Why Do You Call Jesus the Lamb of God?

Caitlyn ScaggsBy Caitlyn Scaggs5 Minutes

There is beautiful meaning and significance to unpack as we consider the reasons we call Jesus the Lamb of God. Like so many things, we need to start back at the beginning. God’s relationship with humanity became severed when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and introduced sin to the world. Ever since those early days in the Garden of Eden, God has been working to resolve His relationship with mankind.

Prior to the birth of Jesus, God’s people had to make animal sacrifices as a means of atonement for their sins. Throughout the Old Testament there are examples of people going before the Lord, bringing their best animals, and slaughtering them for the Lord.

Blood sacrifice was required as a result of sin and the separation sin created between people and God. Lambs were used and referenced throughout scripture as the animal being slaughtered in an effort to restore man’s relationship with the Lord.

The Passover Lamb

We also see the use of a lamb sacrifice in a significant way when the Israelites were being oppressed by Pharaoh and were seeking rescue. As God’s people sought freedom, He levied plagues on all of Egypt to encourage Pharaoh to release them.

Plagues of darkness, locusts, hail, flies, frogs, and widespread livestock death (to name a few) were not enough to get Pharaoh’s attention and release the Israelists. Finally, God warned Pharaoh that failure to release His people would result in the death of the firstborn from each family in Egypt. The final and fatal plague is found in Exodus 12.

To protect His people from this widespread death, God instructed the Israelites to slaughter a male lamb “without blemish” and to paint its blood across their doorposts. In doing so, their family would be spared. Death would literally pass over their homes, which is why this is now celebrated as Passover.

Families who did not make this sacrifice would lose their firstborn sons. It was the blood of a lamb that spared the Israelites from deadly judgment. This story has parallels to how the blood of Jesus has spared each of us from eternal judgment, through His death on the cross. He is our perfect lamb that has protected us from spiritual death.

The Promise of a Perfect Sacrifice

Also nestled within the Old Testament we find prophecies related to a promised sacrifice; a lamb. One such example is found in Isaiah 53:7 and it states, “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.” This verse is a promise of Jesus’ coming birth and willing death for our sins.

In the New Testament, John the Baptist is the one who directly declares Jesus is the Lamb of God. It occurs in John 1:29, which is before Jesus had died on the cross. He exclaimed, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” John was certain of the significance of who Jesus was and was confidently declaring Jesus’ power over sin.

Our Response to the Lamb of God

We call Jesus the Lamb of God because he served as the ultimate and perfect sacrifice for our sins. Like pure white wool, Jesus was pure, blameless, and perfect. “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth” (1 Peter 2:22). Sinless, Jesus offered himself as a way to once and for all restore the connection between God and man. Because of Jesus, we have access to God, without the need for continual animal sacrifices. Jesus was the final sacrifice for the sins of man.

God offered His one and only son to be our sacrifice. Our Lamb of God. Each of us has to decide if we will recognize and receive the sacrifice of Jesus, in doing so, His death and resurrection will also make us white as snow!