Christianity 201

December 15, 2017

The Lamb of God

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:33 pm
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This is a first-time visit to Vicki who writes at the blog Homeward Bound. The article below is part one of two, at the bottom is a link to the second part which provides the New Testament resolution to the sacrificial system. Click the title of each if you wish to read at source.

The Lamb of God: Old Testament

I used to watch a show called Lonely Planet, where the guide went to different countries and around the world, where the culture was different from North America. Quite often there were lambs killed, and one thing I noticed was that they never made a sound..they go to their death without struggle. Often it moved the guide to tears. And so I have been dwelling on the Lamb of God, who went to the cross without struggle, going to complete the work He came into this world to accomplish, to pay the penalty for sin and to shed His precious blood, and die on the cross.

There are many references to lambs in the bible, but these are a few specific ones that came to my mind in dwelling upon this subject. The first one is in Gen.3:21 “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” Adam and his wife had tried to cover themselves with fig leaves after their disobedience to the command of God, but this covering was by their own works. God covered them with the skins of animals, requiring the shedding of blood. Nothing could cover the sins of Adam and Eve but that which God gave them, just as our sins are covered by the precious blood of Christ, Romans 4:6-8..2 Cor 5:19, 1 Peter 1:19 “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

The next instance that comes to my mind is that of Abel, “he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering” (Gen 4:4) Abel’s offering was acceptable being that which was not of the work of his own hands, but desired the sacrifice of one of the firstlings of his flock. And we know that because Abel’s offering was accepted by God, and Cain’s was not, Cain in a fit of rage murdered his brother. And still today, this old world tries to find its way to heaven by doing good works, and not by faith.

Next is Abraham and Isaac, that wonderful story of trust, obedience and grace. When God required Abraham to sacrifice his only begotten son (that which was promised by God- Isaac, and not his son by the will of the flesh which was Ishmael) Abraham did not hesitate, but took Isaac to Mount Moriah where he completely trusted that “I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.” (Gen 22:5). Even though Abraham knew that he was to sacrifice Isaac, he believed that somehow Isaac would return with him. And when Isaac inquired of his father “…where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” (Gen 22:7) Abraham said these words “…my son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering” (Gen 7:8), and of course, the animal was provided at exactly the right moment “…and Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns…”(Gen 22:13) and so the animal provided by God is slain in Isaac’s stead, Abraham’s trust and obedience were shown grace, and Isaac fulfilled his destiny.

A very graphic example of the Lamb of God is given in Exodus 12, during that fateful night when the firstborn of Egypt would die..there is a wonderful progression here, Verse 3 “…in the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb…..a lamb for an house.” one of many, a lamb. Then in Verse 4 it becomes more selective “and if the household be too little for the lamb… Now it is narrowed down to the lamb. no longer one of many, it is the lamb. And finally, it is made personal – Verse 5 “your lamb shall be without blemish…” Now it is not just “a” lamb, nor “the” lamb, but “your ” lamb. Just as the Lord Jesus Christ is not “a” Saviour, one of many, He is “the” Saviour. But even though He is “the” Saviour, our salvation is not accomplished until He becomes “your” Saviour.. we must believe the gospel and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour.

And so the little lamb is killed, and its blood was to be placed “on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the house” (Exodus 12:7) And “the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you….” (Exodus 12:13) The firstborn were saved by the blood of the lamb as long as they were in the house protected by it. Just as we are saved by the precious blood of the Lamb, The Lord Jesus, and when God sees us, He sees us righteous by the blood of the Lamb.

The last instance in the Old Testament in this little meditation is found in 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. 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.” Even those many years before the birth of the Lord Jesus, when he came from heaven to cloth himself in human flesh, the prophet Isaiah spoke of him as the Lamb. But it was not as a little baby in a manger, no, it was the lamb to the slaughter, the death of the Lord Jesus on the Cross…

Worthy, worthy, is the Lamb
Worthy, worthy, is the Lamb
Worthy, worthy, is the Lamb
That was slain.

click the link below:

The Lamb of God: The Lord Jesus Christ

to read a short New Testament conclusion to this article.

December 17, 2015

Christ as Burnt Offering

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:32 pm
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Today we pay a return visit to Abundant Life Now, the blog of Robert Lloyd Russell. To read this at source, click the title below. This devotional study is packed with scripture references, and brings to life a book of the Bible that some struggle with when reading. (Note: When you’re done here, check out the “3 Men” series of studies currently running at Robert’s blog.)

Christ, Burnt Offering

~ 10 Previews of Christ in One First Covenant Offering ~

Some commentators consider the Book of Leviticus the greatest book in the Bible. It opens with five offerings (sacrifices) to the nation of Israel—with specific laws for each one. All five offerings present a picture of the Coming Messiah—Jesus Christ.

The first group of three offerings in Leviticus 1-3 (the sweet savor offerings) provide a glimpse of the person and character of Jesus Christ. He is lovely, He is our peace, and most importantly He is our substitute—He paid the penalty for our sin.

The final two offerings, the sin offering and the trespass offering, (the non-sweet savor offerings) are bitter. They provide a glimpse of the redemptive work of the person of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary for us. In this post we will look at just the first offering—the burnt offering.

The Burnt Offering was listed first in order because it is first in importance! It is the only free will offering (voluntary, not required by God). It is likely the oldest offering known to man (i.e., Abel, the son of Adam, provided a burnt offering). God gave Israel this as the first offering and even called the place of the burnt offering the burnt altar.

This burnt offering is a clear “type” or foreshadow of Jesus Christ. Consider ten aspects of the burnt offering which point to The Messiah—Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Burnt ~ The Hebrew word means “that which ascends.” The offering was entirely consumed—nothing left but ashes. “If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd … And the priest shall burn all on the altar as a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord” (Leviticus 1:3a, 9b). Jesus Christ gave His totality on the Cross of Calvary. Upon the completion of His once-and-for-all sacrifice for sin He exclaimed, “It is finished” (John 19:30).

Washed ~ The animal’s inwards and legs were washed with water. “He shall wash its entrails and its legs with water (Leviticus 1:9a). For us the inwards relate to our inner thought life and our character and legs represent our walk or lifestyle. In the New Testament we are washed the water of the written Word of God and by the by the blood of the living Word of God. “A new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:20-22). “To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (Revelation 1:5-6).

Domestic ~ It was a domestic animal. Wild animals were not acceptable. “When any one of you brings an offering to the Lord, you shall bring your offering of the livestock—of the herd and of the flock” (Leviticus 1:2b). Domestic animals represent taming—or obedience. “Jesus Christ humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the Cross” (Philippians 2:8b).

Male ~ “… a male without blemish…” (Leviticus 1:3). Male symbolizes strength. The Lord Jesus Christ is “mighty to save” (Isaiah 63:1). He is able to “save to the uttermost” (Hebrews 7:25).

Perfect ~ The sacrifices of Leviticus required “… a male without blemish…” (Leviticus 1:3). Those sacrifices pointed forward to the true sacrificial lamb, the Lamb of God, who was “without blemish” (1 Peter 1:19) and Who lived a sinless life on earth—“in Him no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Peter 2:22).

Choice ~ “…he shall offer it of his own free will…” (Leviticus 1:3). Jesus said, “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again” (John 10:17-18a).

Substitute ~ “The burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him (Leviticus 1:4b). The burnt offering was a substitute offering—a vicarious offering—on behalf of another. That is the great basic issue of The Gospel of Jesus Christ—that He paid for my sin, for your sin, and for the sins of all who will come to Him as their personal Savior. By God’s law “without the shedding of blood there is no remission [forgiveness] of sin” (Hebrews 9:22). “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7b).

• Important note: This is a major change in God’s dealings with mankind. No longer is sin covered over (atonement) as it was in the first covenant rather now it is paid in full and forgiven.

Death ~ “He shall kill the bull before the Lord” (Leviticus 1:5a). The animal had to die on behalf of the Israelites as a sacrifice for their sin. Jesus Christ died to pay the penalty of our sin. Who killed the Christ? I killed Him. You killed Him.

Separation ~ Later we learn in chapter 4 of Leviticus that the ashes of both the animal sacrifice and the fuel for the fire were required to be taken outside the camp. Jesus Christ while He was in the world maintained a perfect separation from sin. Christians today are to be separate from the world. “Come out from among them and be separate” (2 Corinthians 6:17).

His Radiance ~ “And the priest who offers anyone’s burnt offering, that priest shall have for himself the skin of the burnt offering which he has offered (Leviticus 7:8).

The only exception to the consuming fire was the skin of the animal which was kept for a covering (an atonement in the first covenant). Christians are priests (1 Peter 2:9) and are seen by God the Father as being covered with the Robe of Christ’s righteousness.

• The scripture revisited:   “Now the Lord called to Moses, and spoke to him from the tabernacle of meeting, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: “When any one of you brings an offering to the Lord, you shall bring your offering of the livestock—of the herd and of the flock. If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it of his own free will at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the Lord. Then he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him. He shall kill the bull before the Lord’” (Leviticus 1:1-5a).


Reprinted from “Abundant Life Now,” a free blog which offers inspiring moments, thought-provoking comments, and solid Biblical insight at http://RobertLloydRussell.blogspot.com/ .