“The Lamb of God” holds a deep significance in Christianity, representing Jesus Christ as a pure and innocent lamb. This powerful symbol encompasses qualities of gentleness, purity, and innocence, as depicted by the white color associated with lambs.
God has made it clear since Creation that he detests disobedience yet his love for humanity remains unwavering. In an act of divine love, God sent his own Son, Jesus Christ, as the ultimate sacrificial Lamb of God. Jesus willingly took upon himself the sins of the world, serving as the bridge between God and humanity.
The Lamb of God stands as a timeless symbol of Jesus’ sacrificial atonement, representing innocence, purity, and the redemption of sins. Through this profound sacrifice, Jesus offers humanity a path to forgiveness and the restoration of our relationship with God.
The Meaning Of The Lamb Of God
In the Old Testament, the sacrifice of an innocent animal played a very important role in the sacrificial system of our forefathers. Multitudes of sacrificial lambs and other animals had been slain, and their blood had spilled through the centuries. As the perfect and ultimate sacrifice atoning for all our sins, our Father God sent Christ Jesus, the Lamb of God, to bring salvation and redemption to all of humanity.
The Passover feast is one of the foremost Jewish holidays; it is a celebration in remembrance of God’s deliverance of the Israelites from bondage in Egypt into the Promised Land. The annual Passover supper requires an evening sacrifice of a lamb offered to each family. Passover means “passing over” of the forces of annihilation, or the sparing of the firstborn of the Israelites when the Lord “smote the land of Egypt.”
In the Book of Exodus in the Old Testament, God commanded Moses to lead the enslaved Israelites out of bondage. God instructed them to sacrifice a lamb and mark the two doorposts with its blood. The blood acted as a sign, and when the angel of death passed over Egypt, the houses with the lamb’s blood were spared.
This event became known as the Passover, and it foreshadowed Jesus as the ultimate sacrificial Lamb who would save humanity from sin and death. Those for whom he died are covered by the blood of the Lamb of God, protecting us from the angel of spiritual death. Our living God gave us Jesus himself as a Passover lamb and become the perfect sacrifice for our iniquities. Jesus’ sacrifice gave us hope for eternal life in the most holy place of heaven.
An important feature in the sacrifice of Passover lambs was the daily offering at the temple in Jerusalem. In Exodus 29:38–42, every morning and evening, a Passover lamb was sacrificed in the temple for the sins of the people. A continual burnt offering from each family would go up daily before the Lord so they could speak with him and hear his voice.
These daily sacrifices in the Old Testament, like all others, were simply to point people toward God. So the purpose of animal sacrifices and offerings was sanctification, righteousness, and forgiveness. Today, we are still called by God to sanctify ourselves daily before the holy throne of God by revering Jesus Christ, the unblemished lamb, as the perfect sacrifice for our sins.
Why Is Jesus Called The Lamb Of God?
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.— 1 Peter 1:18-19
In the New Testament of the Bible, Jesus Christ is called the Lamb of God repeatedly in the first chapter of the book written by the Apostle John. The Paschal Lamb refers to Jesus as the perfect and ultimate sacrifice; Jesus paid the price through his blood for the sins of humanity.
In Jewish law, the Old Testament reveals that sacrificing lambs at the first Passover, on the eve of the Exodus from Egypt, is the most momentous event in Jewish history. Today in Jewish culture, not only is the lamb slain but Jews use a roasted shank bone at the Seder (religious) meal to symbolize the Paschal lamb.
In Christianity, Jesus Christ is referred to as the Lamb of God whose death freed mankind from the bonds of sin. Old Testament prophets Jeremiah and Isaiah also foretold the incarnation of the one who would be led “like a lamb to the slaughter,” whose sacrificial death on the cross amounted to more than the sum of all human beings on earth.
Birth In Bethlehem
The lambs born in Bethlehem were predestined to be offered as a Passover sacrifice at the Temple. These “royal lambs”, raised by the Levite priests, were handpicked and approved for a task only a privileged few would have.
There were other towns that raised other lambs, but it was only Bethlehem that birthed lambs pure enough to be considered worthy of giving their life as a sacrifice to the Lord. Jesus, the Lamb of God, was also born in the same town as the sacrificial lambs—a most fitting birthplace for God’s lamb.
Furthermore, the significance of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem lies in the symbolism as it was also where King David, who used to be a shepherd before becoming king of Israel, was born. By being born there, Jesus fulfills the prophecy that the future ruler of Israel would come from Bethlehem Ephrathah.
According to the Bible, the symbolism of shepherds and lambs present in his birth in Bethlehem further reinforces the concept of Jesus as the Lamb of God who will guide and lay down his life for his flock, emphasizing his role as the Lamb of God who would become the ultimate sacrifice for the redemption and salvation of humanity.
Named By John The Baptist
And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God. The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!”— John 1:34-36
In the Bible, the priests identified the lambs for sacrifice. John the Baptist gives Jesus the title “the Lamb of God” with a loud voice as he sees Jesus coming toward him. He had authority through his priestly bloodline and announced the identity of Jesus to the world as the Lamb of God. Two disciples of John the Baptist followed Jesus after the announcement.
Before John proclaimed Jesus as the Lamb of God, John was saying he was not worthy to untie Jesus’ sandals; John put himself in the position of the lowest slave. Anything to do with the feet was usually reserved for the lowest enslaved person in a household. That’s why Jesus shocked his disciples when he cleaned their feet the same night they ate the Passover meal before his crucifixion.
Redeemer Of Mankind
The Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, serves as our Redeemer. Just as a lamb is led to the slaughter, Jesus willingly gave his life on the cross to free us from the bondage of sin and the impending judgment.
This act of sacrificial love echoes the story of Abraham’s son, where God stopped him and provided a substitutionary sacrifice—a lamb—rather than allowing Isaac, Abraham’s only son, to be sacrificed. God demonstrated his mercy and grace by providing an alternative.
Jesus, as the perfect and spotless Lamb of God, fulfilled the role of both Abraham’s son and the sacrificial lamb. His selfless sacrifice on the cross became the ultimate burnt offering, paying the price for our sins and opening the way for our redemption. The precious blood of Jesus shed during his death on the cross, has the power to cleanse us and reconcile us with God the Father.
Jesus as the Lamb of God and the Redeemer emphasizes the significance of his substitutionary sacrifice, the burnt offering, and his identity as God’s Son as the perfect sacrifice. Through Jesus and the teachings of the Bible, we find hope, forgiveness, and eternal life in the most holy place of heaven.
How To Draw Near To God Through The Lamb?
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.— James 4:8
When we draw near to God, the grace of God becomes real in our lives. Love, peace, joy, strength, and hope will begin to characterize us. This drawing near is not a physical act of moving from one place to another. It is a directing of the heart into the holy presence of God.
The exhortation of James is a simple yet powerful call to draw near to God. God loves us, but we are called to make the first move in approaching God. When we exert our best efforts to approach God and please him, we attain our rightful identity in Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God.
- Prayer and Bible Reading
Prayer brings us near to God. It increases our faith and hope. When we come before him with a humble heart in prayer, in submission to his will, and with a desire to glorify him as Lord over our lives, we can experience the closeness of God and all his blessings.
Drawing near to God is the key to unlocking every door that seems shut in your life. The rewards of reading and studying the Scriptures reveal the identity of God and his commands. The words in Scripture are the sources of truth, inspiration, and understanding. Through the pages of the Bible, we hear God’s distinct instruction and guidance to guide us in our lives.
- Praise and Worship
Our fervent praise and worship exalt God the Father. We were made to worship him and nothing is more important to the Lord than our sincere prayers, songs, and mighty praises that lift his holy name.
Going to church regularly and taking part in church activities also gives purpose and encouragement to draw near to God. In the assembly and fellowship of God with other saints, we learn that we are not alone in thriving in God’s kingdom in the world.
As a church, we become the Bride of Christ and a member of the Royal Priesthood. God invites us to the wedding feast of the Lamb in the New Jerusalem.
10 Enlightening Bible Verses About The Lamb Of God
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
Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.— 1 Corinthians 5:7
After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.— Revelation 7:9
And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.— Revelation 5:6
Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!— Revelation 5:12
Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!— Revelation 19:9
The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.— Revelation 21:23
No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.— Revelation 22:3
They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.— Revelation 12:11
A lamb is a symbol of innocence. In the past, any sacrificial lamb needed to be pure, spotless, and with no blemish. The Bible reveals that Jesus Christ, by his blood, is the Messiah and the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the entire world. It is through his death on the cross as God’s perfect sacrifice for sin and his resurrection that we can now gain eternal life.
When we pray and follow Jesus and honor him as the Lamb of God, we are praying to the one who voluntarily gave his life as a sacrifice to bear the punishment for our sins and for the rest of humanity.