The Advent Series-Day Fifteen
Day 15: The Lamb
John 1:29 - “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
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Lions. Bears. Snakes. Eagles. Even dragons. The are many animals you may see on the flags of nations. You may see them carved into the backs of coins. Aggressive animals. Lethal animals. Animals that feel at place painted onto the nose of a fighter jet. Animals that look strong when their image is hanging on a banner behind a political leader shaking their fist while they proclaim to their followers the superiority of their country.
But a lamb? Jesus is repeated referred to as a lamb. A lamb! Adult sheep are not intimidating and God choose the even less intimidating baby form of sheep. A lamb. A cute, cuddly, warm, soft baby lamb.
God didn’t always make His entrance like this: In baby form and herald as a lamb. To bring the profound message of the nativity into focus, lets jump back, way back, over a thousand years before Christ is born to look at a time when God introduced Himself in a very different manner. Back in Exodus 20 God decides to meet with His people. The venue: a mountain that might have been an erupting volcano. The manner: A dark cloud with lightning and earth-shaking thunder. The response:
Exodus 20:18-19 “When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, ‘Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.’”
1,500 later He comes to be face to face with His people once more, but as a little baby boy that is harmless as a lamb. Lambs are approachable. The most shy kindergartener will try to pet a lamb. With the mountain of fire, God says, literally, “fear me and stay at a distance or you will die”. With Jesus He tells us He is reachable, to come close and this time it is He that will die to close the distance between us and Him.
Let us not forget as we wait for Christmas that God paid the price to bring a Messiah into our world. He humbled Himself so we could draw close and know His heart. In this Christmas season let’s practice grace. Who have you kept away? Who have you not allowed to come near you? Maybe it’s time to welcome someone in with the tenderness of a lamb. Maybe it’s a co-worker that always annoys you or a sibling you squabble with. Maybe it’s time to humble yourself and extent grace to them.
God offering us approachableness and grace is the true gift of Christmas.
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Copyright All images & writing © 2018 Charis Seed Photography