Lamb of God
By Monica Gerges
Although we celebrate the birth of Christ during the Feast of the Nativity, we can’t overlook the implications and ultimate purpose of Christ’s incarnation and birth because, just like many of the other major feasts, Christmas should serve to remind us of God’s humility, sacrifice and love for us. Christ comes as “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) and unsurprisingly the scripture is riddled with imagery likening the Messiah to the perfect sacrificial lamb.
The sacrifice of lambs plays a very important role in Judaism, of particular importance to us is the Passover sacrifice and the sin/purification offering. The Feast of the Passover is one of the main Jewish holidays and a celebration in remembrance of God’s deliverance of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. In fact, the slaughter of the Passover lamb and the application of its blood to the doorposts of the houses (so that the Angel of Death would pass over that house) is mimicked when Christ’s blood is shed on the wood of the Cross to save us from the Angel of (spiritual) Death – Christ is our Passover lamb. During the sin/purification offering, an individual’s sins were ‘transferred’ to the lamb which was then killed for the forgiveness of their sins; similarly, the sin of all humanity was placed on Christ who was then crucified so that we could be saved.
When faced with conditions of stress or pain, most animals vocalise their trauma and do everything in their limited power to escape such circumstances, however lambs which are simply small, weak animals are instead, silent and submissive. Similarly, Christ was “oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter…” (Isaiah 53:7)
It is through Christ’s death on the cross as God’s perfect sacrificial lamb that we can now attain eternal life. The fact that God Himself has provided the offering that atones for our sins is part of the glorious good news of the gospel and may this season always remind us of God’s infinite love for us.
Glory be to God forever. Amen.