Behold the Lamb of God…And Beyond
The story of human history as painted in God’s Word shows us that man is sinful and that “without the shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22). From Abel’s offering in Genesis, to Exodus’ Passover Lamb, to the Levitical priesthood’s intercession for Israel, we see a growing model for forgiveness – i.e. the blood of an innocent lamb being shed for an individual, for a family, for a nation, and, in the New Testament, for the world, as noted by John the Baptist’s words, “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29b).
Here, Christ is revealed as the Lamb of God: “by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Hebrews 9:12b). The Bible says, “…he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12).
Christ is also revealed as our great Intercessor: “And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him” (Isaiah 59:16).
By God’s grace, we are not treated as our sins deserve. Rather, God is entreated by Christ’s intercession on our behalf based on His vicarious sacrifice for us. Isaiah tells us that instead of us being cut off from the earth due to our wickedness, Christ Jesus Himself “was cut out of the land of the living; for the transgression of [his] people was He stricken” (Isaiah 53:8).
Beyond seeing Christ as the innocent Lamb, slain once for all, and our great Intercessor between God and man, Scripture reveals yet another role of Christ that may not be so obvious. He is alluded to as our Comforter or, as rendered in the Greek, our paracletos. We do not often view Christ in this fashion; instead, we associate this role exclusively to the Holy Spirit. However, Jesus tells His disciples in John 14: “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever” (John 14:16, emphasis added). Notice here that Christ is revealed as our first Comforter. Taking its root words from Latin, com- [with] + fortis [strong], we see His role simply put, to come alongside to strengthen. In fact, Romans affirms that even the intercessory work is shared between the two persons of the trinity: “…the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered…Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Romans 8:26b, 34). How refreshing to unearth this truth and title of Christ.
The blind beggar in Luke 18 cried out to Jesus, “Thou son of David, have mercy on me” (Luke 18:39). In response to Jesus’ question, “What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? …he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight 42And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee” (Luke 18:41-42). This blind beggar knew how to beg; without any prefixes or suffixes, he presents his request – that he might see. How eager are we to catch a fresh glimpse of our beloved Redeemer? He is certainly eager to satisfy by giving us a fresh vision of Himself! From the suffering Servant to the dear Lamb of God to our glorified, risen Saviour Who “ever liveth to make intercession” for us, and, now, understanding Him to be our first Comforter (Hebrews 7:25b), we have much to gaze upon and much to praise.