Scripture: Revelation 5:1-14
Hymn: All My Heart This Night Rejoices
Do you remember that Isaac asked his father Abraham “Where is the lamb for the sacrifice?” God had commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Abraham told Isaac “God will provide for Himself a lamb, my son.” Then they found a ram stuck in the bushes and they offered it instead of Isaac, and Isaac’s life was saved. Many years later, when John the Baptist saw Jesus, He exclaimed, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” All along, God’s people had been required to make animal sacrifices to God because of their sins. When they were guilty, the blood of the animal was a sign to them that God would forgive them. The animal was dying instead of the sinner. The animal was paying the price for their sins—the price of blood. When Jesus died on the cross, He died as a sacrifice for our sin, too. That is why John called him the “Lamb of God.” Jesus said “Greater love has no man than this, than that He lay down his life for his friend.” That is exactly what Jesus did for us: He laid down His life to pay the price for our sin. Before, a priest had to offer a sacrificial lamb every day in the temple, because the blood of the animal was only a picture. But Jesus’ blood was not only a picture. Jesus was a perfect sacrifice. When He offered Himself up for us, shedding His own blood, He satisfied God’s justice once for all. This is why God’s people no longer sacrifice animals. No more blood needs to be shed. Jesus’ sacrifice was a perfect atonement for our sins. By His blood we have been made right with God.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. Jesus, thank you for shedding you own blood to pay the price for our sins. Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Your Son to be our atoning sacrifice. We come to you only through His blood and in His Name, Amen.