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Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Sin of the world
This dynamic mural is on the wall of our local Christian youth center.

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"The Sin Of The World"
"Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29).
Baby lambThis spring season I've seen many young lambs in the fields and pasture lands around us. It's delightful to watch these tiny and very dependent lambs a short time after they're born, standing on wobbly feet next to their mother.  Yesterday I looked on as one who appeared to be crippled ran on three legs attempting to keep up with the rest of the flock. The scene caused me to stop for a moment in quiet observation, since the lamb is used in such a powerful way in the Bible.
In the Old Testament the word "lamb" is used almost exclusively in a literal sense in relation to the sacrificial system of the Law of Moses.  In the New Testament the word "lamb" is used almost exclusively to describe Jesus Christ.  The one notable exception in the Old Testament is a remarkable prophecy by Isaiah, in which he speaks of the Messiah being "brought as a lamb to the slaughter" (53:7).
I believe John had this prophetic statement in mind when, upon seeing Jesus, he declared, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world."  It's interesting that this statement was made before Christ even began his public ministry or had given any teaching regarding His forthcoming death.  John seems to be speaking with revelation from God, for indeed the main reason that Christ came to this earth was to take away sin.
The greatest concentrated use of the word "lamb" in the Bible is found in the book of Revelation and all but one of them is a reference to Christ as the "Lamb of God."  Today, let us remember this glorious Lamb who was sacrificed once and for all for the sins of this world and let us commit ourselves fully to His cause!
Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer:  Lamb of God, I worship You for all You are and thank You for all that You have done.   Only You could appease the heart of the Father to bring reconciliation and hope to fallen man.  The curse of sin was never done away with until You became the Sacrificial Lamb. Thank You for Your complete obedience and unending compassion.  Amen.

At times I've wondered if John, who was a cousin to Jesus, ever talked with Him about spiritual things during their childhood.   Did Jesus tell him when they played together as children, "When I grow up I'm going to die for the sins of the world."

Brooksyne's Note:  Stephen's experience yesterday, as he watched a crippled lamb, made me think immediately of a book that remains Ester's favorite though she is now 18 years old.  I've read it several times on Christmas Eve to the children in churches we pastored. "The Crippled Lamb" by Max Lucado and his daughters is an endearing story of how a crippled lamb who always felt left out because he was different ended up having a very special role on the night of Christ's birth.  

The Crippled Lamb The Crippled Lamb  By Max Lucado / Thomas Nelson
Joshua the Lamb is crippled, so the other animals leave him behind in the stable. His tears of loneliness turn to joy, however, when he realizes that because of his difference, he gets to be right there when Jesus is born! From the classic art to the surprise ending, this tender story will help all children see that God has a very special plan for their lives.

Today's suggested music:
"O Lamb of God" (mp3 audio) from Willingdon Church in BC Canada.
"It Took A Lamb" by Geron Davis (sample audio clip)
"It Took a Lamb" (mp3 audio) by Tabor Ministries

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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