The Lamb Of God

By Curt Darling

“Behold The Lamb Of God
who takes away the sin of the world!” —John 1:29 NKJV

John the Baptist announced this God-given revelation, but the thought of the Lord Jesus Christ being presented as a lamb “was foreordained before the foundation of the world” (1 Pet. 1:18-20). Revelation 13:8 says that He, as the Lamb, was viewed as “slain from the foundation of the world.” These precious truths display the foreknowledge of God, who laid out history from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22.

The Lamb Presented By Abel
Man was not yet created when the plan of the Lamb sacrifice’s was made, but we see God foreknew that Adam and Eve would sin. Therefore, a sacrifice would be needed – that of the Lamb of God. He is the One pictured by the offering presented to the LORD by Abel, the second son of Adam and Eve. Hebrews 11:4 says, “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts.” It was “excellent” because the sacrifice was a lamb (Gen. 4:2,4). The verse in Hebrews concludes by saying, “… And through it he being dead still speaks.” This is because his offering spoke of the Lord Jesus and “the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel” (12:24). By contrast, Cain, Abel’s older brother, offered what was of his will and work. God had no respect for that offering (Gen. 4:4). This, the “way of Cain” (Jude 11), is a total disregard for God’s true way: the Lamb of God and His shed blood.

The Lamb For The Passover
In Exodus 12:3-11 we read of the Passover lamb and how it was to be offered. It was sufficient for a household, without blemish and a male of the first year. Killed at twilight, some of its blood was to be put on the lintel and the two doorposts of the house, providing safety to the firstborn of Israel. Throughout these instructions we never read of the bones of the lamb being broken – nor were those of the Lord Jesus, as Psalm 34:20 testifies (see Ps. 22:17, Jn. 19:33). Paul, writing to believers during our day of grace, wrote: “Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us” (1 Cor. 5:7).

The Lamb As Prophesied By Isaiah
Isaiah wrote about the Lord Jesus, foretelling His last hours before He was crucified: “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth” (53:7). This prophecy was the means of salvation for a man from Ethiopia (Acts 8:27-39).

Later in Isaiah 53 we see that the Lord had done nothing wrong, nor was there even “deceit in His mouth” (v.9). He was made “an offering for sin,” and would “justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities [sins]” (vv.10-11). These points are found in the New Testament as well. Peter said that Christ was sinless: “a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Pet. 1:19). Paul wrote: “[God] made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21). Only by being without sin could He bear “our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Pet. 2:24). If He were not sinless, He could not have done anything for us.

The Lamb In Revelation
Jesus as Lamb is mentioned 22 times in Revelation. The first reference is Revelation 5:6, where we find the Lamb in the position of power, rather than meek and suffering for our sins. The preceding verse says He is “the Lion of the tribe of Judah the Root of David.” He “prevailed to open the scroll” detailing the judgments to come upon the earth. Why? Because He purchased this world with His own blood – apart from the fact that He is the Creator (Heb. 1:2; Col 1:16). That is why He is pictured in Revelation 5:6 as the Lamb. Then the apostle John recorded in verses 11-12 that he, in the Spirit, “looked, and heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice: ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing!’”

In Revelation 6 we observe the Lamb opening the seals and the judgments beginning, continuing to chapter 19. In Revelation 7 we are told about the salvation of an uncountable multitude from many nations. These saved ones, in verse 10, cry out “with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’” By contrast, those who suffer the judgment from God will beg the mountains and rocks to fall on them and hide them “from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb” (6:15). The Lord Jesus spoke about this prophetically in Luke 23:30, as He was led to the cross.

In Revelation 14:1 the Lamb is seen “standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads.” Later, in chapters 19 and 20, we see the same person as King of Kings and Lord of Lords reigning for 1,000 years, which closes out the period called “time.”

Revelation 21 describes “the holy Jerusalem” (v.10) descending from heaven. This city is called the Lamb’s wife. Here we have “the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb” as the temple (v.22) and the wall of the city being built on “twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the apostles of the Lamb” (v.14). There will be “no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in [the city], for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light” (v.23). Then, in Revelation 22 we find the Lamb having part of the throne of God (vv.1,3).

Although there are many other passages that could be considered, may we simply look at Revelation 21:27, which tells us that the only people to enjoy eternity with the Lord are “those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life” – believers. These are the people who are saved by His death on the cross. All others, whose names are “not found written in the Book of Life [will be] cast into the lake of fire” (20:15). May we “behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

Behold the Lamb, whose precious blood drawn from His riven side,

Had power to make our peace with God, nor lets one spot abide.

To Him, then, let our songs ascend, who stooped in grace so low:

To Christ, the Lamb, the sinner’s Friend, let ceaseless praises flow.
—William Trotter (1818-1865)