A Chosen Lamb for the Ultimate Sacrifice

11a 3 lamb           As Jesus approaches, John the Baptist boldly proclaims to all those that were around, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” For all of those that heard this statement whether fully or in part understood the ramification and significance of what John was saying.

When my girls were younger we were picked or maybe you could say, “punished” to be the foster parents of a small yearling lamb that we were to go and pick up from a local rancher. Then it would become our responsibility to bring it home and get it ready for the Easter program; which would entail scrubbing and washing, then drying and fluffing its beautiful wool. My young girls were so excited that they could hardly wait to get started on this adventure. I have to admit in the beginning I was looking forward to showing off my country boy upbringing as well. Once we arrived at the ranch, the gracious rancher took us out to a small pen where he was holding some orphan lambs so he could bottle-feed them. After the girls had a time of playing with each of them and falling in love with all of the lambs it was the moment of truth. My sweet young daughters had to pick just one, the right one! As they thought and talked and discussed and looked each one over and over they finally came to a mutual decision.

After thanking the amused rancher, who had a mysterious twinkle in his eyes making me question whether he knew something that maybe we were missing, we headed home. Well, that was only too soon confirmed when hours later this poor little cute innocent lamb was crying out for help from all the pampering and lavish love my girls were giving it. A bath with foaming suds and layers of soap, then hair dryers blowing from every angle with non-stop kisses from each of the girls.

What seemed to be a glorious memory making and life long lesson for my children seemed to come crashing down, when it became time to turn out the lights and go to bed with a sigh of accomplishment.

If only it would have ended with that fairytale ending. It was only moments after putting the lamb in our enclosed back suburban yard with lights turned off with a prayer and a kiss. That this little lamb must have finally came to the realization that something was drastically wrong and began to cry out for the normalcy of the stable. It was during this continual bleating and every home’s light coming on in our sweet quiet and quaint neighborhood, that I had the revelation of the Passover lamb, which was anything but a sweet child’s pet!

The sound must have been deafening in Goshen that night many years ago when God instituted the Passover and the sacrifice of the unblemished lamb in every home. (Ex 12:3-13) Things had been tense anyway as the show down between Pharaoh and God’s servant Moses came to and end. To the Egyptians it was nothing less than a nightmare and to God’s children it was a magnificent beginning to a journey of God unfolding His love for His people as well as continuing to reveal Jesus Christ as the coming redeemer and the Lamb of God.

That night with what started to be a cute cuddly memory for my daughters had turned into a agony of a bleating lamb in my back yard. It seemed to bring another side to this story more than ever; I now understood the ramification and significance of what John had declared more than two thousand years ago. Jesus came to earth to be our Passover lamb. That through receiving Jesus’ agonizing and horrific sacrifice on the cross we might be redeemed from death and walk in a journey of victory as His children. (Luke 22:14-20)

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This Easter what will You do with Jesus…

IMG_2002Bright colored eggs and chocolate bunnies and yes, who can resist marsh-mellow chicks? The exorbitant marketing seems to reach out and not only entice but seems to put some captivating spell on every child around. Dreams of searching and finding the most Easter eggs invade our sleeping little ones. Parents are calculating the added expense of new dresses and bows and baskets for all those attending special services.

Like so many of Judeo-Christian holidays in the past, Easter has been high-jacked by commercialization and turned into a huge money machine. Now, I want to be clear, I enjoy and probably buy more chocolate eggs then most. But I am concerned we are doing a disservice to the next generation by confusing or not defining what we are celebrating.


If we are just playing a religious game of chocolate bunnies, eggs and Jesus, then the power of the Easter story has been deflated and we are miserable people (tweet)


Let me share a story that the late Ben Haden told through his religious broadcast that I think might help clarify what I am concerned about. “A group of young children were gathered in their Sunday school class. When the teacher asked, “Does anyone know what today is? One of the little girls excitedly held up her hand and said,” Yes, today is Palm Sunday.” The teacher exclaimed, “That’s wonderful. Now does anyone know what next Sunday is?” The same little girl held up her hand and said, “Yes, next Sunday is Easter.” Again the teacher said, “That’s fantastic. Now, does anyone know what makes next Sunday Easter?” The same little girl responded and said, “Yes, next Sunday is Easter because Jesus rose from the grave” and before the teacher could congratulate her, she kept on talking and said, “but if he sees his shadow — he has to go back in for seven weeks.” Well, as hysterical as that might seem, it is also very alarming!

We have allowed the commercialization of Easter to muddy the waters of the real meaning of Christ’s resurrection. Even with a warning from his wife, Pilot still became a pawn in the hands of the enemy not having a full grasp of what was going on concerning Jesus. The pressures from the manipulated crown made Pilot defend himself by saying, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” Then the crowd answered, “Let Him be crucified!” (Matt 27:22)

In the same way the church is presented with a similar dilemma in the midst of our bunny and egg confusion. We must answer the same question, “What will we do with Jesus”? Is He just another part of the commercial holiday or is He the risen Lord!

In 1 Cor 15:16-17, 19 we read where Paul writes to the church in Corinth saying, “… if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile.” Paul continues on saying, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.” In other words if we are just playing a religious game of chocolate bunnies, eggs and Jesus, then the power of the Easter story has been deflated and we are miserable people. But the reality is that Jesus died on the cross, was buried and on the third day arose from the dead for you and me. In Col 2:13-15, Paul declares that through the cross our sin was wiped away and we were made alive together with Christ who has forgiven us of all our trespasses. The message of Easter is Hope and Redemption through Christ Jesus not just eggs and bunnies. So let me ask you, “What will you do with Jesus”?