A Lamb for the Person
A lamb for sacrifice is first specifically mentioned in Scripture in Genesis 22. God commanded Abraham to offer his only son as a sacrifice. He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you” (Genesis 22:2).
This trial went to the very core of Abraham’s being. Isaac was a miraculous gift from God to Abraham and Sarah. Moreover, Isaac was the child of promise through whom all the nations of the world would be blessed. If he sacrificed Isaac, what would happen to God’s plan? Rather than attempting to figure it all out, Abraham simply trusted and obeyed, and with confidence stated, “I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you” (Genesis 22:5). He would return with the child!
Carrying the wood for the burnt offering up the mountain, Isaac was described by the rabbis “like a man carrying his cross” (Genesis Rabbah 56:3). He and Abraham went willingly to the place of sacrifice, confident that God would work out the details. At just the right time, God halted Abraham, and provided a sacrifice “in the place of his son Isaac” (Genesis 22:10-13).
Why did God require a sacrifice lamb for Isaac? Even though he was a good, obedient son, the requirement for sacrifice pointed to the truth that even the best of people need the Lamb. We often think of Messiah’s sacrifice as sufficient for the worst of people, but all have sinned (Romans 3:32). At the first reference of a lamb for sacrifice, we see that there is a lamb for the person.
A Lamb for the Family
When the first Passover took place during Israel’s exodus from Egypt the lamb was required. God told Moses that the blood of the lamb would be a sign for the “houses where you are” (Exodus 12:13). The lamb would insure the safety of each Israelite family:
They shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for a house. And if the household is too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls. (Exodus 12:3-4)
Please note that it says, “if the household is too little for the lamb.” The household may be too little for the lamb, but the lamb is always more than enough for the household! It is not your hard work, your income, or your sacrifice that will secure your family-- it is His sacrifice. Your family needs the Lamb of God, and thankfully there is more than enough for your family. Parents, the best service you can provide for your family is to share the Lamb of God with them. There is a Lamb for the family.
A Lamb for Israel
In the days of the prophets, Israel had become more than just families and tribes, but a nation. With greater size, comes greater sin. What would meet the needs of this people? Isaiah wrote that Messiah would be the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6-7), and the prophet recognized that even he and his people needed the Lamb. Isaiah 53:6-8 says:
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth… He was cut off from the land of living for the transgression of my people was he stricken. Yeshua went willingly, “as a lamb led to the slaughter” to the place of sacrifice, “for the transgressions of my people.” There is not only a lamb for the person and the family, but there is a lamb for the people.
A Lamb for the World
As we move along with God into the New Covenant we begin to understand what this world needs: Messiah!
In politics and the media the ideal of peace is a frequent topic. In our world’s efforts to bring about peace, one factor is often overlooked: sin. This world does not possess the power or the wisdom to deal with the unrepentant evil that resides in human hearts. In the New Covenant we read, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). There is no wisdom for attaining peace without purity from sin, just as “wisdom from above is first pure then peaceable” (James 3:17).
God has provided what the whole world needs–forgiveness of sins by faith in Messiah– and one size fits all. The best fit for the greatest need of this world is the Lamb of God, and the best news we can share with the world is the Good News. There is a Lamb for the world.
A Lamb for Eternity
In the book of Revelation, John describes how he saw a “strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?’” John then tells us how he wept because no one was found worthy to open the book.
One of the elders said to me, “Do not weep: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.” (Revelation 5:5)
John turned and saw, not a lion, but a lamb, standing as though slain. He tells how he saw and heard all creation saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing… unto Him that sits upon the throne and unto the Lamb for ever and ever” (Revelation 5:12).
We see here that there is a Lamb for eternity! What will secure your life forever? Is it that house, car, or career that you have invested your life in? I often tell the story of the Microsoft investor who was asked, “If you knew before what you know now, what would you have done differently then?” He answered, “I would have invested more; I would have invested everything!” Yes, those who are growing into maturity live out the eternal values of Heaven as they live their lives on earth.
God is committed to growing us into His love and life through concern for the individual, the family, the nation, the world and living with eternity in view. In eternity every tribe and nation will praise Him. Believers from all ages, Jew and Gentile, will be there. Will you be there? The Lord has provided Himself as the Lamb for eternity. Trust in the Lamb!
Adapted from the book Messiah in the Feasts of Israel by Sam Nadler