A Name and a Job
Thousands of years ago a little baby boy was born to a poor couple, Mary and Joseph. What should they name him? That was easy. They named him Jesus as the angel had told them. “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matt. 1:21) But the job this little baby was supposed to do was such a big, impossible job.
The Problem of Sin
The problem with sin is that it requires payment – and in the Old Testament blood was the atoning sacrifice for a wrong. “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.” (Hebrews 9:22) Lambs were often used for these sacrifices – but they had to be perfect animals without spot or blemish.
A Savior is someone who comes to “save” God’s people from their sins. The angel told Joseph in a dream that the son he was to call Jesus would save His people. And again, the angels told the shepherds that a Savior had come among them. “…There has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11)
The Perfect Lamb
John the Baptist called Jesus the “Lamb of God”. “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) Jesus, the little baby in a manger, now a grown man, was the Savior – sent from God as the perfect sacrificial Lamb to pay for sin once and for all. “But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” (Hebrews 9:26)
The Risen Lamb
Jesus was the perfect, without-sin Lamb of God who was killed on a cross for the sins of God’s people. But Jesus is also God. Everything God is, Jesus is. And because he is God, Jesus defeated death and rose to be the Living Lamb. “And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain….and they sang a new song, saying: ‘Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” (Revelation 5:6&9)