“As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!””
A very, very big deal. Back in the day, this was a major festival celebrating the exodus of Israel from Egypt. You know, Pharoahs and frogs and ‘Let my people go!’
Centuries later, the traditions continued – each family chose a lamb several days before the festival. They kept it safe and cared for it until it was time. (I actually think this provision was so what was to come would pinch a little! I mean, who wouldn’t fall in love with a cute little lamb?)
Then, the lambs were sacrificed, ritually ‘covering’ each house with blood. Blood that represented death, a reminder of how very serious sin against a holy God really is.
Something had to die.
So an innocent lamb symbolically bore the sins of the people and covered all in that household.
In He rides to Jerusalem, with the people spreading their cloaks and palm branches on the road in front of Him, cheering their heads off. They thought they were proclaiming Him king – they were itching to rid themselves of the Roman occupation, itching to get their place and nation back.
They thought Jesus was just the man to do it!
What they were actually doing was choosing their lamb….
The very day families were selecting their lamb for the sacrifice, the people were waving Palm branches, cheering Jesus.
A few years earlier, John the Baptist had used words that would point to this event: “Look! There is the Lamb of God!”
What strange words, at the time.
Lamb of God? Lambs were made for slaughter at the festivals!
Even John couldn’t have known at the time how profound these words would turn out to be. On Palm Sunday, the people chose their lamb.
The perfect and sinless Son of God, who alone could become a sacrifice that would remove not the sins of a household, but of a nation.
Of the world.
Today, we can still choose our lamb.
We can trust in silly things – fickle fame, or manic money, or our own self righteousness.
Or, we can choose the Lamb, the One who takes away the sins of the world.
This Easter season, choose Jesus with me?
Father, thank You for providing for our needs in so complete a way. What yearly sacrifices could not hope to do, Your Son did on the cross once and for all for the forgiveness of the entire world! Thank You for this remarkable and sobering provision. Amen.