The Lamb of God
Edward Robinson, Exmouth
Of the many titles of Christ there is perhaps none so calculated to move the affections of the saints as this which carries so many implications. Rather remarkably, it is one which Paul in his writings never employs, although it is strikingly implicit in his word "Christ our passover is sacrificed for us", 1 Cor. 5. 7. It is a word used with much skill to these Corinthians, marked as they were with fleshly assumption and importance. "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver", Prov. 25. 11. It may well stimulate our thoughts and our worship in response to the love of Christ on the occasion of the Lord's Supper, which is itself intended to be a foretaste of the festal joys when the marriage supper of the Lamb is come. If Paul does not use this title of the Lamb, John uses it freely, more especially in the Book of Revelation. In the Gospel by John, his first reference is a call to fix our attention on "the lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world", 1. 29. If this first emphasizes the work of Christ and the magnificence of its scope, the next reference, also in the first chapter, shows progression in our appreciation of this glorious Man: "Behold the Lamb of God", v. 36. This calls us to meditate upon His Person, even beyond the work He has undertaken on our behalf, and to value Him for what He is in Himself, losing sight of ourselves at times. This same feature is exemplified in Thessalonians, "Jesus, which delivereth us from the wrath to come", 1 Thess. 1. 10r.v.
Throughout the Revelation, the many references to the Lamb are in the diminutive, several quite striking. For instance we find the phrase "the wrath of the Lamb", 6. 16, a feature which by its apparent incongruity is the more significant. By contrast, the presentation so greatly beloved in Isaiah 53 is of the suffering of the Lamb of God on our behalf in uncomplaining patience and endurance. If the sacrificial work of Christ is seen in its efficacy as sufficient for the whole world, it is intended to draw out the affections when we realize it as having met our own individual deep need.
The opening chapter of Revelation speaks of Jesus Christ, the Prince of the kings of the earth, 1. 5, and adds, "Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood". It is here a question of what He has done for us, washing us and making us clean. No other could do this, and it is done for us. When we come to chapter 7 there is another thought in connection with the blood of the Lamb; see verses 9-17. We read "These are they which have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb". Before the great tribulation spoken of here we shal I have been taken to be with Christ at the rapture, which is the hope of the Church. At the same time we may apply the principle involved in these verses in the washing of our garments, not now what is done for us butbyus. Our garments are what can be seen outwardly, connected with testimony. It is the practical application of the blood of the Lamb in order that we should maintain purity of character, hating, as Jude says, "even the garment spotted by the flesh". We, too, in our day do not escape tribulation when we are faithful, even as the Lord Himself warns, John 16. 33. We may then come under the personal ministration of the Lamb as is promised, "For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes", Rev. 7. 17. It will be seen that the precious service of the Lamb of God is not restricted to His sacrificial work upon the cross of Calvary but continues until we find ourselves at home with the God who has provided so wondrous a Lamb, Gen. 22. 8.