This Christmas, I’ve been following the She Reads Truth Advent Plan- ‘Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus’ The plan directs us to both Old & New Testament passages each day.
One day’s readings earlier this month stands out in my mind:
The first reading was from Genesis 22. It’s a difficult passage where God challenges Abraham to bring his one & only son Isaac as a sacrifice. Yet,instead, God Himself (Jehovah Jireh) provides a sheep to be sacrificed on the altar.
The next passage was from John 1, where John sees Jesus coming toward him & declares “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
(John 1:29 NLT)
I only discovered this year that outside Bethlehem where Jesus was born, was also where lambs were raised for the Passover sacrifices. Indeed these lambs were also wrapped in swaddling cloths too- to protect from danger & blemish.
At Christmas time, we remember that Jesus, God’s one & only son, came to earth as a baby. This Baby Jesus, who was God the Son was later called the Lamb of God.
‘The baby in the manger is more than a symbol of love. He’s the Savior who is love who’s come to lay down his life as the redeeming sacrifice of love.’
The prophet Isaiah foretold Jesus’ birth in many ways:
‘It will be said on that day,
“Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.
This is the Lord; we have waited for him;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation. (Isaiah 25:9)
Jesus’ coming to earth as a baby was part of God’s plan- the great exchange where He took our sin to make us right with God:
‘God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.’
(2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV)
‘What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?’
(Romans 8:31-32 NLT)
‘Behold Him there, the Risen Lamb
My perfect, spotless righteousness
The great unchangeable I am
The King of glory and of grace!’
(Charitie Lees Smith)