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Behold The Lamb Series – Sermon #3
BEHOLD THE LAMB PROVIDED
Intro: We have been watching as God’s plan to send His Lamb into the world has unfolded. When man fell into sin in the Garden of Eden, God made a promise that a Redeemer would one day come. This Redeemer would come as the Savior of sinners. All through the Old Testament, God worked to bring this event to pass. Every sacrifice, every ritual of Jewish worship, every thing God did was moving steadily toward the moment when the Lamb of God would enter this world and pay the price to save men from their sins. I think of one occasion when a broken hearted father named Abraham walked up a mountain side with his only son Isaac. He was taking that son to the top of that mountain to offer him to the Lord as a burnt offering. On the way up that mountain, Isaac asked his father Abraham about what they were doing. Here is what was said that day: “And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together, Genesis 22:6-8.
Our text tells us about the night that father’s promise was fulfilled. It was also the moment when God’s promise to send His Redeemer into the world was fulfilled. As we look in on the events of that special night 2,000 years ago, we can learn something about how God provided His Lamb.
As the Lord gives liberty this morning, I want to preach on the subject, Behold The Lamb Provided. I want to tell you how and why God sent His Son Jesus into this world and what His birth can and does mean for you. Allow me to share three aspects of the Lamb’s provision with you as we Behold The Lamb Provided.
v. 4 The Planning Of That Place The fact that Jesus was born in
v. 1-6 The Providence Of That Place While it should not surprise
us that Jesus was born where the Bible says He would be, the events surrounding
His arrival there are amazing. Verse 4 tells us that Mary and Joseph
the Messiah to be born in the right location, a series of events worked
together to bring that to pass. A pagan
emperor name Caesar Augustus living thousands of miles away issues a decree
that all his subjects be registered and taxed.
This order for a census is sent out far and wide. The call is issued in
This may not mean much to you, but it does teach us that Caesar may have been ruling, but God was overruling! God, in His providence, worked out all the details necessary so that Jesus might be born where the prophets said that He would be! By the way, if He can do that, then surely He can take care of our little needs!
v. 7 The Poverty Of That Place We are told that the Saviors
entrance into this world was anything but glorious. When the young couple arrived in
You and I cannot even begin to comprehend the enormity of the truth contained here. Imagine, God Himself came into this world. The same God Who made the universe and all the treasures found within that universe. He came in to this world as a little Baby. But, He was not born into the lap of luxury. He was born into the squalor of abject poverty. He humbled Himself, and entered into this world in the “form of a servant,” Phil. 2:5-8.
His humble birth signified the kind of life Jesus would live all the time He was here on this earth. At one point in His ministry, He had no place to call home, Matt. 8:20. When He died, others provided the place and the things necessary for His burial, John 19:38-42.
The God Who made everything and Who could have had anything, chose to live a life of poverty. Why? There is just one answer: because He loves us! Listen to 2 Cor. 8:9, “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. He did it so that He might understand our burdens, Heb. 4:15-16. He did it so that He might enter into our suffering, die in our place and lift us out of our circumstances when we call on Him by faith! Thank God for the poverty of that place!
D. v. 7 The Pictures Of That Place We are told that Mary took her baby and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes.” People sometimes wrapped their infant children in strips of cloth in that time period to help strengthen the limbs and to provide protection for the child. However, those strips of cloth were the same kind used to wrap dead bodies and prepare them for the burial. Even in His birth, there is a picture of His death. Another reason Jesus was wrapped this way was because those swaddling clothes were to serve as a sign to some seeking shepherds, v. 12. Again, the providence of God is on display! There are no accidents and coincidences along life’s way!
we are told that she took the Baby and placed Him in a “manger.” This word refers to a feeding trough where
animals would find their food. I do not
believe that it was an accident that the “Bread of life (John 6:35) was placed in a feed trough! He came to satisfy the hungry souls of dying
men. Therefore, it was appropriate that
Jesus was born in
E. v. 7 The Promise Of That Place I am glad that Jesus was born in a manger and not a palace. I am glad that He was born into humble surroundings and not into the opulence of wealth. Why? If He had been born in a palace, the shepherds we will talk about in a moment would not have had access to Him. But, because He was born in poverty and in humble surroundings, He is more approachable to the common man. You and I would feel uncomfortable approaching a Savior reared in the lap of luxury; but we have less trouble coming to a Lord Who has walked some of the same hard paths we walk.
II. v. 8, 15-19 THE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THE LAMB’S PROVISION
v. 8 Their Occupation The Bible simply calls them shepherds.” These were men who were responsible for watching
over flocks of sheep. The work
was dirty and hard. It required
the men to be away from home for long periods of time as they searched
for places to graze their flocks.
They were often crude, vile men, known for their sinful lives
and evil ways. Shepherds were often considered ceremonially unclean
because of the duties their occupation required of them.
Also their work prevented them from regular attendance at the
v. 15-16 Their Obedience As soon as these men hear the news of the
Saviors birth, they leave their sheep on the hillsides and run into the town
C. v. 17-19 Their Obligation As soon as they realize the magnitude of the things they have experienced, they begin to share the news with all they meet. They tell everyone about the Baby in the manger Who is Christ the Lord. Of course, the people who hear them are astonished to hear shepherds talking about such spiritual matters, but I like to think that some heeded the message and went to see for themselves.
One of the blessings of the Gospel of grace is that it is too good to keep quiet about. As soon as you experience its power, you want others to experience it also. In fact, those who know the good news of salvation through Jesus are under divine obligation to share that good news with everyone they meet as they pass through life, Mark 16:15; Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8. We have a Savior and we have a message worth sharing. May the Lord help us to get out there and tell a lost world about a redeeming Lord!
III. v. 9-14; 20 THE PRAISE INVOLVED IN THE LAMB’S PROVISION
A. v. 9-14 There Was Heavenly Praise As those shepherds go about the business of another boring night with their flocks, something astonishing takes place. There is the appearance of a heavenly entourage, bearing the good news that heaven has invaded earth, and that nothing would ever be the same again.
1. v. 9 The Heavenly Appearance Suddenly, the angel of the Lord appears above those shepherds. No doubt the angel is blazing with the brightness of Heaven itself and like a flash, he lights up the night sky. The shepherds are instantly terrified by their heavenly visitor.
v. 10-12 The Heavenly Announcement The angel does not leave them in fear
for long. He begins to speak, and as he
does, he shares with the shepherds a message from Heaven that earth had been
waiting to hear for 4,000 years. He
tells them that the Hope of the Ages has been provided. He tells them that a Savior has been
born. He tells them that the Christ, the
Messiah, the Anointed One, for Whom the world has waited since the Lord told
Eve He was coming in the Garden of Eden (Gen.
3:15), has arrived. He tells them
that the Lord has been born in
What an announcement! The world had wallowed in the grip of sin for thousands of years; waiting for the appearance of One Who would sever the bonds of sin and deliver men from the curse. Now, He has come! The wait is over! Salvation will be accomplished, just as God had promised it would! And the announcement was made to those humble shepherds going about the ordinary business of life! You will notice that the angel made the message personal to the shepherds, “unto you is born,” v. 11. Thank God the message is a personal one! It was given to those shepherds, but it was made available to all, Rev. 22:17. When God breaks in on the ordinary events of your life, please do not turn Him away! You never know when God will take the routine and the ordinary and transform it into a supernatural event in your life. When He does, it is His call for you to receive Him by faith and be saved by His grace!
v. 13-14 The Heavenly Anthem As soon as this angel finishes delivering
Heavens message to the shepherds, he is joined by a great multitude of angels
who praise God and declare the truth that the message is indeed for all men! It is interesting that when the angels
appear, the content of their statements are designed to praise and magnify the
name of the Lord. (
B. v. 20 There Was Human Praise After the shepherds hear the message and meet the Master, they return to their flocks rejoicing as they go. Their voices are also lifted up to God in Heaven to praise Him for His glorious gift. But, notice the difference between their praise and the praise of the angels. The angels praise the Lord for what He has done for others, v. 11. The shepherds praise the Lord for what He has done for them, v. 20! There is a difference. I am glad you are saved and for all that the Lord has done for you; but I sure am glad the Lord has done something in my heart for which I can praise Him as well!)
1. The Praise Of Convinced Hearts When they heard the message, no doubt those shepherds were amazed and maybe a little skeptical as well. But, when they found Jesus, just as the angels said they would; when they met Him for themselves, they could praise Him from a heart that has been convinced of the truth!
The Praise Of Changed Hearts
It must have been something to watch a group of raw-boned, rough shepherds
leave that town rejoicing and praising the name of the Lord. No doubt, the last time they came through
Conc: Wouldn’t you agree with me that the Christmas story is a special story? That God would send His darling Son Jesus into this world to die for sinners is a blessing beyond description. That He would love us to that level is amazing beyond the power of words to describe.
Of course, it is nothing more than a story until you experience the power of the Lamb of God in a personal way. You may enjoy hearing the Christmas story and you may love Christmas time, but you have missed the real meaning altogether if you have never trusted Jesus as your Savior. Until you have received the Lamb of God as your personal Savior and until you know the power of His salvation, you will never really understand Christmas and the wonder of what God did when He provided His Lamb for the sins of the world.
Are you in a personal relationship with Jesus today? If you are, then you know what I am talking about. If you are not, you can come to know Him if you will come before Him and trust Him by faith. Will you do that today? Will you embrace Heaven’s Lamb as the Savior of your soul? The Lamb was provided for you, but He will do you no good unless you come to Him.