What does the term, “the Lamb of God,” mean?
Nothing But The Best
The Hebrews sometimes refer to something as being “of God” when they mean that it is the greatest, the noblest, the chief of its kind. For instance, they call the cedars, “trees of God,” and thunder is the “voice of God.” Therefore, we may understand that Jesus, as “the Lamb of God,” is the chief of all sacrifices.
All other sacrifices of God’s ordaining were but pictures, representations, symbols, and shadows of Himself. There is only one Sacrifice for sin—there never was another, and there never can be. The blood of Jesus, offered once, has forever put away sin and no further sin-offering can be brought. Whoever rests in Jesus as the true and only Sacrifice is accepted in his faith.
God’s Appointed One
Moreover, our Saviour is called “the Lamb of God” because He is the Lamb of God’s appointing. Peter tells us that the Lord Jesus is “a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world” (1 Peter 1:19,20). Jesus is the choice of the Father. Our hearts rejoice that it is so, for when we rely upon Jesus to save us, we trust in One whom God has appointed to save His people. If, as a guilty sinner, I leave my sin upon Christ, the Lamb of God, I leave it exactly where God has asked me to put it. I rest in a sacrifice which God, Himself, ordained of old.
God’s Great Provision
Thirdly, Christ is called “the Lamb of God” because He is of God’s providing. The Father not only appointed His Son to be the Sacrifice for sin, but He also freely gave Him to be such. Out of the bosom of God came Jesus Christ as love’s richest blessing. He is the Father’s only begotten, God’s dear Son, and to us, “His unspeakable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15). God “spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all” (Romans 8:32). “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). Under the Old Testament law, men were required to provide the sacrifices, but the one Sacrifice of the Gospel is the gift of God.
God’s Supreme Offering
Lastly, let us not forget that God Himself had a hand in the sufferings of His Son. It is written: “We did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted…. The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all…. It pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief” (Isaiah 53:4,6,10). What does that cry mean, “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46) but that God, Himself, had turned away from Him and so had brought His soul into the depths of woe?
When I think of this, that God chose His Son to be the Atonement, that He gave His Son, and then, Himself, offered Him up—I know that the Sacrifice must be acceptable and all-sufficient, so that he who rests in it need not have a shadow of a doubt that his soul is saved!
Now then, sinner, do you want to be rid of your sin? God’s way of pardoning you is that your sin be laid on Jesus. As of old the Jew laid his hands upon the lamb and the lamb was his substitute, so lay your trembling hands by faith upon Christ, and He will be your Substitute! Oh that you were led to receive Him now to be yours forever!