no sense, it was foolishness to him.
Then he met a Baptist missionary that would change his life forever. He began to talk with the missionary and came to know the Lord. At this point he began to have a desire to know more about the Word of God. He began to realize that not only was this phrase not foolishness, but that the phrase made full sense, that it was the divine plan of God and that in the divine plan of God, believing in the Lamb is not foolishness it is faith.
Three windows: Window of Creation- Adam and Eve in the Garden the tree of knowledge. Adam and Eve leaving the Garden. At the passage out of the Garden there was the Angel guarding the entrance but in this window there also stood a Lamb.
Window of resurrection- Three crosses the empty tomb and at the opening of the tomb there was the Lamb.
The Window of Revelation- New Jerusalem in gold, rivers of life and there is the Lamb.
From the beginning through the core of the gospels to the end there is a common bond the unfolding story of the lamb.
Today I want to look at three passages that are significant in scripture, depicting the Lamb of God.
Genesis: first reference to Lamb.
John: first reference in New Testament to the Lamb.
Revelation: last reference in the Bible to the Lamb.
Genesis 22: 1-2.
God is conducting a test. God never asks us to do evil. God knew Abraham would not conclude this test.
From perspective of heaven This is a test. From the perspective of Abraham this was reality. To God a fire drill but to Abraham this was a fire
Hard test- being asked to kill his own son. But as we look at verse 2 we see an overlap of John 3:16
God in his omniscience knew what would happen 2000 years later at Calvary and he was conducting a mirror test.
Back to Adam and Eve. Perfect fellowship and communion. No sacrifice.
Disobeyed - sin came - separation- they covered themselves with leaves - not satisfactory- was to them but not to God.
God performs the first sacrifice to clothe Adam and Eve. Innocent blood was shed because of them.
Next generation- Cain and Abel, both very much aware of the role of the sacrifice- sure their parents taught them. Abel brought the firstlings of his flock. To Abel it was faith. But Cain brought the fruit of the cursed ground, a product of his own means of his own ways. And he was not accepted. He thought this was foolishness.
Back to our passage: Abraham was different. Not asked to sacrifice an animal- asked to sacrifice his son. Reason for this test.
The Canaanites ultimate sacrifice was one of their children and Abraham had been in this land for awhile so God chose this as his test of faith.
Look at vs 1. These things. What were these things? 10 previous chapters.
Make a great nation with his seed. All nations of the earth would be blessed.
But to kill the seed would be a paradox - a contradiction. It is impossible. Seemed like foolishness.
What it was was the. ultimate test of faith. You see sometimes our greatest tests give us the greatest opportunities to shine for God.
And Abraham passes the test.
Let's look at vs. 3-6.
Here we see the parallel of Isaac and Christ. Isaac the wood - Christ the Cross
Isaac and Jesus both born of miraculous births. Both could have escaped - but both submitted.