The Lamb of God Who Went to the Cross

By |Published On: April 9, 2023|Categories: From Our Founder, Inspiration, Joni's Posts|
A little lamb asleep, leaning on the wall of the barn.

Many years ago, after I got out of the hospital, my sister Jay invited me to come and live with her on the Maryland farm. I loved living with her. It was around that time she inaugurated a new family tradition for Easter: lamb dinner on Sunday evening. It may have been a ‘first’ for us, but she was joining a tradition thousands of years old. Roasted lamb is very symbolic this time of year as it’s been a Passover tradition since ancient times. Many Christians picked up the tradition, using the meal to celebrate the victory of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, who went to the cross to save us from our sins.

The Passover lamb is just one of the many Old Testament ‘hints’ of Christ.

Our Savior said to the Pharisees in John 5:39 (NLT), “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!” Jesus reinforces this fact in John 5:46 as he adds, “If you really believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me.”

As we read the books of Moses—the first five books of the Bible—we should be able to ‘see’ whisperings of the Lord in Moses’ writings. For instance, Deuteronomy contains a heartbreaking reference that foreshadows the crucifixion of Jesus.

Moses is recounting details about the Law, when he explains in Deuteronomy 21:22-23 (NLT), “If someone has committed a crime worthy of death and is executed and hung on a tree, the body must not remain hanging from the tree overnight. You must bury the body that same day, for anyone who is hung is cursed in the sight of God.”

When Jesus was nailed to the cross, he was “cursed in the sight of God;” that’s the real dread…

The pain and humility Jesus physically suffered leading up to his death was a mere warm-up. As he hung on the cross, he began to feel a foreign sensation. Somewhere during those hours that his body was impaled, an earthly foul odor must have wafted, not around his nose, but in his heart. He felt dirty. Human wickedness began to crawl upon his spotless being—the living filth from our souls. The apple of the Father’s eye began to turn brown with the rot of our sin.

Just imagine it! From heaven, the Father roused himself like a lion disturbed, shook his mane, and must have roared against the Son of Man, torn and bleeding on the cross.

Never had the Son seen the Father look at him so, never felt even the least of his hot breath. It was the wrath of God being poured out like hot oil on the wounded heart of Jesus. And the Father watched as his heart’s treasure, the mirror-image of himself sank drowning into raw, liquid sin.

God’s stored-up rage against humankind exploded in a single direction on the hill of Golgotha on that Friday afternoon when Jesus was crucified.

So, when we read those gut-punching words from Deuteronomy, the words that say, “anyone who is hung on a tree is under God’s curse,” we’re faced with this soul-slicing reality: our sin is what placed Jesus under God’s curse.

The face of a male lion.

And Jesus endured it all for the love of you and me. Oh, how could we not trust him?!

Surely, Jesus has proved his good intentions toward you, even when it involves your suffering. This same Jesus asks you to obey him when it’s hard, when your flesh is itching to have a little worldly candy. This is the one who asks you to honor him when you face tough choices.

Jesus Christ bore the wrath of hell so that you might enjoy a home in heaven with him, the Father, and the Holy Spirit.

So, we should be bursting with joy over Christ’s resurrection, that glorious moment when he broke the curse of sin and conquered the grave! Sin no longer has power over us, as it once did. The grave has no power, either. We who were once dead in our transgressions, have now been made alive in Christ, Hallelujah! All because Jesus walked out of his grave, triumphant!

If the resurrection never had happened?  Frankly, it would be hell.

“If He is still dead, then all… is useless and your trust in God is empty, worthless, hopeless. The fact is, that Christ did actually rise from the dead,”

1 Corinthians 15: 13, 14, 20 (Living Bible)

So, join me in stirring fresh praise to our Savior, Jesus, for breaking the chains of sin, slamming shut the door to hell, and opening up the gates of heaven… gifts for us who believe. Thank Jesus for looking squarely into the jaws of horrific suffering and choosing to take the curse for you and me. Oh, what love! God the Father planned it, the Son endured it, and the Spirit now applies to us every benefit of the resurrection.

That fact alone should cause us to jump up and down, fist-pump the air, throw our arms wide, and sing for joy!

May these heartfelt reflections brighten your path this Easter week.

And for the rest of this month and beyond, when your flesh is itching to indulge in a little worldly ‘candy,’ honor the memory of Christ’s death and resurrection: say ‘No.’ Join me in living a life that’s worthy of what Jesus did for you and me.

From all of us at Joni and Friends, have a blessed Easter!

–Joni Eareckson Tada

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