When the stars threw down their spears And water’d heaven with their tears: Did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the Lamb make thee? ~William Blake from “The Tyger”
His birth was attended by tears: The stars wept, knowing what gift had been given Shepherds wept, hearing the heavenly host proclaim, His mother and father wept, knowing Who lay innocent in the manger, they to be entrusted to raise Him to save the world.
A meek Lamb becomes both protector and sacrifice, forgiving the hand that wields the knife that slays Him.
The Lamb shares His name with us so we answer His call ~ we are His sheep we are His flock
He who made the Lamb made us and we answer weeping, knowing the cost.
Little Lamb, who made thee? Dost thou know who made thee? Gave thee life, and bid thee feed, By the stream and o’er the mead; Gave thee clothing of delight, Softest clothing woolly, bright; Gave thee such a tender voice, Making all the vales rejoice? Little Lamb, who made thee? Dost thou know who made thee?
Little Lamb, I’ll tell thee, Little Lamb, I’ll tell thee: He is callèd by thy name, For He calls Himself a Lamb. He is meek, and He is mild: He became a little child. I a child, and thou a lamb, We are callèd by His name. Little Lamb, God bless thee! Little Lamb, God bless thee ~William Blake “Little Lamb”
Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. John 1:29
John the Baptist is the only one who actually calls Jesus a Lamb to His Face. It seems a curious label to put on the Messiah expected to bring the Kingdom of God to His people with great power, might and fanfare.
A defenseless helpless lamb?
How could God send a mere lamb?
The label is particularly apt for this Messiah. This mere lamb is marked for slaughter, destined for sacrifice. The Jewish people well understood the age-old directive to find a “year old male lamb without defect”, the perfect lamb, as only that blood would demarcate their Passover rescue in Egypt. There would be no mistaking what “Lamb of God” implied to the Jews who knew their Passover history.
But John is even more revolutionary than simply calling Jesus a Lamb of God. He is not talking about a sacrifice meant only for his own people. He is talking about a sacrifice on behalf of the world. For the Jews, for the Gentiles, for the enemies of the Jews, for the millions of people as yet unborn. His words cannot be clearer, ringing through to the unsettled times and people of today.
The perfect lamb is sacrificed, his blood marking the hands of the slaughterers, and washing them clean.
No mere lamb would forgive the holder of the knife. Only so for the Lamb of God.