When I see Jesus referred to as The Lamb of God I think of His baptism by John (John 1 – 29, 36), and to The Lamb, sacrificed and resurrected for our sins (Romans 5:1-11). But in a re-found book by W. Phillip Keller titled “A Layman Looks at the Lamb of God”, I discovered new insights to the name. Keller writes of the clothing for Adam and Eve that may have been from a lamb sacrificed by; of Abel’s sacrifice; of Abraham and Isaac; of the Passover lamb in Egypt; and, of many references in Isaiah. I found the following passage enlightening and meaningful.
The measure of our “closeness,” our communion, our compatibility is not one of
distance but of unity, agreement, love and mutual acceptance.
Incredible as it may sound, the responsibility for establishing this bond of
affection and oneness between God and a sheep gone astray has been laid upon
The Lamb of God. He it is who comes to seek and save the lost strays, to draw them back.
In the traditional life of the eastern shepherds, the stray sheep were always retrieved
and gathered up by the shepherd’s pet lamb. Every shepherd owned a special,
hand-reared pet lamb who was considered almost as affectionately as his own children.
Like a veritable shadow, wherever the shepherd went, the pet lamb followed. And
whenever the shepherd set out into the wild pastures, the upland range or rough
hill country to gather his stray stragglers, full responsibility for their safe return
rested on the pet lamb.
It was the pet lamb who came alongside the lost ones, who fed side by side with
them, who called to them, who influenced them to follow him gently back to the
master’s fold. It was the pet lamb, who, at the close of the day as the sun set over
the western hills, came home in the master’s footprints, faithfully bringing the
strays with him.
The term “bellwether” refers to this special lamb who often wears a bell), bringing
the stray sheep back to the fold, back to the shepherd. The divine Bellwether is The
Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. Even out of the most difficult circumstances to which
our own waywardness and selfishness have brought us, He gently but firmly nudges
us in the right direction. In love and compassion and care, He comes to call us back
to God our Father and home where we belong.
Prayer: Holy Father, at this time when we celebrate the birth of your Son, may we also remember your Lamb. Thank you for your grace and faithfulness to us. May we also be faithful to You. In Jesus name, Amen.
Submitted by George Menhorn, Deacon