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God's Lamb

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
January 18, 2024 12:00 am

God's Lamb

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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January 18, 2024 12:00 am

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The lamb was a symbol of innocence, and it was slain in substitution for those who were guilty. The lamb was slain so that the guilty could approach God. It's great to have you with us on the Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.

I'm Bill Wright. Well, the Lord's Table is a special place indeed. Whenever we take Communion, we do so in remembrance of Him who shed His blood for us. And during a Communion service, a congregation is blessed when the sermon focuses like a laser beam on the spotless Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. So Don, that's why today's message is a special one.

That's right, Bill. This message is a little bit different than ones that we've done in the past on the Truth Pulpit. This was a message that I did specifically for a Communion service not too long ago. We try to make Communion special by setting aside a time and a service and a sermon that particularly focuses on Christ. So join with us as we remember the sacrifice of Christ coming to you from the Truth Pulpit.

So friend, if you're able, put away the distractions and direct your full attention to Don Green right now in the Truth Pulpit, as he presents a sermon called God's Lamb. Worthy is the Lamb. A lamb, of course, is a young sheep. And in the Old Testament, it was the principal animal of sacrifice among the Jews of the Old Testament. The Jews knew from key episodes in their history the principle of a lamb being sacrificed to preserve the life of another from the judgment of God.

For example, when God was about to deliver the people of Israel from Egypt after over 400 years of slavery, this principle came into play. Turn in your Bibles to Exodus chapter 12, if you would. Exodus chapter 12. God instructed Israel through Moses just before he went through the nation of Egypt to slay their firstborn. God instructed Israel to slay a lamb and apply the blood to their doorposts. Look at Exodus chapter 12 verse 3. God, speaking to Moses, said, Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers' households, a lamb for each household.

Skip down to verse 5. 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 fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. And so the blood of the lamb marked out the Jews, marked out their household, and separated them from the judgment that was about to come upon the Egyptians. And look at verse 12 here in Exodus chapter 12 as God had instructed them to eat a quick Passover meal. He says in verse 12, I will go through the land of Egypt on that night and will 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, I will pass over you, and no plague will fall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. It's a very picturesque symbol of what was going to happen, and the blood would spare them of the judgment of God.

And in like manner as we remember our Lord's death on our behalf, we understand that the blood applied to our soul is what spares us from the judgment of God to come against sinners. In the future through the blood judgment was spared upon the Jews because a lamb was slain in their place and his blood was applied to their account. Going on in Exodus, you see that God required a lamb as the daily sacrifice for Jews to meet him. Look at Exodus chapter 29. Exodus chapter 29. A less familiar passage of Scripture than what we just read. Exodus chapter 29 verse 38. Now this is what you shall offer on the altar.

Two one-year-old lambs each day continuously. The one lamb you shall offer in the morning and the other lamb you shall offer at twilight. Skip down to verse 41. The other lamb you shall offer at twilight and shall offer with it the same grain offering and the same drink offering as in the morning for a soothing aroma and offering by fire to the Lord. In other words, it was a sacrifice that the Lord accepted. Verse 42. It shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the doorway of the tent of meeting before the Lord where I will meet with you to speak with you there.

I will meet there with the sons of Israel and it shall be consecrated by my glory. And so the lamb was a symbol of innocence and it was slain in substitution for those who were guilty so that those who were otherwise guilty could approach God and meet with him there. The lamb was slain so that the guilty could approach God in like manner.

Christ was slain so that we could approach God despite our guilt having his blood applied to our account. Isaiah 53. Isaiah prophetically pictured Christ as a lamb slain for sinners. Isaiah 53 verse 4. And you can see the sin bearing nature of Christ that he bore our sins on our behalf that he was interceding for us in our transgressions when he was slain on the cross. It was a judgment of God stricken upon Christ in our place as our substitute instead of us on our behalf.

Isaiah 53 verse 4. Surely our griefs he himself bore and our sorrows he carried yet we ourselves esteemed him stricken smitten of God and afflicted but he was pierced through for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities the chastening for our well-being fell upon him and by his scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray each of us has turned to his own way but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on him.

Verse 7. He was oppressed and he was afflicted yet he did not open his mouth. Like a lamb that is led to slaughter and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers so he did not open his mouth. In the innocence and the gentleness of a lamb Christ proceeded to Calvary knowing that the stroke of God awaited him there and yet he did not voice opposition to it he did not shrink back from the tasks that God had assigned to him.

He carried through that mission for which he came that mission to save sinners like you and me. To be a lamb slain in our place a lamb who would take the stroke on our behalf. It was the appointed judgment of God upon his soul verse 11. It was what God required for sinners to be reconciled to him and apart from the lamb of God being slain for us we would have no reconciliation with God we would still be under his judgment we would still be facing eternal destruction in hell.

Without Christ beloved we would be lost without Christ that stroke of judgment would be falling upon our own backs. And yet there in verse 11 we see that God was pleased as a result of the anguish of his soul he will see it and be satisfied by his knowledge the righteous one my servant will justify the many as he will bear their iniquities. God will declare a sinner righteous who puts his faith in Christ. God will declare him as righteous in his sight washing away his sins no longer holding sin against him. And instead imputing the perfect righteousness of an innocent lamb to his account and then deals with us on that basis. Deals with us as though Christ had committed all of our sins and we had lived the perfect righteousness of Christ in our lives.

A perfect substitute a perfect exchange his righteousness for our sin and our sin for his righteousness. Because a lamb was willing to go to a cross and be stricken on our behalf. Isaiah is saying that the Messiah would be slain like a lamb slain as a substitute sacrifice so that his people could avoid death in the judgment of God. And you see the biblical pattern of how this plays out and you see it again and again. In Exodus there in the Passover the blood is applied and the judgment of God passes over and they don't enter into that death sentence.

The daily sacrifices offered at the tent of meeting. A lamb sacrificed morning and night continually representing the the blood shed in order to allow access to God. Isaiah prophetically pictures it. You remember even we're not looking at this passage but you remember how Abraham took his son Isaac at the command of God. God commanded him and said go and slay your son Isaac and what happened? Abraham said God will provide a lamb as they marched up toward the altar and as he raised his hand having completed the act of sacrifice already in his heart. What did God do?

He intervened. He provided a ram and a thicket behind Abraham and that ram was offered as a sacrifice instead of his son Isaac. The principle of substitution is so clear. It is so repeated. And this picture of an innocent lamb, an unblemished lamb offered in the place of a man facing God's judgment is a picture given to us over and over again. Scripture, history, and daily practice ingrained this on the mind of an Old Testament Jew. Now with those things in mind turn to the Gospel of John chapter 1 if you would. And we have our hearts prepared to see with a fresh appreciation what John the Baptist said when he identified Christ to the people. You remember that John the Baptist came preaching a crowd gathered around because he preached with such great power over time. And they were wondering who he was if perhaps John himself was the Christ. Look at verse 25 of John chapter 1. They asked him and said to him why then are you baptizing if you are not the Christ nor Elijah nor the prophet? John answered them saying I baptize in water but among you stands one whom you do not know.

It is he who comes after me the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie. These things took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan where John was baptizing. And so God as it were shined the spotlight on John the Baptist and attracted attention to John as the forerunner of the Messiah.

And John said it's not me but it's the one who comes after me that you are to look to. And in verse 29 with all that we've seen here in these brief moments together. In verse 29 the next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said what? Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. The lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

This is he on behalf of whom I said after me comes a man who has a higher rank than I for he existed before me. I did not recognize him but so that he might be manifested to Israel I came baptizing in water. John the Baptist points to Christ and says there is the lamb of God.

There is the ultimate lamb. There is the fulfillment in human flesh of all the animal sacrifices that preceded him. Look at verse 34 he said I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God. And again the next day John was standing with two of his disciples and he looked at Jesus as he walked and said behold the Lamb of God. Now scholars quibble over exactly what they think John had in mind when he made this statement. They question whether he was referring to the daily sacrifice of the Jews or perhaps the Passover or perhaps Isaiah 53.

But you know what the overall import is very clear. John the Baptist was figuratively calling Christ a lamb because Christ would be slain and thereby become the meeting place that sinners would have with God. Christ the lamb would be sacrificed so the judgment of God would pass over anyone who receives Christ. That those whose hearts are filled with hatred could find cleansing in the blood of Christ. Those who feel the weight of condemnation upon their souls who feel the weight of sin and the conviction of guilt upon them for having violated the law of God could find in Christ in him crucified crucified and resurrected could find in Christ the answer to their accusing conscience. Could find in Christ peace for their souls could find in Christ new life which could be found nowhere else. Could find in Christ the one appointed sacrifice where they could meet with God and be accepted.

Something completely external to you and me. Not something that we've done through our own hands. Christianity is not a message about good things that you do in order for you to become right with God. Rather it is a message of how God provided a lamb to be sacrificed for your sins and through faith in that crucified and risen lamb you could find reconciliation with God and peace for your soul. Christ the lamb would bear their sins in his coming death. It would be the innocent blameless unblemished lamb of God. The unblemished life of Christ that would be offered in place of you and me.

In 1 Corinthians chapter 5 verse 7 Paul says that Christ our Passover has been sacrificed. Christ in our place as our substitute. And an innocent lamb the eternal son of God stepped into our place. Stepped between us in the defendants chair and God as the judge stepped in between and said, Father I will take their judgment. Father I will spill my own blood for their soul.

And God the Father finds that acceptable in his sight. Our Lord Jesus Christ was God's lamb provided for the forgiveness of your sin. The lamb of God. The lamb that God appointed before the foundation of the world.

Think about it this way. God in his grace and his mercy and his kindness. Prepared for you.

Sent for you. Provided for you a lamb that you never could have brought to him on your own. God gave Christ as a lamb for us. For the forgiveness of your sins so that you could be reconciled to that God from whom you were separated.

Charles Spurgeon said this. He said God from all eternity appointed the Lord Jesus to be the great sacrifice for sin. When we rely upon Jesus Christ to save us we trust in one whom God has appointed to save his people. If as a poor guilty sinner I leave my sin upon Christ the lamb of God I leave it where God has bid me to cast it.

I rest in a sacrifice which God himself ordained of old to be the sacrifice for sin. Oh soul there can be no question that if you come to the Father in the way in which he himself appoints you come acceptably. God's appointment is the guarantee of the acceptance of everyone that believes in Jesus. What he's saying is that God has appointed one way for sinners to approach him. He has appointed Christ to be that one way and Christ was the lamb slain as a substitute for sinners.

He's the lamb of God he's the the lamb that God provided that God appointed that God sent. Salvation was always God's idea from the beginning it wasn't yours. It wasn't because you loved God first that you find yourself now reconciled to God. No scripture says that that he loved us first and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins. Not that we loved God but that he loved us.

And so there's two aspects that this has upon your heart as you think about these things rightly. First of all it brings great humility to your heart realizing that you did not deserve to have a lamb provided for you. That this was a sheer act of grace from God to provide a lamb for sinners. And yet because it's God's lamb because it's God's salvation because it's God's appointed way we can know for certain that when we put our faith in Christ for our salvation that we are most certainly accepted by God because we have come the way that he appointed.

Not trying to earn our way in, not trying to do the good deeds or the rituals that some church appoints and say that that God must accept me on that basis. That's not what God has appointed. God didn't make you your own lamb. God did not leave it in your hands to make atonement for your own sins.

You couldn't do that. Your blood was stained with guilt. It never could have purchased salvation before the throne of God.

No, what God did was he provided a lamb, his own son, to be the sacrifice in your place. And so it humbles us to realize I didn't contribute anything of merit to my salvation. It humbles us to realize the sheer magnitude of the grace of God when we were undeserving.

And yet at the same time it gives us confidence rightly understood. Confidence because as we come through Christ we come through a perfect lamb with perfect righteousness whose perfect blood makes a perfect plea before a perfect God on behalf of perfectly wretched sinners. And so as we follow the revelation of God and we have it lead us to Christ we know that we have a perfect salvation. One in which we can have complete assurance that we belong to God through Christ because this is what God appointed. This is what God wants.

This is what he requires. And when we come in the way that he is appointed there can be no other result but that he would accept us in the beloved. The lamb was slain in your place. That a real human body was torn by the whips.

That real human hands were pierced with nails. That real human suffering took place on the cross of Calvary. That the eternal torments of souls were born in his body. He felt the weight and the pains of eternal judgment on your behalf so that you would not have to. It reminds us that literal human blood was shed as his veins were burst. And blood was poured out on your behalf. Not some kind of philosophy, not some kind of rules that we follow that make us good before God.

No, the real Son of God in real human flesh in real time in a real place suffered for you. The ordinance of communion like baptism is highly symbolic but it points to something as concrete as you can get. God's unending love for his church through Jesus Christ. Well, we hope you've been blessed by the message today on The Truth Pulpit with Pastor Don Green.

And Don's here in studio with a special invitation for you. Friend, if you don't have a church home and you live near Cincinnati, why not visit us soon at Truth Community Church? We have a lot of gracious people that I know would make you feel welcome and you'd enjoy the same Bible teaching that you hear on our program. Also, let me tell you that if you're ever stranded at home and unable to attend your own church, join us on our livestream. Everything you need to connect with our church can be found at our website. Here's Bill with all you need to know. And our web address is thetruthpulpit.com. There you can also find free downloads of the messages you hear on these broadcasts. That's thetruthpulpit.com. Now for Don Green, I'm Bill Wright, and we'll see you next time for more from The Truth Pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-18 04:53:02 / 2024-01-18 05:01:06 / 8

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