Lamb of God
King of the Jews
The history of spirituality reveals repeated futile attempts of man getting to God. But the true nature of what God did for us is captured in this: He came to us.
The truth is, we were hopeless people left to our own destruction—had not God the Father initiated a rescue mission. The simple, sweet name of that little baby in Bethlehem signified this. “Emmanuel” . . . God with us. The name that is the tectonic shift in our approach to God. He was now with us. He is now with us. He is God incarnate.
“He who was above all creation was in our human condition; the invisible one was made visible in the flesh; he who is from the heavens and from on high was in the likeness of earthly things; the immaterial one could be touched; he who is free in his own nature came in the form of a slave; he who blesses all creation became accursed; he who is all righteousness was numbered among transgressors; life itself came in the appearance of death.”
-St. Cyril of Alexandria
Spend a few moments reflecting on the reality of “God with us.” Think about what it meant for Him to be with us – His poverty, His pain, His wounds, His rejection.
Thank God for sending His Son, Emmanuel.
Humility has a way of eliminating self-promotion. When Jesus began His earthly ministry, another man was sent by the Lord to announce Him. This man was John the Baptist. John was to prepare the way, to promote the truth, to ready the people for the Lamb of God. A Lamb who would, in humility and weakness, have the power to pay for the sin of the entire world.
“Behold . . .” In this dramatic announcement is the foretelling of Adam’s curse arrested, our sin problem answered, and the gospel revealed to those who have the faith to receive it.
Lamb of God! Thy Father’s bosom
Ever was Thy dwelling place;
His delight, in Him rejoicing,
One with Him in pow’r and grace;
O what wondrous love and mercy!
Thou didst lay Thy glory by;
And for us didst come from heaven
As the Lamb of God to die.
– James George Deck
Take some time to let it sink in . . . “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
Have you confessed your sin to the Lamb of God? Have you accepted His payment, the sacrifice of His life—for yours?
When you spend time with someone, you see them for who they really are—which makes this simple answer from Peter so dramatic. One of the 12 disciples, one of the three who accompanied Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, when accosted by Jesus with the question “Who do you say that I am?” Peter professes the only acceptable answer: “You are the Christ.”
The sum total of each experience from each hour of each day spent in the presence of this Jesus, led Peter to one conclusion—that Jesus is the Messiah. The deliverer. The one who would set the people free from their sins.
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.” – Zechariah 9:9
Do you believe that Jesus is the Messiah? How has He set you free?
Right now, pause and give Him thanks—for the fulfillment of prophecy. For the simple statements of Scripture that underscore the reality of Christ as the Messiah. For your own deliverance.
Jesus was, among other things, the King of the Jews. But the truth can be turned to a farce. A mocking tone can transform a statement from pure to vitriol. This precious title, “King of the Jews,” became a taunt in the mouths of those death-hardened soldiers.
They struck our Lord, spit on him, hammered thorns into his head. This was a King, but not like any king they had seen before. Jesus was the Shepherd King who goes after His sheep. A king who time and time again tried to gather His stubborn, rebellious people. A pursuing, patient, and loving king—even as He was mocked, scourged, and crucified.
In evil long I took delight,
Unawed by shame or fear,
Till a new object struck my sight,
And stopp’d my wild career:
I saw One hanging on a Tree
In agonies and blood,
Who fix’d His languid eyes on me.
As near His Cross I stood.
Sure never till my latest breath,
Can I forget that look:
It seem’d to charge me with His death,
Though not a word He spoke:
My conscience felt and own’d the guilt,
And plunged me in despair:
I saw my sins His Blood had spilt,
And help’d to nail Him there.
With pleasing grief, and mournful joy,
My spirit now is fill’d,
That I should such a life destroy,
Yet live by Him I kill’d!
– John Newton
Was there a time in your life when you mocked this King? “In evil long we take delight,” denying the sovereign Lord, if not in words then by our actions and our attitudes—in the thousands of little choices that comprise our lives.
Confess some areas in your life where you have been stubborn to the Lord. Turn from it, asking for His forgiveness to apply to that very thing . . . and receive His grace.