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Friday, April 2, 2021

Good Friday

Conestoga wagon ride
Yesterday we passed this Conestoga Wagon taking a group of Amish children to an outing. Ester took this photo. Click here to enlarge.

"The Lamb Of God"

Message summary: Today, on this Good Friday, let us remember the glorious Lamb who was sacrificed once and for all for the sins of this world! He died for my sins.

Listen to this message on your audio player.

"Abraham said, 'God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son'" (Genesis 22:8). "Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, 'Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb'" (Exodus 12:21). "He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He did not open his mouth" (Isaiah 53:7). "The next day he (John) saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, 'Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!'" (John 1:29). "For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed" (1 Corinthians 5:7). “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:10). "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship Him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8).

Hasidic JewYesterday, following a chaplain visit to Smucker Home Improvement Company, we headed over to the Old Windmill Farm. Jesse had especially invited us to witness the interesting spectacle of scores of Hasidic Jews who descend upon the farm during Passover, mostly from New York and New Jersey.

It was, as Jesse predicted, very busy. We'll share several photos below. These Jews are very interested in the farm and Amish way of life, probably due to the similarity in living separate from the world, wearing conservative attire, and living in a distinct community. Jesse and Anna seek ways to shine as a witness for Christ to all their guests, including these Jews, and Jesse can be bold!

LambsEli James, Jesse's son, and I were talking when one of the Jewish men approached us with a question as to where he could buy a lamb. I wondered if he had planned to sacrifice it but he told us he wanted to raise it as a pet in his yard and then donate it to farm when it was grown. James explained the challenge of raising a lamb in a backyard as it was apparent the man had very little knowledge of what to expect. Perhaps he thought it would be similar to any other domesticated pet. Jesse came along and suggested a number to call but I don't know whether he was able to get one.

This exchange prompted a consideration of lamb in the Bible which will serve as our Good Friday message as we consider "
the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world".

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).
The remarkable Messianic prophecy foretells the sacrificial work of Christ.

Genesis 22:8"Abraham said, 'God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son'" (Genesis 22:8). This is the great assurance passage when Abraham was called to sacrifice Isaac. He went to the mountain assured that God would provide the lamb for the burnt offering. "God will provide" is the Hebrew term Jehovah Jireh and alludes to not only the immediate provision at that time but to God's provision of a Lamb to die for the sins of the world.

"Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb" (Exodus 12:21). This is the establishment of the Passover which is celebrated by the Jews to this day, in their case remembering the deliverance from Egyptian bondage. Christians recognize that Christ is our Passover lamb delivering us from sin's bondage.

John 1:29
"The next day he (John) saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29). 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. But I’ve wondered if John, 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”?

"For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed" (1 Corinthians 5:7). Here Paul clearly refers to Christ as "our Passover lamb" who "has been sacrificed". Note the significant past tense here. "And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (Hebrews 10:10).

The greatest concentrated use of the word “lamb” in the New Testament is found in the book of Revelation and all but one of them is a reference to Christ as the "Lamb of God".

Today, on this Good Friday, let us remember this glorious Lamb who was sacrificed once and for all for the sins of this world but also I want to personalize it, He died for my sins. Let us, therefore, commit ourselves fully to Him and His great cause!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man 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 loving reconciliation and eternal hope to the human race. The curse of sin was lifted in my life when You became the Sacrificial Lamb. Thank You for Your complete obedience and unending compassion. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Lamb of God"  Video   Twila Paris

"It Was Finished Upon That Cross"  Video  CityAlight

"Once For All"  Video   CityAlight

"He Was Wounded"  Video  John Adams

"Hallelujah, What a Savior"  Video  Hymns of Grace

"It's Still The Cross!"

(A selection of Scripture verses focusing on the Cross for personal, family or congregational reading.)

Worship leader: Here they crucified Him, and with Him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle. John 19:18

Congregation: This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put Him to death by nailing Him to the cross. Acts 2:23

Worship leader: For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18

Congregation: May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galatians 6:14

Worship leader: By abolishing in His flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in Himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.  Ephesians 2:15-17

Congregation: He made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name.  Philippians 2:7-9 

Worship leader: For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross. Colossians 1:19,20

Congregation: When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; He took it away, nailing it to the cross. Colossians 2:13,14

All: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.  Hebrews 12:1-3

Hasidic Jews visit the Old Windmill Farm

Old Windmill Farm barn tour
Jesse beginning an Old Windmill Farm tour in the barn showing a horse where each who are willing will get to stroke the big animal. A special treat for city kids!

Old Windmill Farm wagon ride
Eli James on the horse-drawn wagon ride. With it being so busy the children helped out.

Old Windmill Farm barrel ride
Sadie leads the horse-drawn barrel ride, a new children's feature on the farm.

Conestoga wagon ride
Following our visit to the Old Windmill Farm we headed over to Fisher's Housewares & Fabrics, an Amish store in Georgetown, PA where Brooksyne bought some fabric for curtains. On the way we came upon this Conestoga Wagon taking a group of Amish children to an outing. The Amish schools were celebrating Easter with various activities including hiding the eggs. You never know what you will see on the roads here in Lancaster County. See here (google map) to see the very rural part of the County we were in.

Conestoga wagon ride

Lancaster County farm
On the way we also passed this quintessential Amish farm scene from a ridge along Rt. 896. I made this scene into our new Daily Encouragement Net header (see top of message).
Click here for larger photo.

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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, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. 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 make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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