What comes to mind when you think of the Lamb of God? Maybe you have a picture of a wooly baby lamb curled up in some hay. After diving deeper into the scripture we get a clearer and bigger picture of who the Lamb of God actually is and what He has done for us.
What is the Lamb of God? The Lamb of God is the only Son of God, Jesus Christ, who became the perfect sacrifice to die in your place on the cross. He was perfect, spotless, and without blemish in the sight of God and thus was able to take away the sins of the world. Because sin requires a perfect sacrifice, and Jesus was without sin, He became the sacrificial Lamb so you no longer have to live under the control of sin. By His blood, you have been set free.
In this blog, we will explore the meaning of the Lamb of God from scripture and discover what this means for you today.
Meaning Of The Lamb Of God
In the Old Testament, lambs were one of the common animals of sacrifice used by the Israelites to offer to the living God. Other animals, such as goats, rams, doves, and bulls, were also used in various sacrifices.
However, none of them carried the significance of the lamb.
A lamb was seen as a symbol of innocence and meekness. Any lamb that was to be sacrificed needed to be pure, spotless, and without any blemishes.
The Israelites—who later became known as Jews—were required to sacrifice male lambs to the one true God according to His law for different reasons.
One reason was so that a continual burnt offering from each family would go up daily before the Lord so that they could speak with Him and hear His voice.
In Exodus 29:38-42 it says,
Now this is what you shall offer on the altar: two lambs of the first year, day by day continually. One lamb you shall offer in the morning, and the other lamb you shall offer at twilight. With the one lamb shall be one-tenth of an ephah of flour mixed with one-fourth of a hin of pressed oil, and one-fourth of a hin of wine as a drink offering.
And the other lamb you shall offer at twilight; and you shall offer with it the grain offering and the drink offering, as in the morning, for a sweet aroma, an offering made by fire to the Lord. This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the Lord, where I will meet you to speak with you.
This is just one example of how a lamb was to be sacrificed. Not only did the Israelites offer lambs every evening and morning, but they also offered them at the beginning of each month and sacrificed them for ceremonies, celebrations, cleansing after birth, and praising God for healing.
However, no matter what type of sacrifice, there were always specific instructions for the lamb to be without blemish.
The Passover Lamb
The most significant meaning of the lamb, however, was the sacrificial lamb at Passover.
When the Israelites were under slavery in Egypt, God wanted His people to go out into the wilderness to worship Him. Multiple times He sent His servant Moses to Pharaoh to ask him to let His people go. However, each time Moses would ask, Pharaoh would refuse and God would send a huge plague over the land of Egypt.
Each time during the first nine plagues, Pharaoh would promise to let God’s people go if the plague would stop. But time and time again, God would harden Pharaoh’s heart and he would not the Israelites go.
Finally, God spoke to Moses and commanded the Israelites to each slaughter a lamb for their family and paint the doorposts of their houses with the blood of the lamb so that they would be spared from the death of their firstborns.
This would be the final plague that God would send on Egypt before Pharaoh let the Israelites go.
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you.
Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbor shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb.
Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight.Exodus 12:1-6 ESV
This is the first picture of what the Lamb of God represents in the Old Testament. He must be pure and spotless and without blemish.
Secondly, the Lamb of God must also be killed and his shed blood must cover the doorways of people’s houses so that the destroyer does not enter and kill them.
Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you.
You shall observe this rite as a statute for you and for your sons forever. And when you come to the land that the Lord will give you, as He has promised, you shall keep this service.
And when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ you shall say, ‘It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s Passover, for He passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt, when He struck the Egyptians but spared our houses.’”
And the people bowed their heads and worshiped.Exodus 12:21-27 ESV
The Significance of the Passover Lamb
Why is understanding the Passover lamb so significant in understanding what the Lamb of God is?
The Passover lamb is an Old Testament picture of who Jesus is in the New Testament.
When Jesus lived on earth, He lived a life without any sin. This means that He was not deserving of the consequences of sin, which is death. As such, He was seen as a pure and innocent lamb in the sight of God.
In contrast to this, because of your sin, you deserve to die. Just like Pharaoh, your heart can be hardened towards God. Since you cannot achieve the standard of perfection that sin requires, sin demands that a price be paid.
Jesus is the perfect, spotless lamb who was willing to be slain for you so that the full wrath of God would not destroy you.
This is why He is the Passover Lamb. Because of Jesus’ shed blood for you, God passes over you and does not see your sin or take out His wrath upon you.
How does this tie in Jesus being the Lamb of God? Jesus redeemed you by becoming the sacrificial Lamb of God so that through Him, all those who believe in Him will be saved.
Bible Verses About The Lamb Of God
Below are Bible verses about Jesus being the Lamb of God.
The Suffering Lamb
Isaiah 53 is a chapter that depicts the first coming of Christ and His death. Today, modern-day Jews are told by their rabbis and teachers not to read this chapter in the Old Testament because there are no parallels in the Torah (The five books of the Bible).
However, even here in the text, it talks about a lamb about to be sacrificed according to Jewish law.
He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.Isaiah 53:7 NKJV
Jesus is the suffering lamb who was slaughtered by His own people. Yet He never once protested about His death. He went willingly to the cross where He died in our place for our sins as the perfect sacrifice.
Acts 8:32 also affirms this passage referring to Jesus Christ in the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch. In the story, the eunuch asks Philip to explain the passage to him and then later gets baptized.
The Lamb Of God
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”John 1:29 ESV
This is the first time in the New Testament that Jesus is referred to as the Lamb of God.
John the Baptist, being a Jew himself and having the understanding of the Passover lamb, sees Jesus walking toward him and exclaims to the people that this man has come to take away the sin of the world.
This verse gives us a glimpse of what is to come—as anytime a lamb is seen in the scriptures it is always used in a sacrifice. This means that Jesus needed to die so that He could take away the sin of the world.
Christ, Our Passover Lamb
Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.1 Corinthians 5:7
Within this context, Paul is talking about getting rid of your old life so that you may live a new life in Christ. Being a Jew, Paul understood that at the time of Passover, God had commanded all of the Israelites to get rid of any yeast or leaven in their houses.
This is because when He called them out of Egypt, they would have to leave in a hurry without any time to make leavened bread.
Paul also mentions that Christ is our Passover Lamb. Through His sacrifice and by His blood, He made a way for us to get out from slavery to the law and into freedom.
Ransomed By The Blood Of The Lamb
…You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.1 Peter 1:18-21
You were ransomed—bought and paid for—by the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross. It is not because of anything you have done, but because He poured out His life for you so that you may live.
Just like the blood of the Passover lamb on the doorposts kept the destroyer from killing all of the firstborns of the Israelites, so also Jesus’ blood saves you from God’s wrath.
Now you have hope and freedom to live out your faith in God! You can worship Him freely without fear of sin pulling you back into slavery.
The Lamb Before The Throne Of God
As we continue to look at what the Lamb of God is, we will enter into the book of Revelation in the Bible. You will notice that in most of Revelation, Jesus is referred to as the Lamb.
And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.Revelation 5:6 ESV
Interestingly, right before this verse, John writes about the Lion of the tribe Judah coming to take the scroll with the seven seals. But instead of a Lion, there appears a Lamb as though it had been sacrificed, which is Jesus.
The Lamb then takes the scroll because He is the only one who is able to break the seals. This is because He redeemed all people to Himself through His death.
After this, all of the twenty-four elders and the creatures around the throne bow down on their faces and worship the Lamb.
And they sang a new song, saying,
“Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”Revelation 5:9-10, 12 ESV
Jesus is worthy to be praised and given all of the glory because He went willingly to the cross to die so that all people may be released from the curse of sin. People will even wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb and His blood will be made white (Revelation 7:14)
By His blood, you can now enter into a personal relationship with God forever. This is the free gift of salvation that is for everyone!
The Lamb Is Worshipped Forever
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”Revelation 7:9-10 ESV
One day in heaven there will be people from every nation, tribe, and language who are standing before the throne of God singing and praising the Lamb in their own languages.
The Lamb of God deserves all of the worship, praise, honor, and adoration all the peoples of the nations can give! He will be worshipped forever and ever into all of eternity.
The Lamb Is The People’s Shepherd
For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and He will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”Revelation 7:17 ESV
Jesus is the Lamb who is also a Shepherd. He leads His people to springs of living water.
Just like in Psalm 23, Jesus wants you to experience the deep rest and security His love provides for you for all of eternity.
Marriage Supper Of The Lamb
Let us rejoice and exult and give Him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His Bride has made herself ready;
Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.Revelation 19:7, 9 ESV
One day, when Jesus draws all those whom He has saved by His blood to Himself, He will have a big wedding feast. This is the time where the Lamb of God celebrates His bride that He has purchased with His own blood.
Now, they can never be parted from Him for they are His, forever.
The Lamb Is The Light In The New Jerusalem
In the new Jerusalem on the new earth, there will be no need for the sun or moon because Jesus, the Lamb of God, is the Light.
His light will shine forever and ever and there will no more darkness because He has conquered darkness by His death and resurrection.
And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.Revelation 21:23 ESV
The Lamb Of God Has A Throne
No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him.Revelation 22:3 ESV
Lastly, the Lamb of God has a throne upon which He will sit forever and ever. All people who have been ransomed by His blood will worship Him for all of eternity.
Applications Of Jesus Being The Lamb Of God
What do you do now that you understand what the Lamb of God is?
And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.Revelation 12:11 ESV
Because the Lamb of God was perfect and spotless, He was able to take away the sins of the world.
When Jesus died on that cross over 2,000 years ago, He conquered not only sin and death but also our enemy, Satan.
Now, because of the blood of the Lamb of God, you no longer have to live under the bondage and captivity of sin. The lies of Satan and his grip on your life no longer has a hold on you because you are covered by the blood of the Lamb.
This means that Satan cannot rule over your life anymore. Sin cannot cast shame on you. Death no longer can taunt you.
Jesus has already conquered. He took the penalty you deserved. He died on a cross so that you did not have to be separated from God forever.
No longer do you need to offer sacrifices for your sins. You can now live in victory and fight from a place of victory in the safety and confidence of His shed blood for you.
What are the lies you are still believing? What stronghold are you still letting Satan have over your life?
You have been set free by the Lamb of God. Your life is bought and paid for. Don’t go back into Egypt in slavery. Go, and praise Him in the land of grace!
The Lamb’s blood has redeemed you. Live in freedom the lamb of God offers.