Editor’s Note: The devotions for March 21st, 22nd, and 23rd focus on elements of Passover, which Jesus celebrated with His disciples the night before His crucifixion.
Bumblebees and badgers, lions and skunks, black bears and beagles all have one thing in common: If threatened, they will sting, bite, spray, or maul you. But there’s this predictable trait about lambs: They never attack; instead, throughout history wolves and other predators have attacked them. When lambs are mentioned in the Bible, it’s usually in the context of a sacrificial offering. For example, in the Passover—the central event of the Old Testament—God rescues His people through the blood of a lamb.
So you can imagine the disciples’ shock when John the Baptist introduced Jesus, their Lord and Messiah, as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). The God of all creation, the one “through [whom] all things were made” (John 1:3 NIV), comes to the earth as … a lamb?
Someone had to find us and rescue us—even if that meant dying in our place.
It’s a strange story. Christianity is the only view of life that presents a vulnerable God—a God who, in love and for love, subjected Himself to be mauled by His own creatures. Of course, it’s important to note that Jesus the vulnerable Lamb is also the mighty Lamb who rules on the throne, judges the earth, and triumphs in war (Rev. 5:6; Rev. 14:9-11; Rev. 17:14)—but even then He is the lamb “who was slain from the creation of the world” (Rev. 13:8 NIV).
It’s also a daring and original story, the story of us all—broken people who have wandered so far in the wrong direction, sunk so deep in the morass of sin, that we cannot find our way home or lift ourselves out of the pit. Someone had to enter those dark woods of our own making; someone had to descend into our self-chosen chasm; someone had to find us and rescue us—even if that meant dying in our place. And that is the story of Jesus, the lion who came as a lamb. Unlike the millions of sacrificed Passover lambs slaughtered throughout history, Jesus willingly gave His life “to take away the sin of the world.”
God comes to us as a lamb, as the Lamb of God, to prove that He is for us, not against us. Why would you not place your whole life in His hands?
by Matt Woodley
Bible in a Year: Ruth 1-2