For our wedding day, Julia and I chose the music carefully. We wanted the ceremony to be worshipful, focused ultimately on God and not us. For this reason, one of the songs we picked was “Lamb of God” by Twila Paris. It doesn’t mention marriage, but it does celebrate the amazing love of God: “Your gift of love they crucified. They laughed and scorned him as he died. The humble King they named a fraud, and sacrificed the Lamb of God.”
Lamb of God seems an unlikely title for Jesus. What does it mean? John the Baptist identified Jesus to his followers by announcing, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (vv. 29–31). This alluded specifically to the Passover story (Exodus 12; 1 Cor. 5:7). Prior to the tenth plague on Egypt, the Israelites were instructed to put the blood of a lamb on their doorposts so the angel of death would “pass over” them and spare their firstborn sons. The principle at work was that “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” or life (Heb. 9:22).
Jesus is the Lamb of God because He shed His own blood for our forgiveness and salvation. A well-known Messianic prophecy said He would be “led like a lamb to the slaughter” (Isa. 53:7), that is, Jesus sacrificed Himself willingly. The apostle Peter understood the sacrificial lamb image as well, writing that we have been redeemed “with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:19).
Although only John the Baptist uses the title “Lamb of God” in the New Testament, Christ appears as a Lamb at least 29 times in the book of Revelation (see Rev. 5:6). This picture powerfully and memorably unites the meanings of atonement and victory!
What does this passage teach you about Jesus? Why is it important to you that He is the Lamb of God? Write down your answers and maybe talk about this with your friends or family. Then, spend some time in prayer thanking God for the gift of His Son, Jesus. “The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!” (John 1:29).