Chapter 12

Something To Consider:
One feature of this list of the names of Jesus must grow upon every thoughtful reader, and that is its wonderfully comprehensive nature. Our Lord is many-sided in His character. He is all that God is and all that men, women, and young people can become. His character includes all majestic opposites, and it reaches from pole to pole of thought and feeling and accomplishment.

Jesus is the Alpha, the First, and He is also Omega, the Last. He is the Way, but He is also the Truth about the Way, and the Life that reveals the Way. He is the Prince of Peace, but at the same time He is the Lion of Judah. He is both the Son of God and the Son of Man. He is also the Author and Finisher of our faith.

Jesus is the Root of David and at the same time He is the Offspring of David. He is the Fullness of the Father, and He is our Advocate with the Father. But of all these titles of Christ the most strangely contrary would seem to be those of the Shepherd, the Door, and the Lamb. Christ is the Good Shepherd of the sheep. He is the Door of the sheepfold, and He is the Lamb of God.

Jesus is all that God can do and all that men, women, and young people can need and desire. Jesus is our sacrifice for the past, He is guidance for the present, and He is shelter for the future. It is impossible to think of an addition to His excellencies, or an increase in His love.

Something Else To Consider:
All of this is summed up when we say that Jesus is the Lamb of God. The meaning goes back to the far-reaching beginnings of the chosen people, to Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Moriah as revealed in Genesis chapter 22, to the wonderful escape from the Egyptian bondage explained in Exodus chapter 12, to the brazen serpent in the wilderness, to the long story of the tabernacle and the temple.

As the Lion of Judah and the Root and Offspring of David, our Lord summed up the secular history of the nation of Israel, and as the Lamb of God He incorporated their religious history. More than that, if Jesus, the Lamb involves the whole of Christ’s human relations as the Son of Man, it also involves all of His divine relations as the Son of God.

For this Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world, according to the Word of God. Jesus was in the Creator’s plan from the beginning of creation. He was the First just as He is to be the Last, the climax of all things. Therefore, when God made the human race, He bound His Son to man as to a cross. As soon as sin came into the world, God’s loving forgiveness came into the world.

The atonement is as old as the need of the atonement, and that is as old as is the human race. Not on Calvary alone, but on every high hill and dark hollow of our shame and guilt that appeared since the serpent entered the garden. And the Lamb of God has been slain from God the Father’s eternal perspective.

Something More To Consider:
Only shallowness of thinking and hardness of feeling can quarrel with the atonement. Those whose insight is deep, whose consciences are sensitive, and whose honesty is thorough, would realize the necessity for an atonement from their own experience and from their knowledge of God even if the great truth had not been revealed to them within the Word of God and by way of the Holy Spirit of God.

Our human fatherhood is an imperfect picture of the divine fatherhood that created it, and yet it cannot be a false copy of it because it speaks to us unmistakably of sacrificial suffering. What earthly father does not share the penalties of his child’s sins, and what child is not profoundly moved by the knowledge that his or her sins involve their earthly father’s distress?

Fathers die daily in sympathy with erring sons and daughters. How gladly would they take their sins upon themselves if they could! Therefore, our Almighty God and heavenly Father can and does take upon Himself our sin through the atoning death of His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus, the Lamb of God.

When we call Jesus the Lamb of God, we simply say that in Him God has proved Himself to be all that our most daring hopes of loving helpfulness and powerful compassion could imagine. It is only another way of saying that God will not allow Himself to be more a Judge than a Father of the human race.

It means only that in all the devastation that man’s wickedness has woven into the fabric of every society, God has found a way to atone for it in and through Christ Jesus. It signifies hope for a situation that otherwise would be hopeless and help for a creature that otherwise would be helpless. The atonement is the final and complete expression of a God who is love.

A Few Final Words:
No wonder that in the climax chapters of the final book of the bible, Revelation, the Lamb of God holds preeminent honor beside the Father. We see the Lamb of God in the midst of the throne, and we see His tenderness in the midst of His being Almighty.

In the final scenes of that most end time revealing book of Revelation, we hear of the wife of the Lamb, the church, the twelve apostles of the Lamb, the Lamb as the temple, and the lamp of the Word of God being the Lamb. We read of the Lambs book of life, and finally we are reminded of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

May every reader and hearer of these words share in this glad assurance of purity and peace and eternal life in and through Jesus, the Lamb of God!

Our Father in heaven, thank You for our growing in the grace and knowledge of the glorious names of Jesus. May we anticipate our fully understanding these biblical titles and names of Jesus in the days of our lives that you have destined for us here upon planet earth. May we become better acquainted with Jesus and better aware of His and of Your great concern and eternal care for us as Your people and as the sheep of Your pasture. Bring to life in our own lives these many precious names of Jesus. In Him Always, Amen!

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