Summary: Why was Jesus called the LAMB of God? Why did God choose that animal to represent what Jesus would mean to us?

(We began the sermon by singing the hymn: “O Lamb Of God”)

“Your only Son no sin to hide, but You have sent Him from Your side; To walk upon this guilty sod and to become the Lamb of God; (2nd vs) Your gift of love they crucified, they laughed and scorned Him as He died; The humble King they named a fraud, and sacrificed the Lamb of God. (Chorus) Oh Lamb of God, sweet Lamb of God, I love the holy Lamb of God; Oh wash me in His precious blood, my Jesus Christ the Lamb of God.”

One day when John the Baptist saw Jesus approaching - he said to his followers “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” John 1:29

And I got to thinking… why was Jesus the LAMB of God? I mean… lambs are nice and all that, but they’re not particularly imposing. They’re innocent, gentle, friendly, and vulnerable. By contrast, bulls… now that’s a symbol worthy of God. They’re big, powerful and dangerous. You don’t mess with bulls (just like you don’t mess with God).

Over the centuries, various cultures have worshipped gods they symbolized as bulls. Egyptians worshipped Apis and Osiris; the Canaanites (Baal); Sumerians (Marduk); and there were Hindus; Greeks, Romans and numerous other nations and cultures who had gods made to look like bulls. It seemed like everybody saw bulls as being worthy of their god.

Well… everybody but our God. The Israelites were surrounded by nations who symbolized their gods as bulls. But in the Bible God NEVER portrayed Himself as a bull or ox. Instead, Jesus was presented to us as being the LAMB of God. As portrayed in Isaiah 53, the Lamb of God was not something that would impress us. “He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” Isaiah 53:2-3

And then, in verse 7 we’re told: “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.” Isaiah 53:7

Now we should understand that THIS symbolism of the lamb began centuries before in the land of Egypt. The people of Israel had been slaves in EGYPT for 100s of years (pause) and then God sent Moses to free them. And on the night before they were freed from Egypt, God declared: “Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household…. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats… the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight. Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it…. In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD’s Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD. The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.” Exodus 12:3-13

The lamb was central to the celebration of Passover. It had to be sacrificed at twilight, and its blood was to be painted on the doorpost and lintels of their homes. The blood of the LAMB had protected them from judgment in Egypt.

Then (in the Gospels) we read that the last meal Jesus had with His disciples was the Passover, and during the meal Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. Luke 22:19-20

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion