I was walking up a hill at dusk. At the top of the track a young lamb was bleating.
It looked helpless and alone up there by itself. I started to think as if it had been thousands of years ago on a small hill in Egypt, and the lamb had been destined as a sacrifice.
Tonight the lamb was unsuspectingly grazing in the field as I trudged up the track towards it. Tomorrow it would be slain for the sins of myself and my family.
As I look at the lamb, it seems pretty harsh. It had no idea what would happen as I come towards it. Carrying it home I can’t help but think about its innocence. It rests in my arms in complete trust.
The next day I take a knife and kill the lamb with my own hands. It feels so distasteful as I see the blood and the life rush out of it. I don’t like looking at the messy spectacle. It feels so raw, so ruthless and brutal. But my family and I would be saved from the wrath of God tonight. That’s why we’re doing this.
Of course I knew this would not be the end. We’d have to kill lambs again in the future. This deathly reminder about sin would occur again and again over the years. And although I didn’t really comprehend what was needed, I knew this would not be enough. It was going to take something more to clean my sin.
I didn’t know there would be another innocent Lamb slaughtered in a bloody fashion.
The difference would be, He would go knowingly to the slaughter. His blood would be poured out for me and my family because He loved us.
But I didn’t know that. I didn’t know that in the old story, when Isaac asked his father where would the sacrifice come from, Abraham’s reply had been somewhat prophetic. He had said, “God will provide Himself a lamb.” (Gen 22:8) We didn’t know how much that would cost.
So I wipe the blood of that little lamb on the door frame. Then I go inside and wash my hands, thanking Elohim that we are safe tonight.
And not knowing that Someone far more precious than that lamb would be slain for me. Someone of infinite value.
Strolling up the hill that night, and anytime I see a lamb, it’s a reminder to me. Yeah, it’s a cute little creature there on the hill as it runs down the slope and joins in safely with its flock. But it’s also a reminder of that all important slaughter.
“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” (Rev 5:12)