“Behold the Lamb of God!” John 1:36
“as of a Lamb without blemish or spot:” 1Peter 1:19
“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion,” Revelation 14:1
In the first two texts, Lamb signifies strength; that is, not strong. This distinguishes him from the typical Lamb; and denotes also relation, for it puts in mind of the prophecies of Isaiah, and others, using Acts 8:32. The word in Revelation 14:1 signifies a little Lamb and as tender in John 21:15.
How, and in what respects Christ may be called a Lamb is as follows:
|The Lamb is a very innocent and harmless creature. Bullinger calls it a symbol of innocency. It doth no wrong or injury to any.||Jesus Christ is of a sweet, quiet, and harmless nature and disposition: “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners,” Hebrews 7:26|
|The Lamb is made a prey of, and often worried by dogs, wolves and other evil beasts.||The Lord Jesus was preyed upon by devils and wicked men, who continually worried him, like hungry and blood-thirsty wolves, lions, and ravening beasts, whilst he was upon the earth, Matthew 4: 2, 3|
|The Lamb is a meek and patient creature, bearing wrongs, not seeking revenge upon them that strike and abuse him.||The Lord Jesus with a meek and patient spirit bore all those vile and grievous wrongs, contradictions of sinners, and horrid blasphemies, in the days of his flesh, without seeking revenge upon them. Austin saith, he is compared to a Lamb because of his mildness, Hebrews 12:3, Matthew 26:53.|
|The Lamb is silent, when brought to the slaughter, doth not cry, complain, nor strive, as other creatures do.||The Lord Christ was silent, when he was led to be crucified: “he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” Isaiah 53:7 “He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.”|
|The Lamb is a lovely and very delightful creature; hence Uriah’s wife is compared to it, 2 Samuel 12:3,4.||Christ is the delight of the Father, very lovely in the eyes of saints and angels; nay, what was said of Titus Vespasion, may fitly be spoken of Christ, “He is the delight of mankind,” Proverbs 8:30, Isaiah 42:1.|
|The Lamb is a contented creature; let the shepherd put it into what pasture he please, it grumbles not, but seems very well satisfied.||Christ was abundantly satisfied to become anything, and to do whatever the will of his Father was, though it was to be abased so low, as to be born of a poor virgin, to live in a mean condition, and to have no where to lay his head, whilst he abode in this howling wilderness, Hebrews 10:7, John 10:15, 17, 18, Philippians 2:7,8.|
|The Lamb is a clean beast, whose flesh God appointed for food; and the flesh of no beast, is more generally prized, especially at its first coming, than Lamb.||Christ was ordained of God to be the food of our souls; and there is no meat so sweet, or is so much prized by the godly, especially when they first receive him by faith, as this Lamb. “For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed,” John 6:55. Whosever hath fed spiritually on Christ, he desireth no better dainties.|
|The Lamb was appointed under the law for sacrifice, it was to be taken out of the flock, to be severed from the rest, to be killed a he-Lamb, and without spot, was to be offered up to make an atonement, and the blood to be sprinkled, &c.||Christ, the Lamb of God, is our only sacrifice. He was taken from among men, separated from sinners, truly man. He was a Lamb without blemish, no spot or stain of sin, could be found in him. He was slain or offered up upon the cross, to make an atonement for the sins of his people; and his blood must be sprinkled or applied to our consciences by faith, Hebrews 7:26, 27, 1 Peter 1:17-19.|
|Lambs are very profitable creatures, they enrich their owners; their fleece and skins are good for clothing. Also the money of the ancient Patriarchs was called a Lamb, because the figure of a Lamb was on it. Abraham bought a field for an hundred pieces of silver or Lambs.||Christ enriches all that have interest in him, or can lay claim to this Lamb; and his righteousness is for our clothing. No money will pass for current (as it were) with God, but Jesus Christ. He is the saint’s treasure; their estate and inheritance lies in Christ: “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness,” 1Corinthians 1:30, Isaiah 45:24, Jeremiah 23:6, 33:16, Revelation 19:8.|
|The Lamb is a small creature to other beasts. A small sort of cattle.||Christ made himself of no reputation. In respect of his humanity, he is called a worm, as annotators expound that in Psalm 22:6, “But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.” He was small and despised in the eyes of the great heroes of the earth.|
There are several great disparities between Christ and a Lamb, but we shall pass by them, and only take notice of two or three.
- If the Lord Jesus was such a harmless, innocent, silent, and delightful Lamb, how doth this set out and aggravate the horrid sin of those who put him to death!
- And how doth it magnify the love and pity of god to us, that he should be pleased to part with this precious Lamb out of his bosom, to be made a sacrifice for our sins!
- From hence also we may learn how to live in the world, not to be high-minded, and seek great things for ourselves. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5
- Let us make him our example, when under suffering, and in the hands of wicked men, “Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again;” let us not seek revenge, nor render evil for evil to any man. Romans 12:19, 1 Peter 2:23.
- Moreover, let us be contented, as he was, whatever it pleaseth the Father to exercise us with, or in what pasture soever he sees good to put us.
- And since he suffered so willingly for us, let us labour (when called thereunto) to lay down our lives for his holy Name-sake.
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