The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! –John 1:29
It’s fitting that the shepherd’s journey to worship Jesus has placed lambs in our nativity scenes. They can remind us of why Jesus came.
Lambs were an integral part of the Jewish faith at that time. They were sacrificed as a symbol. The death of lambs was a constant reminder that sin had a cost.
Across time and space, it sounds gory and bloody and barbarian. In part because we keep ourselves so distant from the source of the meat we eat, preferring to pretend it comes from the store. But for the Israelites, the death of lambs was an accepted and normal part of their culture.
With the birth of Jesus, things could change. He would be the final Lamb who would take away the sins of the world once and for all.
It’s easy to celebrate Christmas because that picture of a cute little baby lying in a manger is a pleasant thought. But from the beginning, God had the cross in mind. Christ did not only come to earth to live, He came to die.
This may sound depressing, but it is one of the deep joys of Christmas. Christ came so He could sacrifice Himself on our behalf. His birth is the beginning of a new forgiveness, and a new relationship with God that could not have existed without Him.
Jesus is the most important Lamb of the nativity scene.
Lamb of God, thank you for Your sacrifice. Bring us Your forgiveness. Help us accept Your grace. May this world accept it too. Amen.
“Born to Die” – Bebo Norman
“And the angels filled the sky All of heaven wondered why Why their king would choose to be Be a baby born to die.”
Noticing Immanuel: a series for Advent. Each day starts with noticing: a picture of an everyday Christmas moment. That picture leads to a verse, a meditation, a prayer, and a song. My hope is that when we see those Christmas moments a second time, they will strike us differently. That we might feel the presence of Immanuel this Christmas season, whether we are sitting in quiet or moving in chaos.