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Metaphors for God – Part 4

Lamb

Covid Protocols Update
The session met last night and updated their covid protocols. Masks are now optional on campus, but still recommended for the immunocompromised. The far right side of the sanctuary will be reserved as a “masks required” section. Additionally, don’t forget that the church is happy to help you schedule your covid vaccine and arrange transportation, if needed.

Now, let us continue our exploration of the metaphors for God. Today’s metaphor: God as a lamb.

Wait a second— last week we studied the metaphor of God as a shepherd. Now we’re studying God as a lamb?

Exactly. Stick with me here.

There’s a story of John the Baptist when he is with his disciples. He sees Jesus walk by and then…

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
John 1:29 

Jesus is like a lamb…I wonder what that is supposed to teach us?

Peter also uses this metaphor:

For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.
1 Peter 1:18-19

Peter sees Jesus as not only the lamb of God, but also the sinless, spotless lamb…

This metaphor comes from an ancient world that is not our own.

At this point, this metaphor may seems a bit foreign and gross. I mean, why are we talking about blood and sacrificing lambs? I know what you’re wondering: Why did they kill these poor animals!?

To answer that question, we need to take a journey to a very different time.

In ancient Israel, if you wanted to eat meat, then you, or a member of your family, had to slaughter an animal from your flock.

Today, we don’t need to kill our own animals if we want to eat meat. We can just go to the meat section at Publix. The people in biblical times didn’t have that option, and so they had do to the dirty work themselves.

Occasionally they would bring a sheep or goat from their flock to the temple and would sacrifice one of their flock to God.

The sacrifice was meant to symbolize their offering to God.

The lamb was a gift to God.

Jesus used the model of worship that they were used to (the sacrificial system) to explain an aspect of his character. Jesus is like the sacrificial lamb. Jesus is perfect, but chose to allow himself to die on the cross for our benefit.

In essence, God sacrificed everything for us. This is what it means to say that Jesus is the lamb of God.

Paul understood this metaphor and applied it into a way of living.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship
Romans 12:1

In light of Jesus giving everything for us, we should give everything we have to God.

Paul calls this becoming a living sacrifice.

The best sacrifice that you can give God is a heart that is fully devoted to God. That is how you become a living sacrifice.

This Sunday we will conclude our Purpose series with The Purpose of Passion. What are you particularly passionate about?

See you on Sunday!

—Pastor David

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