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January 2014

Lamb of God

Second Sunday after Epiphany

From “Saving the Ants”

Scripture Reference: John 1:29 – 42  “”Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”  

Preparation: Bring a stuffed animal or puppet lamb and a small altar, or use the altar at the front of the church.  BaabaraTennisCourt 2

Jesus is the “Lamb of God.” Have any of you heard that name given to Jesus? The Bible reading from the Gospel of John for today calls Jesus the “Lamb of God.” When John said this about Jesus, the people of that time understood what he meant. They knew that a lamb was very often used as a sacrifice. In order for us to understand what this means, we have to learn about animal sacrifices.

A sacrifice is something that the people of God used to do many years ago. People have always felt bad about sin. We feel bad when we do things that make God unhappy; we feel bad when we sin. Long ago, God’s people were commanded to take all the bad things that they had thought and said and done, and place them on a lamb. Then the lamb was taken to an altar, and the lamb, with the sins laid upon it, was killed. (Here you may demonstrate with your model of an altar or with the altar at the front of the church.)

It is a sad thing to watch a lamb be killed. But when the people sacrificed a lamb, they were reminded that sin is a very sad thing as well. They knew that God was sparing their own lives when the lamb was killed in their place. They knew that this lamb was specially chosen as the most perfect lamb from the flock for the sacrifice. An innocent lamb has done nothing wrong and has not sinned. Still, this lamb was dying in the place of the people who had sinned.

When John the Baptist called Jesus the Lamb of God, the people around him knew what John meant. Jesus was perfect, without sin. He was sent from God as an innocent sacrifice. And after Jesus was put to death on the cross, they would understand that Jesus died in our place. We were the sinners, not Jesus; but Jesus took the punishment himself because of love. Jesus was the last sacrifice that ever had to be made, because He was the sacrifice sent by God Himself; the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

After Jesus, the Lamb of God, died on the cross and then rose again to life, no more sacrifices were needed. No more lambs needed to die. No more people needed to die either. God loved the world so much, that He sent his only Son, Jesus, the Lamb of God, to die for our sins. And anyone who believes in Jesus will not die, but will live with God in heaven forever. Let’s thank God together for sending his Lamb, Jesus.

Prayer:  Father in heaven, thank you for sending Jesus, the perfect sacrifice, to take away all of our sins. Thank you for bringing all of us to life eternal.

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