The word of God utilizes a number of metaphoric descriptions of Jesus Christ, God's Son. Two of those appear to be paradoxical in nature as Jesus is referred to as a Shepherd (Jn. 10:11) and as a Sheep (Is. 53:7). The latter was a favorite of the Apostle John, as he referred to the Savior thirty-one times as the Lamb of God. Twenty-nine of those usages appear in the Book of Revelation. Among them we find these poignant words, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain ..." (Rev. 5:12). As we visualize that verbal portrait in our mind, let us consider the following magnificent themes.
The Lamb And His Cross. From the time God's Son left heaven and entered the world, He traveled a path that was destined for the cross. He is described as "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8). The penalty for man's sin is death (Rom. 6:23). Sinful man could not sufficiently satisfy the penalty for sin. It required a sacrifice that only heaven could provide. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (Jn. 3:16).
Of the crucified Christ, Isaiah prophetically foretold, "...He was led as a lamb to the slaughter ..." (Is. 53:7). We ought to see at least three profound things in those few words.
(1) His death was voluntary "He was led." He was not dragged; He was led. Jesus said, "the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many" (Mt. 20:28). "Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again ..." (Jn. 10:17-18). Jesus voluntarily laid down His life for the sins of the world.
(2) His death was vicarious "... as a lamb ..." We must never forget that when Christ died on Calvary's cross He did so in our stead. "On the cross of Calvary, Jesus died for thee and me; There He shed His precious blood, That from sin we might be free. O the cleansing stream doth flow, And it washes white as snow: It was for me that Jesus died, On the cross of Calvary."
(3) His death was violent "... to the slaughter." The word slaughter indicates the raw brutality associated with the death of our Lord. The design of crucifixion is to inflict as much pain as possible upon the victim. Our society is very careful to endorse only the most humane forms of capital punishment. Crucifixion would likely be the most inhumane of all possibilities. The body of our loving Lord was beaten, battered, bruised, and bloodied. "For dogs have surrounded Me; the assembly of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me" (Ps. 22:16-17).
The Lamb And His Crown. The Lamb of God was mocked in crucifixion by being made to wear a crown of thorns. In the resurrection, Christ came forth victorious, ascending back to heaven to sit on the right hand of God's throne to reign as King over His kingdom. John said, "And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown ..." (Rev. 14:14). Not only is He the Lamb who was slain, He is the Lamb who now reigns! As citizens in the kingdom, let us praise "the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords" (1 Tim. 6:15).
The Lamb And His Coming. Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He promised the disciples, "...I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also" (Jn. 14:2-3). It should also be noted that Christ will come, "in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thess. 1:8). "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work" (Rev. 22:12). "Behold the Lamb of God!" (Jn. 1:36). - 206 E. Penn Ave., Pennsboro, WV 26415.
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