“Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” In response, Abraham prophesied, “My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together”. Genesis 22:7-8
Let’s go back 2,000 years. Together, we are standing in front of an opening to a stable. We look inside and see a young man and woman holding a newly born infant in their arms. Their mood is hushed. The moment is holy – though nearly everyone in Bethlehem fails to notice. We enter, are warmly welcomed, and ask what is so common when visiting friends who have had a new baby. “May I hold him?”
I have held many newborns, but the experience didn’t hold a candle to the sacredness of holding my own two children in my arms. When it’s your baby, how different it is.
If you and I pause to enter the Christmas story, we’re invited to internalize that He’s not just Joseph and Mary’s baby. He’s our baby. “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.” Holding him is very personal for us. We know the rest of the story and understand that Jesus was the little lamb of God. He’s been prophesied throughout the Old Testament all the way back to the book of Genesis. Mankind, ever since the fall of Adam and Eve, has desperately sought a way to get rid of our guilt. Our fallen nature eats away at our psyche until we feel like a shell of a person. We are agitated and tormented until our sin can be forgiven by God’s Lamb.
The hardest things in life are often bittersweet. The pain is there but so is the presence of Jesus. Against the backdrop of tragedy, beauty arises out of the ashes. This was true even in the stable. The manger and the cross were in each other’s shadow and Mary pondered the enormity of the implications.
Baby Jesus. My little Lamb of God. Your little Lamb of God. As we caress Him and sing Him lullabies, we’re rocking Holiness. We become aware of the privilege of being loved so much by God that He sent this vulnerable baby to an unwelcome planet. We also become aware of our sinfulness and of the reasons He came ~
To take care of our personal sin problem.
To lift the curse.
To restore paradise.
To reconcile us again to intimate fellowship with His Father.
To declare us once and for all forgiven.
To declare that we are at peace with God through His coming death.
How many will see a nativity scene and worship God for each of these things? Not many. The road is narrow. But if you are on it, I can already hear you singing!
My Lamb. You are no longer vulnerable but sitting on a throne. Hallelujah.