A young lamb is gentle and defenseless. Strange, isn’t it, that the Omnipotent, Sovereign Son of God would be given the title, Lamb of God!
John the Baptist announced the King, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29, ESV). John could have accurately introduced Jesus as the victorious and conquering “Lion of Judah!” (Revelation 5:5). But the Lion had to come as a Lamb so He could accomplish the salvation of mankind.
We can be relatively certain that the Divinely prepared animal-skin-coats that Adam and Eve wore were made with lambskin. The lamb died so that our earliest ancestor’s sins could be covered.
Abel faithfully brought a lamb when he came to worship. His older brother Cain offered the fruit of the cursed land. “And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard” (Genesis 4:4-5, ESV). The lamb was the only acceptable sacrifice.
On Mount Moriah, the lamb died so that Isaac could live. The lamb was the substitutionary sacrifice!
As the Israelites were preparing for the Exodus from Egypt, God warned them that the tenth plague was coming, and the first-born would surely die. Graciously, God instructed them to paint their doorways with the blood of a sacrificial animal. God could have directed them to kill a camel or a donkey, but that’s not what He did. He told them to sacrifice an innocent, defenseless, little lamb. When their homes were properly marked, the angel of God’s wrath, seeing the blood, passed over. This was a beautiful foreshadowing of Jesus, our Passover (I Corinthians 5:7).
The notion of the Sacrificial Lamb was not God’s after-thought or plan-B. Before He said, “Let there be light” He said, “Let there be a Lamb.” Indeed, Jesus was the “Lamb slain” before the foundations of the earth (Revelation 13:8).
Finally, John saw the Reigning King of kings in His glorious throne room. “ ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!’ And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!’ ” (Revelation 5:12-13, ESV). Later John saw that heaven “has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb” (Revelation 21:23, ESV).
The contemporary hymn expresses the overflow of my heart:
“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”