Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Lamb of God

When John the Baptist saw Jesus coming to be baptized he said, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."(Jn. 1:29)  That is quite a statement!  No sports team would name themselves the "Lambs".  Lambs are basically weak.  You can do almost anything you want to with them.  Like a lamb, Jesus was unnoticed(Is. 53:2b), He was available(Matt. 20:28), and He suffered(Is. 53:3,7).

Yet there is power in the term because Jesus is the lamb of God.  As such He is unblemished(I Pet. 1:17,18).  As Son of God, the Word who became flesh, Jesus was sinless(Is. 53:9b.  He was also the perfect sacrifice because "not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood, Jesus entered into the Holy Place having obtained eternal salvation."(Heb. 9:12)  That perfect offering tells us that there is nothing left to do for our salvation.  We cannot add to what God has done on our behalf.  All we need do is receive Christ and in doing that we accept what He has already done for us to have eternal life.  So He did that for us.(Is. 53:4-6)

Let all of us who are followers of Jesus Christ remember that He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  He died for you and me but He also died for everyone.   This lamb is seeking and saving the lost((Lk. 15:11-32, 19:1-10).  And He is sending us out into the world to tell others about this amazing love.  How can we keep it to ourselves?  If you discovered the cure for cancer you would shout it from the housetops.  We actually have the cure for death.  We cannot help but tell the world that Jesus saves!

God's love is amazing!  It is like a mountain lake.  Around the shore line it is shallow enough for even a little child to know, "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells  me so".  But it is so deep in the middle that even the giants of theology are in over their heads. All we can say is that God loves us and the cross of Christ, His Son, proves it.

I pray that all of us will look to the once crucified but now risen Lord Jesus and be ready to say to others, "Behold the Lamb of God".

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Where Have You gone, Joe Dimagio?

In the 1960's Simon and Garfunkel sang a song in which a line went, "Where have you gone, Joe Dimagio, a nation turns it's lonely eyes to you;  What's that you say Mrs. Robinson, jolt'n Joe has left and gone away..."  The meaning was clear to me:  All the real heros are gone.  It seems to still be true today.

Who can we trust in today?   All the athletes, show people, business leaders, and especially polititians seem to care only about themselves.  I can detect almost no real concern by most of our current political leaders for the needs of the USA or the world.  They just want to be elected(or re-elected).  Neither of our presumptive nominees for President appear to want to suggest or try anything heroic that could bring us out of the doldrums.  I long for a man or woman who will challege us to be our best.  I would love to have a President who, while being optimistic, would be realistic enough to call us to make sacrifices for the common good.   Unfortunately, I just don't see it happening in the current campaign.  Maybe I'm expecting too much!

In Acts 12 we read about a polititan(Herod Agrippa) who was so popular that the people thought he was a god.  Herod refused to give glory to God and he was struck dead(Acts 12:23).  "Meanwhile, the word of God continued to spread and there were many new believers."(vs. 24)  Later, Paul and Barnabus were performing miracles to the point that the crowds declared them to be gods.(Acts 14:13)  Paul and Barnabus replied, "Friends, who are you doing this?  We are merely human beings--just like you!  We come to bring you the good news that you should turn from these useless things and turn to the living God , who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them."(vs. 15) 

I am persuaded that we should never put our faith in humans.  The God of the universe is all we need and the only one in whom we can ultimately depend.  We tells us that He loves us and has a wonderful plan for our lives.(Jn. 3:16, 10:10)  He calls  us to make sacrifices,(Matt. 16:24,25)  He promises us His presence with us now and an eternity with Him in Heaven forever.  His name is Jusus Christ, the name above every other name!(Phil. 2:11)