Wednesday, June 28, 2017

2014 Christmas Contest: A Lamb Like No Other

December 29, 2014 by  
Filed under 2014 Christmas, Contests

by Elizabeth Dills

LizFACEBorn in Texas, Elizabeth dreamed of faraway lands and foreign people. She and her young daughter are avid travelers. She is a “Positive Polly” and has a “Praise Him in the storm so you can dance in the rain” outlook. During a Ugandan mission trip Elizabeth felt compelled to create a Bible fundraiser and is working on projects for youth that encourage innovative thinking and leadership. The Bible fundraiser is open until June 2015 http://hgim.donorpages.com/AfricaBibles/LizDills/

A Lamb Like No Other

Joshua clutched the bleating creature to his chest as he ran back to the paddock with the rest of the flock. There was something special about this little lamb, Joshua felt affection towards it in a way he had never felt before. He lowered it to the ground waiting for the mother to come back and adopt her lost little one, surely she was missing it. No sheep seemed to care or allow the baby to take to it. It just wasn’t like the others.

The tender lamb stuck close to Joshua, and he fed it and raised it over the months. He grew very fond of his pet, and loved it more each day. He often questioned in his mind why this creature would be so devoted and how it could bring such joy to his heart. He felt undeserving of such pure affection, but continued to devote himself to its care. He adopted it as his own. The other shepherds often warned young Joshua, reminding him these were all special lambs and his was no exception. You see, they were living and working in Bethlehem. It was here lambs were raised and then, the first born males, the spotless ones, taken into Jerusalem to be sold as sacrificial lambs to be slain to atone for men’s sins.

Thankfully, there were stories from long ago that one day a Savior would come. Joshua looked forward to that day, but never really understood what it might mean. Perhaps a great warrior would suddenly appear and kill everything bad and evil! Until then, Joshua had agreed to dedicate his life to watching over these special animals that were somehow a sacred gift. He understood he was a sinner, even on the days he tried his best. He understood those around him were sinners too. He saw the pure humility and sorrow a man and his family would show when they purchased a young lamb. A lamb that was truly innocent. Upon their prayer asking God to forgive them, and slaughtering the poor creature something seemed to settle over the family. A heavy air of grief, then repentance, but then something special also happened. The family would acknowledge what had been done, but also what had been forgiven. The blood was shed as a payment of their sins. They were now pardoned. There was freedom in the forgiveness of the blood of the lamb.

The time came. Joshua’s lamb had grown into the most beautiful young ram. He loved it so. The sacrificial lambs were herded into the walls of Jerusalem. Families watched as they were paraded through the streets. Some people sneered at the thought of it; their hearts were hardened to the meaning behind this act of sacrifice and repentance. Others, tears in their eyes, looked at the beautiful innocent animals, knowing each precious life would soon be taken in exchange for a family’s forgiveness. Joshua’s stomach tied in knots, like thorned vines he could feel pains start gripping his muscles. He was watching his gentle, loving little lamb walk calmly to be killed for sins it didn’t commit.

“God, you are supposed to be loving,” Joshua thought to himself, ”Why does this have to happen?” It was as if the evil on earth was so cruel, so blood thirsty that to pay the ransom of sin something had to be given; Innocent blood. Thankfully, mercifully, it would not always be this way. He remembered the stories, the promises! Joshua prayed to God, a heartfelt prayer like he had never given before. “Lord, please send our Savior, give us the Messiah. We need something more. Forgive me for my sins, sins lead to death and we need the life that you can give us!”

It was only a few years later, over that same field in Bethlehem that God’s plan would continue.

Luke 2:8-11 Tells us, “8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

God was fulfilling His promise. The mighty ruler was coming in gentle as a lamb, and as humble as a servant being born into a manger. He would grow unlike any other man, innocent and spotless. He lived a life guided by His Father. Jesus, Yahshua- God-saves, had been sent to earth to teach us what guidance and a relationship with our Father God looked like; but even more, he came as The Lamb of God. Just like the little lambs, Jesus would one day walk through the streets of Jerusalem as well. But the sacrifice of His life was so much more. His blood was Holy. His life would be given for our sins; An atonement and a ransom stronger than hells grip itself.

Joshua had a relationship with his little lamb, and because of that his heart broke when he understood the wages of sin were death. God wants us to know His lamb as well. God gave us a gift like no other. Romans 6:23 reminds us the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. We don’t have to work for this gift, but accept and receive it. As His children we are so loved, God gave the ultimate sacrifice for us. There is true power in the blood of the Lamb, have you accepted this amazing gift yet?

 

 

 

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