And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! … If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep (1 Corinthians 15:17,19-20).
On Easter Christians all over the world celebrate the most unique event in human history – the resurrection of Jesus, the eternal God/Man.
All prophecies that have already been fulfilled about Jesus and all prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled would be empty indeed if this one prophecy had not been true. All the hope that great men of faith had; all the faith in God and His word and promises that have been exercised over the centuries; all the sacrifices that have been made because of Christ, His life and His teachings would be all for nothing if He had not risen from the dead. If Jesus had only been a good Man as some believe; if His life had only been an example of love and triumph over evil; if His followers had just wanted a cause to believe in and yet He had not been raised from the dead, His life and witness would have been hollow.
Jesus Christ is the Word of God, the Lion of Judah, the Beginning and the End, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords but He often referred to Himself during His lifetime as the Son of Man. The Son of Man became the sacrificial Lamb of God.
In the Old Testament, references to sacrificial lambs point to Jesus. It is John the Baptist who first used the title Lamb of God – “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). John the apostle also records the Lord stating that He is the Bread of Life, the Light of the World, the Door, the Good Shepherd, the Resurrection and the Life, the Way, the Truth and the Life and the True Vine but it was not until John was led by the Holy Spirit to write the book of Revelation that Jesus is again called the Lamb of God. At least nine times in Revelation Jesus is referred to as the Lamb.
He is not referred to as the Lamb until after His incarnation and after His ministry had started. Jesus has always existed. He has always been the Son of God but there was a point in time where He became the Son of Man. Born in a stable, likely with lambs as His companions, He came to redeem mankind. It took His sacrifice – as the Lamb of God – to save us from our sins. As the eternal High Priest, with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12).
For Christians, Jesus’ referral to Himself at the end of time as the Lamb of God is significant. It is a personal reference – one that only those who have accepted His gift of sacrifice truly understand. We worship Him now as God. We will worship Him forever as God but our relationship with God our Savior is a very special and personal one. Yes, He is the King of Kings but He always was King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He became the Lamb of God for our sakes. It is seeing Jesus in eternity as the living Lamb that will stir our hearts and remind us of how much He loves us. Worshipping Him as the Lamb will remind us just how personal our salvation is. He died for me. He paid for my sins – unique for me. He died for you. He paid for your sins – unique for you. His resurrection obtained for all of us who believe the inheritance that He promised – eternal life with Him.
John the Revelator foresaw the glory we will share with the Lamb of God.
• And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain… (Revelation 5:6).
• for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountain of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes... (Revelation 7:17).
• Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!'” (Revelation 19:9).
• But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple (Revelation 21:22).
• The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illumined it. The Lamb is its light (Revelation 21:23).
• And he showed me a pure river of the water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb (Revelations 22:1).
We live because the Lamb lives. He was resurrected and so shall we be. He humbled Himself, dwelt among men, and sacrificed His own body and blood so that we might live together with Him. He choses to reign as our Lamb.
What an amazing thought – to be saved through the sacrifice of the Lamb who was slain on our behalf; to be shepherded by that same sacrificial Lamb; to partake of the marriage supper of the Lamb; to be illumined forever by the light of the Lamb and to walk beside a pure river of the water of life, provided by the Lamb.
Living in the eternal presence of the Lamb of God and to share in His radiance and glory is part of our indescribable gift (2 Corinthians 9:15). He lives and so shall we.
© Stephanie B. Blake