Sunday, June 18, 2006

Worthy is the Lamb

Ex.12:12 - For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt...
God had summoned the Death Angel. This must be an amazingly powerful angelic being whose primary purpose is to bring God's message through His wrath and justice. Some of these latter day preachers who teach that God never kills haven't read the Scriptures. The Word is replete with accounts of God killing people from one to multitudes, including a frightening glimpse into the return of Jesus Himself wreaking death throughout the earth. God is God and He does what pleases Him.
As the Death Angel hovers over Egypt God is providing a way of escape for His people. A lamb. Now God can protect His people from their enemies, He can provide a sling and stones, He can give battlefield wisdom, He can part the Red Sea, but what will He provide for protection from His wrath? A lamb. Now God at that time was speaking through Moses and God's people had a choice, they could believe and live, or not and die. When God told Moses "a lamb" He wasn't making a suggestion. All the weapons of all the armies throughout the earth couldn't fend off one moment of God's wrath. A lamb. God, who was about to loose the Death Angel on millions of firstborn males and spill millions of gallons of human blood, says to Moses about the lambs blood, "When I see the blood I will pass over you".
The lamb and his blood were worthy in God's sight to protect each family from the Creator's wrath. We can't strategize out of God's wrath, we can't talk our way out, we can't buy our way out, we can't even hide from the wrath of God. Not a good life - not baptism - not Communion - not church membership - no, no, no, it must be a Lamb, God's Lamb. Male, spotless, and it must be eaten completely and its blood must be applied at God's direction.
Now as astronauts prepare for space they spend many hours in simulators until one day they march out, board the rocket, and leave for space. They have left the simulators and they are now traveling in the real thing. For centuries God provided animal simulators for His people, millions of lambs, millions of observed Passovers, millions of gallons of blood. Then one day, after centuries of silence, God raises up a prophet whose anointing was so powerful that he was asked again and again, "Are you the Messiah?". This prophet replies that he is not even worthy to unloose the coming One's sandals. But now, on a unparticular but chosen day, John lifts his arm, points to Jesus of Nazareth, and proclaims what the universe has been waiting to hear since the first Passover night, "Behold, the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world!".
Now as the angels hear this identification they are baffled. They know this is their master and their creator, but they still cannot understand why He is masquerading as a man. They've seen the sin and rebellion of these humans so why would their King be one of them? But when they hear Him described as the "Lamb of God" they are deeply confused. They've seen the slaughter of all those lambs over many centuries so why would this prophet identify the Son of God as one of those?
On this day Peter was fishing, Matthew was collecting taxes, all of the disciples were going about their business with no inkling whatsoever that their lives would soon be transformed. For three years Jesus would teach, preach, perform miracles, and conduct a Spiritual class that didn't point the world to David's throne. No, this class pointed to the cross and the three days that would change eternity. The old Passover lamb had tainted blood - The Final Lamb had sinless blood. The old Passover lamb was slaughtered quickly - the Final Lamb will suffer. The old Passover lamb was sacrificed for one family - the Final Lamb was sacrificed for the entire world. The old Passover lamb was created - the Final Lamb was The Creator. The old Passover lamb postpones God's wrath - the Final Lamb took God's wrath.
Now throughout Israel's history, including millions of Passover lambs, not one, not one - NOT ONE ever rose from the dead after having been slaughtered. But this Final Passover Lamb, after shedding His blood and dying, came back to life after three days. Never to be spit on again, never to be punched again, never to suffer again, never to be scourged again, never to bleed again, and never, ever to die again. He lives forevermore!
The fifth chapter of the Revelation of Jesus Christ records an event that has prophetically hop scotched across history. From the animal skins that clothed Adam, to the first Passover, to John the Baptist, to the cross, to the resurrection, to the ascension, and finally, like a prophetic drawstring, all the angels, beasts, elders, and the hosts of heaven seal it forever shouting, "WORTHY IS THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN!!".
Nothing on this earth, not your wedding day, not the birth of your child, not even the feeling you were allowed to experience on the day you were saved, nothing can prepare you for the complete and supernatural feeling of awe and worship we will experience on the first moment we lay our heavenly eyes upon the Risen Lamb of Glory, exalted on a throne, in the midst of heaven. And with a voice of exhilarated praise we will proclaim:

WORTHY IS THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN TO RECEIVE POWER AND RICHES AND WISDOM AND STRENGTH AND HONOR AND GLORY AND BLESSING!

AMEN.

2 comments:

JT333 said...

"What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus"
He is worthy!

sailorman said...

Keep following the Lamb, Rick!

By the way, I turned on your e-mail notification, so consider this the test.

Brad