Lamb of God

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"The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, 'Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!'" - John 1:29

What image comes to your mind when you think of a lamb? Did you think of “cute and cuddly” or “dirty and dumb”? A reoccurring theme in the Bible is God as our Shepherd and we as His sheep. But from the beginning God had only one lamb chosen to be the Lamb of God, His Son Jesus, who would take away the sin of the world. Isaiah 53:6 says, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” God gave us a picture of Jesus as the sacrificial lamb in Genesis 22 and Exodus 12. In the New Testament Jesus pays the price of our sins by His death on the cross and is exalted as the slain Lamb who is worthy of praise. Jesus, the Lamb of God.

In the Lenten season, we are called to reflect on our sins, and on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the redemption of those sins. The song "Lamb of God," by Twila Paris, provides a powerful focus for our reflection today.

Twila Paris uses the song to tell the story of Jesus, though in a very abbreviated form. She chooses those parts of the story which capture the love the Father for has for mankind, Jesus's great sacrifice, and our aspirations for grace and forgiveness. Twila has put so much meaning into this song both by her lyrics and by her singing, one will have a difficult time listening to it and not being touched.

The first verse reminds us of the great gift the Father has given us in his Son. Jesus, his only begotten son, free from sin and pure in every way, was put on this earth to become a sacrifice. Not just any sacrifice, but the final sacrifice. The sacrifice that will cleanse us of our sins. The Lamb of God.

As Twila continues with the story of Jesus, she relates his 'reward' for his love of humanity. He was laughed at and ridiculed (Luke 22:63-65, Luke 23:35, 39). They accused him of blasphemy (Mk 14:63-64). Then, because he did not succumb to their taunts, they called him a fraud. Finally, he was crucified. They killed the Lamb of God.

In the refrain, Twila sings of her love for Jesus, and calls out to God for salvation. She asks to be washed in Jesus's precious blood, thereby cleansing her of sin. Her beautiful singing reaches your soul, so that you can feel her desire to be saved, and to be touched by the Lamb of God.

The final verse incorporates a key change to a higher key. Musically, this brings a sense of hope and salvation. Twila sings of the despair we all feel at times, feeling lost. She sings that we can all be saved by Jesus, as he calls us to his side and leads us on to victory. Previously in the song, 'Lamb of God' was used in reference to Jesus. Here, Twila sings that, by joining Jesus, we too can become a 'lamb of God', and lead others to Christ and to salvation.

The song ends with Twila singing the refrain. However, while she previously called out for salvation, now she sings that she realizes that, not only is she (and we) saved, she can help in the sacrificial process. "(W)ash me in his precious blood, Till I am just a Lamb of God". Her repetition of the end of the chorus reaffirms that we are saved because Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, becoming the Lamb of God.

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LAMB OF GOD
Twila Paris, 1985

Verse 1
Your only Son no sin to hide, but You have sent Him from Your side-
to walk upon this guilty sod and to become the Lamb of God.

Chorus
Oh Lamb of God sweet Lamb of God. I love the holy Lamb of God.
Oh wash me in His precious blood, my Jesus Christ the Lamb of God.

Verse 2
Your gift of love they crucified. They laughed and scorned Him as He died.
The humble King they named a fraud and sacrificed the Lamb of God. CHORUS

Verse 3
I was so lost I should have died but You have brought me to Your side;
To be led by Your staff and rod and to be called a lamb of God. CHORUS

Prayer: 
Lamb of God, fill me with your Spirit so that I may faithfully love you and courageously follow wherever you lead me. Amen
Date: 
Mar 28 2018