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The Lamb of God, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
December 9, 2022 7:05 am

The Lamb of God, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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December 9, 2022 7:05 am

His Name Is Wonderful


Throughout the Bible, we find multiple references to the Lamb of God. In fact, this name for Jesus is woven throughout the tapestry of scripture in both the Old Testament and New. So why did God provide this imagery? What are the implications of this name for Jesus?

Today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll invites us to follow along as he presents a biblical survey of these references. It'll help you understand the cultural context and the implications and I think they would be surprised at the same thing. I don't think his power would surprise most people, nor his teachings. I don't think many people would be surprised at what he taught, for it has been well documented in the New Testament, and it would simply fit in with what we have heard all these centuries from him. I believe people would be surprised at his temperament, because I do not think he fits the stereotyped image of a strong leader.

I think his temperament might in fact disappoint some, as it did in his day. We live in a day of high rollers and strong-willed individuals. We like visionary entrepreneurs. They're the people who change the face of our nation and shape our future. We like strong speakers. We like folks who carry themselves with a little bit of a swagger.

We like the aggressive types. They're the ones who get, it seems, on television. They're the ones who attract the attention of a city when a crusade is held.

They're the ones who are able to sway the masses, people who, well, they represent a style that attracts the attention of the crowd. Jesus didn't have that style. As a matter of fact, I think for those who simply saw him beside the road and he wasn't doing his work of miracles or teaching his remarkable and radical message, I believe they just passed him by.

There was no aura about him. There was only one place in all the Bible that Jesus describes his temperament, and it isn't strong and impressive, full of charisma and power. The only place you will find his describing himself is over in Matthew's Gospel, chapter 11, Matthew 11, 28 through 30. Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.

Now watch carefully. This is the only time Jesus tells us of his personality, or I'm calling it of his temperament. For I am gentle and humble in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy and my load is light.

He would have never made it before the cameras. Meek and, how does he put it? Gentle and humble people don't attract a crowd. Those who the public will follow readily are those who know how to do it.

Whatever it is, they know how. Jesus had plenty of power, of course, being God. He had all of the strength and then some of heaven, but he never ever in himself performed or attempted to impress. I'll be frank with you, of all the things about Christ, I think I admire this the most. The one who had the ability to abuse his power never came anywhere near it. He was known for his gentleness and his humility of heart.

He didn't look the part of a leader that is the kind we think of today. As a matter of fact, when his closest colleague in the early part of his ministry, a blood relative named John the baptizer, spoke of him over in John chapter 1. John the prophet announced, and if you'll turn, John 1 verse 29, when he saw the Lord Jesus coming near him and a few with him, John pointed over toward Jesus and said, Behold, behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, the Lamb of God. Verse 36 or 35, again the next day John was standing with two of his disciples and he looked upon Jesus as he walked and said, Behold, look, it's the Lamb again, the Lamb of God. I love the fact that the Bible brings us back to reality and is not impressed with our times or our style.

I love it that the Bible written in this era fits all eras that would follow. The reason I say that is because the Lamb is not really an impressive thing. Jesus is never called the bear of God, never called the lion of God, at least not by his followers, not even stallion of God. He's called the Lamb. The Lamb somehow doesn't have Madison Avenue appeal. I don't think there's a group of ad writers today struggling over how to use the thought of a lamb in getting people attracted to their product. It's not good public appeal. National heroes won't ever use it.

Vote for Jones. He's a lamb of a man. You'll never ever hear that. Never.

He's a lamb of a leader. No car will ever be called a Ford Lamb. You see, you laugh because you see right away it doesn't fit the style of a fast, sleek, strong kind of engine or vehicle. You will have the Cougar and the Roadrunner and the Mustang and the Pinto, which should cause some to laugh, and the Cobra and the Bronco, but you will never have the lamb. Never. Mark it down.

Sure as the world, next year they'll come out with a lamb and I'll hear from you. Just doesn't seem to fit. I'm glad it doesn't. This is one of those word pictures that we're simply forced to accept even though it doesn't appeal to our human nature. He is meek. He is gentle. And few of his followers are meek and gentle.

And we say it to our shame. We who tend to get so caught up in what the public wants to see in us want to give an image that is altogether un-Christ-like. Paul perhaps came as close as any when he simply talked about his weaknesses and struggles and failures and had no interest in impressing all of those things before that were so impressive. And did he have the letters? He counted it but refused that he might gain Christ. Paul's desire was to be a lamb of a man. Yes, even in temperament.

Yes. Now when I trace lambs through the Scriptures, I come across some rather insightful things. Traffic with me through the Bible.

Let's go way back to Genesis and we'll wind up in Revelation and by then we'll be hungry and ready to eat again. Genesis 22 is a time of great emotion. The father Abraham has obeyed God and with his son has gone up Mount Moriah and they're on their way to the destination, the place of the altar.

And 22, 7 picks up the story. Verse 6 says, Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. He took in his hand the fire and the knife.

So the two of them walked on together. You and I have grown and sometimes wept through this scene as we have imagined a father and a son, a grown son, old enough to carry the wood. That tells us he wasn't a little elementary school boy.

He was a young adult, certainly an older teenager. And Isaac spoke to Abraham and he said to his father, my father, he said here I am my son. He said behold the fire and the wood. Where's the lamb?

Isn't that interesting? He doesn't say where's the sacrifice? He calls it by what it was. Where's the lamb? Where's the lamb for the burnt offering? And Abraham said God will provide the lamb for the offering my son.

So the two of them walked on together. In Exodus chapter 29, the lamb appears again in the form of a sacrificial offering. 29, 38 through 41. God directing his plan for the Jews through Moses tells them this is what you shall offer on the altar. Exodus 29, 38. This is what you shall offer on the altar. Two one-year lambs each day.

Continuously imagine that. One lamb you shall offer in the morning. The other lamb you shall offer at twilight. There shall be one-tenth of a fine flour mixed with one-fourth of a hint of beaten oil and one-fourth of a hint of wine for a libation with one lamb. And the other lamb you shall offer at twilight and shall offer with it the same grain offering as the morning.

The same libation for a soothing aroma and offering by fire to the Lord. Lambs offered. Lamb after lamb after lamb by the hundreds, by the thousands, by the millions. Lambs, lambs, always lambs, offerings to God. It got to where children raised in Jewish homes just had that as part of their vocabulary. The sacrificial lamb called the paska.

It came to be a part of their vocabulary. It was the lamb offering, of course. Jewish feasts included lambs. Leviticus 23 verse 9. Then the Lord spoke to Moses saying speak to the sons of Israel and say to them when you enter the land which I am going to give you and when you reap its harvest then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest.

We're in Leviticus 23 11. He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord for you to be accepted on the day after the Sabbath. The priest shall wave it. Now on the day when you wave the sheaf, look at the feast time now, you shall also offer a male lamb one year old without defect for a burnt offering to the Lord. Its grain offering shall then be one tenth or two tenths of an eph and he describes all of that as we just read.

But the time of feasting would include the smell of burnt offering, another burnt lamb offered on an altar. When vows were taken by those who were to be Nazarites, Numbers chapter 6, you'll observe that lambs were a part of it. The Lord spoke to Moses saying speak to the sons of Israel and say to them when a man or woman makes a special vow, the vow of a Nazarite, to dedicate himself to the Lord he shall abstain from wine and strong drink. He shall drink no vinegar whether made from wine or strong drink. Neither shall he drink any grape juice nor eat fresh or dried grapes. All the days of his separation he shall not eat anything that is produced with a grape vine, from the seeds even to the skin. You think God wasn't particular?

When was the last time you peeled a grape? All the days of his vow of separation, no razor shall pass over his head. He shall be holy until the days are fulfilled for which he separated himself to the Lord. He shall let the locks of his hair on his head grow long. Right now you're thinking of Samson. Yes, he was a Nazarite, but the strength was not in his hair. The strength was in God's power which he placed on Samson and it was in the symbol of his hair.

But he had his hair grow long because he was a Nazarite. All the days of his separation to the Lord he shall not go near a dead person. He shall not make himself unclean for his father or for his mother, for his brother or his sister when they die because his separation to God is on his head.

All the days of his separation he is holy to the Lord. But if a man dies very suddenly beside him and he defiles his dedicated head of hair, then he shall shave his head on the day when he becomes clean. He shall shave it on the seventh day. Then on the eighth day he shall bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons to the priest to the doorway of the tent of meeting. And the priest shall offer one for a sin offering, the other for a burnt offering, and make atonement for him concerning his sin because of the dead person. And that same day he shall consecrate his head and shall dedicate to the Lord his days as a Nazarite and shall bring a lamb, a male lamb, a year old for a guilt offering.

But the former days shall be void because his separation was defiled. Verse 14, he shall present his offering to the Lord one male lamb a year old without defect for a burnt offering and one young lamb a year old without defect for a sin offering and one ram without defect for a peace offering. But of all the scenes, and I'm leaving out some, there's a great scene in 1 Chronicles 29 where David is exulting in all of the preparations for the temple, though he wasn't able to build it being a man of war, he thought of it and he saw it in his mind's eye and envisioning it, he extolled God as the God of heaven and earth and there were lambs that were offered. In fact, thousands of lambs at that time of a personal dedication of the temple in David's mind. Now, but of all the scenes where lambs are most significant, of course, would be the Passover. If you'll slip back to Exodus 12, you'll just get that scene once again familiar in your mind and then I want to read a bit about it from a writer. Exodus 12. The people of Israel have been under bondage for these 430 years and God through Moses is on the verge of delivering them from Egypt and just before deliverance, God says this is how we're going to do it. Not only will it get us out of Egypt, this will be a memorial that you will never stop doing. It will be a permanent remembrance every year, every year. Now the Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, this month shall be the beginning of the months for you.

It is to be the first month of the year. God even rearranged the calendar based on the Passover. Speak to all the congregation of Israel saying on the 10th of this month, they are each one to take a lamb for themselves. According to their father's household, a lamb for each household. But not just any lamb. If the household is too small for a lamb then he and his neighbor nearest to his house are to take one according to the number of persons in them, according to what each man should eat and you are to divide the lamb. Your lamb shall be an unblemished male, a year old.

You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the 14th day of the same month then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to eat it at twilight. Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two door posts and on the lentil of the houses in which they eat it. And they shall eat the flesh that same night roasted with fire. Notice roasted with fire. And they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled it or boiled at all with water. But roasted with fire.

Both its head and its legs along with its entrails. And you shall not leave any of it over until morning but whatever is left of it until morning you shall burn with fire. Now you shall eat it in this manner. He even tells them how to dress for the eating of the lamb at the first Passover.

This is a beautiful moment. Your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, your staff in your hand. You shall eat it in haste. Sounds like the way a lot of us eat our lunches, doesn't it? You eat it on the run as it were.

Why? Because they're leaving Egypt and on the way out of Egypt you eat this lamb. It is a reminder that you're delivered from this bondage.

It's a beautiful scene. You'll eat it exactly as I've described it and you'll eat it in haste. It is the Lord's Passover. For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night and strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments. I am the Lord. And the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live. And when I see the blood, this is where the name comes from, I will pass over you.

No plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. Lambs. Not a calf, not a yearling, not a turtledove. It's got to be a lamb.

That's God's plan. You think those Jewish fishermen didn't understand it when John looked across the way and said, Behold the Pascal of God. The lamb. He's the lamb. Woven into their entire fabric while growing up in a Jewish home was the Passover, was the use of the lamb, the talk about the lamb, the references to the lamb.

It was in them, thoroughly in them, based on this passage we've looked at in Exodus. You're listening to Insight for Living, and we're midway through a message from Chuck Swindoll titled The Lamb of God. If you'd like to learn more about this ministry, we invite you to visit us online at

Well, as a result of hearing today's Bible teaching, perhaps you're ready to learn more. Remember that in addition to this daily program, we've prepared a number of helpful resources to guide you on the journey, like Chuck's new book called Clinging to Hope. Sometimes our problems cause us to question God. When chaos and calamities strike, we tend to wonder if he sees our despair. In his book, Chuck reassures us that God not only knows, but he truly cares.

This would make a perfect gift for any season, so be sure to reach out today. If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888, or go online to slash hope. The full title of Chuck's book is Clinging to Hope, what Scripture says about weathering times of trouble, chaos, and calamity.

And now, here's Chuck. As we finish another year of ministry together, I can assure you that my personal passion for preaching and teaching has only intensified with the passing of time. In fact, I'll be honest here, I don't believe I've ever felt stronger about seizing the day every day, because I truly believe that current events signal the soon return of our Savior. Over the lifespan of Insight for Living Ministries, we have witnessed a litany of catastrophes. Some were national disasters, others were violent acts of wickedness.

Think about it. Tsunamis wiping complete islands off the map and swallowing families into the sea. Then there were earthquakes smothering innocent people with debris. There were two commercial jets flying into the Twin Towers, creating apocalyptic chaos, horrible destruction. There have been senseless shootings, too many to count. Plus, racial tension that has escalated, political parties are polarized, and our citizens are feeling confused.

Some are downright angry. Times like these cause us to conclude, yes, we are really living in the end times. Well, through all these disasters and through all the cultural turmoil, Insight for Living has remained constant, delivering a constant reminder that God is sovereign and in full control. By teaching God's Word, we serve as a calming voice of stability. And now, let me urge you to invest generously. Do that so that we may turn up the volume on the Gospel, guiding more and more people directly into the truth. In these last days, your donations, large or small, will truly make a difference. Let's do this together, and let's do this now, while there's still time. Remember Jesus' words? We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the One who sent us, for the night is coming.

And then, no one can work. Thanks for hearing my heart today. I so look forward to hearing from you soon.

Thanks Chuck. By responding today, you can be the one who delivers the hope of Jesus to those in need. Jot down this contact information and get in touch. To give online, go to slash donate. Or if you prefer, call us. If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888. Or you can give online at slash donate. I'm Bill Meyer.

Join us when Chuck Swindoll continues his series called His Name is Wonderful, Monday on Insight for Living. The preceding message, The Lamb of God, was copyrighted in 1988, 1992, and 1998. And the sound recording was copyrighted in 1998 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. The publication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-11 13:35:13 / 2022-12-11 13:43:58 / 9

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