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The Lamb of God

Chapter twelve of the gospel of John depicts the final phase of his ministry on earth. Up until now Jesus was fulfilling his role as prophet to Israel. As such, he had the final words to say from God to an apostate priesthood. The book of Hebrews says

Hebrews 1:1-2 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, [2] but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. (NIV).

His role as prophet was even greater than Moses;

Deut. 18:15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;

Deut. 34:10 And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,

Tragically, Israel did not for the most part listen to Jesus. He came unto his own but they would not receive him. But as many as did receive him to them he gave the right to become the sons of God1. Now he was to enter into the final phase of his ministry – that of being the Passover Lamb.


The Lamb Of God Is Presented In God's Word
With More Than The Sacrificial View.

We think mostly of the Lamb of God in his sacrificial role. Yet he is presented in more than this. This lesson is devoted to looking at the other roles; Jesus Christ The Unblemished Lamb; Jesus Christ The Beloved Lamb; Jesus Christ The Sacrificial Lamb; Jesus Christ The Worthy Lamb2; Jesus Christ the Victorious Lamb3; Jesus Christ the Providing Lamb4; Jesus Christ the Lamb who Judges the wicked5; Jesus Christ the Temple of God6; Jesus Christ the source of Light and Life7.


Jesus Christ the Unblemished Lamb of God.

Exodus 12:3-6 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: [4] And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. [5] Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: [6] And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.

1 Peter 1:18-19 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; [19] But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

The first ever Passover Lamb was selected in Egypt. The lamb that was selected was to be perfect in every way. No spot or blemish was to be found on it for the Passover Lamb was to point to another – the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ was born without sin. That is he was like any other man in that he did not have a sin nature. More than this he was conceived by the Holy Spirit – not by an earthly father. Read Luke 1:26-32. This very unusual passage tells of the miracle of the conception of Jesus by the work of the Holy Spirit. As the Lamb of God, Jesus just could not share the malady for which he was going to provide a cure – he could not be a sinner. More than this – he was to become a unique person – the God-man.

The purity of Jesus Christ was without doubt the center of his person. God the Son could now become humanity – he could not be part of the problem! No. Jesus was sinless, pure – without blemish, for he was to not only die for the sins of the world but he had yet another destiny – he was to become the faithful High Priest who could empathize with the frailties of sinful man.

Hebrews 2:14-17 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; [15] And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. [16] For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. [17] Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

Note the word in verse 14 "partakers." This word is from the root in the Greek that means to fellowship – to share. We all as the human species share in flesh and blood. But look at the phrase "… he also himself likewise took part of the same…" Let's look at the Greek. "Took part" is from the Greek metecho. The classical, Septuagint and New Testament usage all define metecho to mean to take part – to share in a relationship – it connotes a participation along with – that is Jesus Christ took part – he participated in human life by becoming human himself.

He could not do this by assuming the nature of an angel – he could participate with humanity by becoming one himself. Although Hebrews 7:13 is a bit hard to understand, one thing is clear that Jesus Christ belonged to a tribe who never served at the altar of the Lord, yet he does serve at another one the one in connection with the New Testament. The KJV word "pertaineth" is the same word – to share in – to participate with in fellowship. It's important to realize that Jesus could partake – share in humanity without sharing in humanity's sin. Jesus Christ was tempted as human yet he was the spotless, unblemished Lamb of God – the suitable one for both the sacrificial element and also the other one – the element of being our blameless, yet compassionate high priest.

Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Jesus, indeed, was pure and without blemish but he was able to participate without becoming tainted with sin. He was indeed tempted – to a ferocity, an intensity that no other human has yet to experience but as the pure Lamb of God he remains our high priest.

1 Peter 1:18-19 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; [19] But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

The Unblemished Lamb Of God
Was To Die For The Sins Of The World.

As we enter the portion of John's Gospel during the week of the Passover, from chapter 12 and on. We must remember that Jesus the perfect, the pure Lamb of God was to die for the sins of the world. Yet as we look at the following chapters we see other qualities of this Lamb. This we will look at later as the Lord permits.

John 12:27-28 "Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. [28] Father, glorify your name!. . . ."

When the Israelite selected the unblemished lamb on the tenth day of the first month – Nissan. He was to keep it and take care of it for 4 days – until the fourteenth day when the lamb was to be killed.

Tradition has it that during that four day period the lamb was doted over and certainly kept clean and groomed by the family, an important lesson to be learned from this. All this while the rest of the sheep were their usual stinky, wandering selves.

Jesus knew that he was to be killed – more than this he knew that he was going to suffer more than any other man. Jesus Christ was going to have the wrath the judgment of the Father for all the sins of mankind poured out upon him! Jesus the Lamb was going to be slaughtered for you and me!

Isaiah 53:6-7 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. [7] 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 openeth not his mouth.


Don't you see the connection of the lamb. We were like the sheep that wandered – getting to trouble – getting hopelessly ensnared with sin - dying. Jesus became a sheep like us – with an infinite difference! He was to be the spotless Lamb of God – the Passover Lamb so that he could take the punishment that we deserved upon himself. Jesus the Lamb did not wander – here in the passage of John and Isaiah he was singular in purpose -- "Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour."  8 Look at the passage in Isaiah. When he was to be brought before those who would slaughter him – he did not even open his mouth. Reminiscent of his meeting before Pilate. Remember what Pilate said to Jesus? John 19:9-10 and he went back inside the palace. "Where do you come from?" he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. [10] "Do you refuse to speak to me?" Pilate said. "Don't you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?" Jesus did answer Pilate but not in his defense.

Jesus was deliberate in his choice to go to the cross even though it meant horrible suffering – the Lamb of God slaughtered for his sheep.


1. John 1:11, 12 [Back]
2. Rev. 5:6-12 [Back]
3. Rev 12:11; 17:14  [Back]
4. Rev 7:17  [Back]
5. Rev 14:10  [Back]
6. Rev 21:22  [Back]
7. Rev 21:23, 24; 22:1 [Back]
8. John 12:27 (NIV)  [Back]

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