The Lamb of God
August 2nd, 2011
- Lev 1: 1 God is a speaking God, but we are not always a listening people. In the Old Testament He speaks through Prophets but in the New Testament he speaks to us through the words and teaching of Jesus.
- The offerings that they bring in this passage are something given to God. The word for offering is ‘corban’ which also means ‘to come near’. We can understand offering as an invitation from God to draw near to him. He is inclusive and anyone can come.
- The offerings given were animals and the type was determined by money and position. The rich would bring a bull, the not so rich a lamb and the poor a pair of birds.
- The offerings were burnt and the passage instructs how to bring the offering but what can we learn from this (imagining that the worshipper brings a lamb)?
Burn the Lamb
- God loves passion in our worship. The worshipper brings an offering to get near to God – is it in our heads every Sunday to draw near to God?
- God is with us all the time, but it says in James 4:8 ‘Come near to God and he will come near to you’.
- Offering was expensive, to burn a whole lamb would have been costly the lamb was without blemish or defect; the worshipper chose the best one – what will our worship cost us? Today, the most costly thing tends to be time.
- There are so many possible distractions on Sundays nowadays that we must make sure that we don’t make church on a Sunday just one of a list of options.
- Passion for God is not just experienced on Sundays but we experience God’s presence most strongly when we meet with God’s community of people. We should be expectant to meet with God on Sundays in a fresh and exciting way.
- It will cost us time to be passionate to worship God and to spend time in prayer.
- The worshipper cuts the lamb and washes it and gets blood on his hands. He is very involved and hands-on, he isn’t just expecting the priest to do it for him. Are we demonstrating that kind of worship?
- You can be worshipping with your body and your voice but not your heart. Get involved and get engaged.
- God loves the smell of the burnt offering – the passion of the worshipper is like wonderful perfume to him.
Look to the Lamb
- Personal offering – the individual wanted to get near to God to get atonement for sin.
- Genesis 3:21, when Adam and Eve were fallen and ashamed of being naked, God clothed them in animal skins to hide their shame and sin.
- John the Baptist points to Jesus Christ as the lamb of God who has taken away the sin of the world. Jesus is the lamb who was slaughtered.
- The OT animal sacrifices foreshadow Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice in the NT. The old system of sacrifice could never wipe out sin for all time. Jesus was given a body of flesh which he laid down for us to wipe out sin in the one perfect sacrifice.
- The priests in the tabernacle/temple (where offerings were brought) worked for two weeks non-stop to deal with the sacrifices of worshippers.
- Hebrews 10:11 – after Jesus’ single sacrifice, he is now sat down at the right hand of God. His sacrifice never has to be repeated. It is finished.
- Stop fretting and being anxious and look to the lamb – we are clean and righteous before God.
Lean on the lamb
- When worshippers brought lambs to be sacrificed, they would place their hands on the lamb’s head to make atonement.
- They would lean on the lamb in prayer and confession of sin, and to identify themselves with the animal.
- It was symbolic of transferring the sin – a slaughter and death took place. Lev 17:11, the life is in the blood of the lamb. The sinner’s blood is not shed, despite sin but it is the lamb’s blood that is shed.
- For us, the cost has been paid by Jesus Christ which perfectly fulfils the OT sacrifices. His life was taken, he carried the punishment and has paid the full cost.
- There is an open invitation to draw near to God but there is only one way – lean on the lamb.
- We must be careful not to lean on other things; fear, materialism, the world, ideas, ourselves.
- Be full-on in passionate worship to God.