"He who desires to discover the glories and excellencies of this Lamb of God, must thus look on Him." - Adam Clarke
"When Leonardo da Vinci (died 1519) was working on his famous painting "The Lord's Supper," he had but one object in view - that the person of the Savior should attract and hold the attention of all who beheld the painting. But in one part of the picture there was a tiny ship that he had painted with great care for three weeks. When the painting was exhibited and the people came to see it, Leonardo noticed that they all crowded together to look especially at the one corner of the picture with the small ship that had cost him so much pain and labor. 'Just see how grand that is! Truly, he is a master artist!' he heard them exclaim. Chagrined at this, he took his brush when they were all gone and with one sweeping stroke blotted out the little ship, declaring, 'No one shall find reason for admiring anything except Christ alone.' " - Encyclopedia Of Sermon Illustrations
John 1:36 tells us - "And looking upon Jesus as He walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!"
Here John the Baptist is said to have fixed his eyes intently upon the Lord as He walked by. In other words, he singled Him out in the crowd...regarded Him with special attention...attentively beheld Him ...and viewed Him with utmost steadfastness.
This is what the Holy Spirit is calling the Body of Christ to do in this hour.
Amidst all of the distractions of this world that would vie for our attention, the Spirit of God is calling out to us - "Behold the Lamb of God!"
At this hour, the devil is sure to paint a "small ship" in the picture of our lives to draw our attention. If we are not careful, we can become obsessed with it. Instead of beholding the Lord Jesus Himself, we can find ourselves gazing upon...focusing on... and admiring the "small ship" in the corner instead.
What is the "small ship" that is fighting for your attention at this time? What is Satan using to draw you away from the Living Son of God?
Oh! It may not be something evil or wicked. It may even be something as productive as your work, ministry, or accomplishments. Nonetheless, it has served to be a "small ship" which has succeeded in getting your focus off of the center of the picture - the Lord Himself. Also, it has served to bring glory to you rather than the Lord.
It's time like never before to take your "brush" and with "one sweeping stroke," blot out "the little ship" and wholeheartedly declare as da Vinci did - "No one shall find reason for admiring anything except Christ alone."
Refuse to admire anyone or anything which the devil and his servants draw before you. Continuously strive to keep your focus at all times on the beauty of the Lamb Of God so as not to be enamored by the razzle-dazzle of this world. Give Him the glory due His Name - for all that He has done and is doing in your life.
Like John the Baptist, determine to fix your eyes intently upon Jesus - singling Him out in the crowd...regarding Him with special attention... attentively beholding Him...and viewing Him with utmost steadfastness.
The Holy Spirit calls out to us today - "Behold the Lamb of God!"
Among the Israelites, a lamb was killed and eaten at Passover to commemorate their deliverance from Egypt. As a daily sacrifice, it was offered in the morning and at evening in the tabernacle and then afterwards in the temple. It was an important part of their daily worship.
Likewise, the Holy Spirit is establishing the contemplation of the Lamb of God as a vital part of our Daily Worship as well.
In John 1:29, it is recorded - "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, Which taketh away the sin of the world."
Here was the true Lamb - appointed and approved by God. All of the other lambs offered were a type - pointing to this Most Excellent One - chosen by God as the ultimate sacrifice that would atone for...carry away...and put away the sins of all mankind.
The Prophet Isaiah got a glimpse of Him and declared - "He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth" (Isaiah 53:7).
Acts 8:32 makes reference to this same verse in Isaiah - "The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before His shearer, so opened He not His mouth."
He was wronged, abused, hard pressed, and ill-treated. He was greatly distressed...subjected to the worst kind of pain and sorrow...yet He never complained to God nor reviled his enemies. As a typical lamb before His shearers or killers, He was compliant, perfectly still, quiet, meek, submissive, and patient. He offered no resistance whatsoever.
The Apostle Peter had a glimpse of this Precious Lamb and declared - "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers. But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (1 Peter 1:18-19).
A "lamb without blemish and without spot" was required for a sin-offering to God. Jesus was that Perfect Lamb. His shed Blood did what money could never do - it effected our redemption from Satan, sin, and this world.
The Apostle John also got a glimpse of the Lamb of God. In Revelation 5, he recorded the praises of the "saints," "angels," "beasts," and "elders," along with "every creature." The "angels" - even though they never experienced redemption through the Blood of God's Lamb - broke out into loud praises, while saying - "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing."
The Lamb is exalted. He is to be praised!
Such things as -
"power" - the authority to rule over all things
"riches" - being the original proprietor of all things
"wisdom" - having the ability to choose what is best
"strength" - the power and ability to accomplish His purposes
"honor" - worthy of the highest reputation for what He has accomplished
"glory" - deserving of all praise
"blessing" - the desire to see Him honored and adored by all
- are ascribed to Him because of His Great Sacrifice as the Lamb of God for the sins of the world.
Revelation 19:7 exhorts us with these words - "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him..." His Redemption work is glorious. By His power alone, He put away sin from all mankind through the offering of His Body and the shedding of His Blood on Calvary's Cross.
In that same verse, John the Revelator went on to say - "...for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready."
The relationship of God to the Church is represented under the image of marriage. The Lord Jesus - the Lamb of God - purchased His Bride by His own Blood and has betrothed her to Himself. In response, she is "making herself ready."
How is she doing this? For one thing, she is keeping her focus on her husband - the Sacrificial Lamb of God.
Read what Matthew Henry had to say on this issue -
"The sacrifice of our Redeemer is the strongest argument with a gracious heart for purity and sincerity."
"The consideration of our redemption ought to be a constant and powerful inducement to holiness, and the fear of God."
"That is our duty, with an eye of faith, to behold the Lamb of God thus taking away the sin of the world, see Him taking away sin, and let that increase our hatred of sin, and resolutions against it."
Are we understanding why the Holy Spirit is calling the Church to "Behold the Lamb Of God"?
Because, as Pastor Henry commented, a glimpse of the Redeemer induces the Bride of Christ to holiness of living and the fear of the Lord. It also provokes a hatred for sin and establishes a strong resolution against it.
Has Satan succeeded in distracting so many by drawing their attention away from the Perfect "Lamb Of God" in order to get them to compromise and lower their godly standards? Could this be the reason why so many in the Church want to excuse sin and pamper the sinner?
John cried out - "...Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."
Today in Christian circles, so many want to argue that it's impossible to live above sin every day in thought, word, and deed. Yet, the Scriptures boldly and succinctly declare that Jesus - as the Lamb of God - came to "take away sin" from our lives - not leave us in bondage to its power
When we get a glimpse of God's Precious Lamb, we will want to do what the Apostle Paul exhorted in 1 Corinthians 5:7 - "Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us."
It was a custom among the Jews before Passover to diligently search their homes with candles for any trace of leaven - a symbol for the powerful influence of sin. They were to sweep every part clean in preparation for this feast. Just as the Jews before Passover, we are to continuously search our hearts, homes, ministries, and churches for any traces of "leaven" or the evil influences of sin.
After Passover, the Jews observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread which lasts for a week. The Apostle Paul said that because of the sacrifice of our Passover Lamb - Jesus - we are considered as being "unleavened" - which means that we have removed all sins, impurities, corruptions, and mixture from our lives so as to appear clean in God's sight.
In closing, Revelation 6:15-16 tells us that the "kings of the earth," "great men," "rich men," "chief captains," "mighty men," "every bondman," and "every free man" will hide themselves in "the dens and in the rocks of the mountains" and say to "the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb."
Because these people did not "Behold the Lamb of God" as their Blessed Redemption from the power and penalty of sin, they are left to face Him as their awful Judge. The Savior Who was meant to appease God's wrath has now become their enemy.
And who can plead for mankind when the Lamb of God is against them?
Throughout this message, we hear the Holy Spirit calling to His people - "Behold the Lamb of God!"
It only takes one look at this Blessed Redeemer to turn you away from sin.
Just imagine what a constant gaze will do!