[b]The Lamb Of God[/b]
[i]by Randy Jones[/i]
"The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, 'Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!'
And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, 'Behold the Lamb of God!'
- As Witnessed by John the Baptist
The lamb that you see in a green pasture is not the real Lamb. The real Lamb is in heaven at the right hand of God. The one in the pasture is a picture that God made to show you what His Lamb is like. The real Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world. The Master Theme of the whole Bible is the Lamb of God. The Lamb is in Genesis 4 then all the way through Revelation 22.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was not trying to get out of dying on the cross. In fact, the Bible says that he was dying in the Garden - that He was drinking the cup of death right there. He was deeply troubled and in agony because He knew He was dying right then and wasn't going to make it to the cross.
He had told his disciples, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death." He began to be deeply sorrowful and troubled. The Bible says that he feared dying in Gethsemane - short of the Cross. "7Who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, 8though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered." Heb. 5 Jesus prayed and agonized so hard in the Garden - in prayer - that He began to hemorrhage blood through the pores of His skin. He was covered in blood from head to toe. Weymouth's translation reads, "Great clots of blood began falling to the ground." The Father heard Him and sent angels to strengthen Jesus.
After Pilate talked to Jesus, he had Him scourged. The Romans used a "cat-of-nine-tails". Nine strands of rope or leather, with bits of bone or metal tied to the ends. After these professional Roman soldiers scourged a person - history says that their backs looked like raw meat. Historians of that day wrote that many times you could see the victim's lungs moving through the wounds, or holes in their backs after their beatings.
Then they took Jesus outside of the city to be crucified. Before they nailed Him to the Cross, they stripped Him, threw Him unto the Cross on the ground, and tied Him so that the nails wouldn't pull out through His tendons, muscles, and skin.
The soldiers picked the Cross up above the hole - and then let it drop - to fall into the 3-foot deep hole. He lunged against the nails when the Cross hit the bottom with a thud.
"He looks as contemptible as ever with His ragged rabble of a Church that shouts Hosanna on Sunday and runs from the Garden of Gethsemane on Friday; that protests like Peter and then betrays, that disputes who shall be greatest and thinks it is extravagant to wash men's weary feet; with His crowd of wretched preachers, poor human fools like me, who preach the Gospel and cannot live it right, who try to be loving and are not even friendly. He is as ridiculous as ever, just the same JESUS that sat with a dirty purple horse-cloth on His bleeding back, and a crown of thorns set sideways on His head, with a mock scepter in His hand, and the spittle of a drunken soldier rolling down His face, just the same JESUS, but I am afraid of Him, as in his heart of hearts, I believe modern man is frightened of Him. He is disturbing, unnerving. He saps self-confidence and murders pride. He makes you want to go down on your knees and worship Him." (Anon.)
Jesus' physical suffering was horrible. As terrible as Jesus' physical suffering was - it was the least of His suffering. He suffered in His soul. The travail of His soul was the most awful, unmitigated suffering in the history of the universe.
He had been awake all night. He had been beaten and slapped by the guards of the High Priest. A crown of cruel thorns was put on His head. A broken reed put in His hand as a scepter. His beard was plucked out. Jesus was blindfolded by the soldiers and struck - while being mocked and ridiculed. They spit in His face. His own people rejected Him. All of His disciples forsook Him and fled. Peter cursed and swore that he didn't even know Jesus - and then Jesus turned and looked at Him. He was The Sacrificial Lamb. He took our place. He was scourged almost to death.
Jesus was in agony from spikes through His hands and feet - thorns piercing the skin of his scalp and face. His bloody, bleeding back was on fire with indescribable pain. Pure agony. He had taken care of His mother, reassured a thief - but now it was just Jesus and His Father. Just Him and God. His Father that He loved so much, and whom He delighted every day - was now His worst enemy. His Father had to withdraw His presence - and for the first, last, and only time - God cut Himself off from part of Himself - and left His Beloved Son hanging alone on the Cross.
The most awful, horrible suffering in the annals of time and eternity took place between 12 Noon and 3 in the afternoon. Jesus had spoken several times from the Cross before this - but now He is silent. He doesn't utter another word for 3 hours.
HE BECAME SIN! He didn't carry sin - He didn't just pay the penalty of sin - HE BECAME SIN. Every lie, every murder, every rape, every dirty rotten sin that evil, wicked mankind had ever committed, was committing right then, and would ever commit - was gathered up and deposited into the soul of the Son of God. No one will know until eternity - if then - the awfulness of the just and holy Lamb of God becoming all the sin of a perverted and wicked humanity.
Then something happened to Jesus that is beyond our comprehension - Jesus began to drink the cup of God's Wrath. All 7 vials of the Wrath of a Just, Holy, and Offended Creator. When God's Wrath is poured out on this world during the tribulation period - the whole world is going to stagger and reel like a drunken man. God's Wrath is going to literally shake this whole planet. All of this Wrath coursed through the soul of the Son of God on the Cross!
Jesus' agony and suffering was so great that He didn't look human anymore. Because of His awful suffering - He became so twisted and disfigured that He didn't look like a human being. (Isa. 52) A suffering creature in mute agony. This is what God thinks of our sin - this is how terrible sin is. This is the price of sin. This is the awfulness of sin - which we regard so lightly. Jesus DID NOT go to hell and suffer as a sinner. He put out the fire of hell on the CROSS! He killed the Worm that wouldn't die - on the CROSS! Those who truly believe in Jesus, repent of, and forsake their sins - will never feel the fire of hell. We'll never see the Worm that won't die.
PRAISE GOD! We'll never feel one drop of the Wrath of God. Jesus' endured the Wrath of God for us on the Cross. We've been delivered from the Wrath to come! At 3 pm, Jesus, knowing all thing had been fulfilled, asked for a drink because He wanted to say something. He gathered His strength, pushed Himself up so that He could breathe - and then cried with a loud voice, "IT IS FINISHED!" "I want My Father to know, I want hell to know! I want mankind to know!" "It's Over. It's Settled, It's Done!" Over 2000 years later, it's still finished!
BEHOLD THE LAMB IN HIS TRAVAIL!
I simply argue that the Cross should be raised at the center of the marketplace as well as on the steeple of the church. I am recovering the claim that Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles, but on a cross between two thieves; on the towns garbage heap; at a cross road, so cosmopolitan they had to write His title in Hebrew and Latin and Greek, at the kind of a place where cynics talk smut and thieves curse and soldiers gamble. Because that is where He died. That is what He died for. That is what He died about. That is where the church ought to be and what the church ought to be about. - MacLeod
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon