December 10, 2019

Where is the Lamb?

Genesis 22:1-14

“The fire and wood are here,” said Isaac, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”

—  Genesis 22:7

I was a young boy when I first heard this story about Isaac. I remember the picture in the story Bible my mother read, showing Abraham raising his knife over the altar. Our focus today is on Isaac’s question, “Where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”

Though God graciously provided a ram in place of Isaac, it was not “the Lamb.” Later, hundreds of lambs were sacrificed on the night of the Passover to deliver God’s people from slavery in Egypt (Exodus 12). Later still, thousands more were sacrificed in the temple in obedience to God’s commands for offerings. Yet Isaac’s question remained: “Where is the lamb?”

Years later, Isaiah prophesied that the people’s true salvation would come through a lamb who would pour out his life and bear the sin of many (Isaiah 53). But God’s people continued to wait.

Then—more than 700 years after Isaiah—while John the Baptist was baptizing people in the Jordan River, he pointed to Jesus and cried out, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).

Christmas Day is coming. Let us joyfully celebrate the birth of God’s only Son, Jesus Christ, the Lamb, who died and rose again to take away our sins and give us new life forever!

Lord, we eagerly look for that day when Christ will return and we will sing with the angels, “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive . . . honor and glory and praise!” (Revelation 5:12). Amen.

About the author — John Van Schepen

Dr. John Van Schepen is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oregon and California. He and his wife, Willie, have been blessed with five children and several grandchildren.

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