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Series Title: Behold The Lamb
Sermon Number 1: Behold The Lamb Promised
Series Introduction: As we enter this Christmas season, it is a good time for us to reflect on the reason for this season. Our society has embraced this season as a time of merchandise, parties and foolish observances. People spend money they do not have to buy gifts for people they don’t even like, in the hope that they will receive something in return that they do not even need. Many focus their attention on mythical characters like Santa Claus, flying reindeer and busy little elves; while neglecting the primary reason for the season.
Now, I have no quarrel with anyone over how they celebrate Christmas. You can do it anyway you please. You can tell your children whatever you want to tell them about Christmas. But, while I have you in these pews, it is my responsibility to share the true reason for this season. Beginning today, and for the next few Sunday mornings, I want to preach a series which revolves around the real reason for the Christmas season. I would like to take the focus off fat guys in red suits; off pretty packages under decorated trees; off fictional characters like Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman and the Grinch; and place it squarely where I believe it needs to be.
I want to focus our attention for the next few weeks on Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. I want to preach a brief series which I am entitling Behold The Lamb. My desire is to magnify Him, edify you and help us all to be drawn closer to God during this special time of the year.
THE LAMB IS PROMISED
Intro: This may seem like a strange place from which to preach a Christmas sermon. Yet, here in the midst of man’s greatest tragedy, is the revelation of man’s greatest hope. For it is in this tale of sin, judgment and death that we meet the message of the saving Gospel and the Person of the Lamb of God for the first time.
Well, for an undefined period of time things go well in the Garden, until one day when Eve finds herself confronted by a serpent controlled by Satan. This serpent tells her that God is holding out on her and Adam. He tells Eve that God does not want them eating of the fruit because God knows that when they eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they will be like him. Eve succumbs to the temptation of the devil and eats of the fruit. Adam also falls for the lie and eats as well.
In an instant, everything changes! They are no longer innocent and pure, but they have become sinners; they have become fallen beings. Immediately, they are aware that everything has changed. They become ashamed because of their naked condition and seek to cover themselves with fig leaves, v. 7. In the midst of this tragedy, God comes into the Garden to fellowship with Adam and Eve. He calls out to them because they have hidden themselves from them, v. 8. God knows what they have done and extracts a confession from Adam, v. 10-12. Then the blame game begins. Adam blames Eve and God, while Eve blames the serpent, v. 12-13. God immediately pronounces judgment upon Adam, Eve and the serpent, and God casts them out of the Garden of Eden.
Yet, right in the middle of this tragedy is a flicker of hope. Verse 15 shines out of this darkness like a
great beacon, illuminating the amazing grace of God. This verse has been called the “Protevangelium.” That is a Latin word that means “First
in seed form, is the Gospel of salvation through the grace of God. Here, for the first time, we see a glimpse of
the Lamb of God Who will later give Himself on
I. THE PERSONALITY OF THE PROMISED LAMB
A. This Lamb Is Unique In His Origin We are told that this One Who is coming will the the seed of the woman.” This is a strange statement because by God’s very design the “seed is provided by the male members of every species. Here, we are told that the woman will produce an offspring without the aid of a man. This verse gives us the first kernel of a great truth that will be more fully revealed down the road. This verse is the first prophecy of the Virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Satan did not understand it, Adam and Eve did not understand it; but God indicates that He will send His Lamb into the world through a woman without the involvement of a man! Of course, we know this is how the birth of Jesus came about. Isaiah prophesied it, Isa. 7:14; and the angel Gabriel announced it to Mary, Luke 1:26-35, and to Joseph, Matt. 1:18-25.
Why is this important? The Bible clearly teaches that sin and the sin nature are handed down through the man, Rom. 5:12. Every person who has entered this world through the old fashioned method of a sexual union between a man and a woman has inherited a sin nature, and is in fact a sinner at birth, Rom. 3:10-23; Gal. 3:22.
The birth of Jesus was, however, very different. Since He came into this world without a human father, He was born without the taint of sin! He was born pure and sinless, thus He was qualified to die for the sins of humanity, 2 Cor. 5:21. Of course, what makes the birth of Jesus particularly unique is the fact that He was no ordinary baby, but He was, and is, God in the flesh, John 1:1; 14; Phil. 2:8-11.
B. This Lamb Is Unique In His Occupation This Lamb was coming into the world to do battle with the forces of evil. We are told that He was coming to “bruise the serpents head. This refers to a fatal injury. This Lamb was coming to this world not to show men a better way to live. He was not coming to improve their environment. He was not coming to improve their social standing. He was coming to defeat evil. That was His sole mission, John 18:37; Heb. 2:14. This promised One was coming to deliver humanity from the sin into which it had just fallen. Many men and women would battle evil over the years; this One would deal it a death blow. He was coming to do for men that which they could never do for themselves. He was coming to secure their liberty and salvation from sin. More will be said about this in a moment.
II. THE PURPOSE OF THE PROMISED LAMB
He Would Come As A Warrior
The word enmity means hatred or enemy.” Of course, it brings to mind the natural
hatred humans have for serpents, but there is much more in view here. The
enmity or hatred referred to here runs far deeper than that of a man hating a
snake. It refers to the hatred Satan
possesses toward the Lord and all that the Lord represents. It refers to the hatred that resided within
the heart of the devil that caused him to attack Adam and Eve in the Garden and
tempt them to sin. It is a hatred that
desires nothing less than the overthrow of the Lord and His kingdom. It is a hatred that demands the death of God
and the installation of Satan as god, Isa.
14:12-16; Eze. 28:11-19. This is the battle that was raging in
We are told that the One Who is coming was coming to this world as a Warrior. He was coming as One Who would engage in warfare with a determined enemy. He would take up the fight that Adam had lost in the Garden of Eden. He would come to do battle with Satan!
course, Jesus did just that! From the
instant this prophecy was given in Genesis
3:15 until the moment Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose again from
the dead; Satan did everything in his power to stop “the seed of the woman
from being born. He worked through Cain
to kill Abel, Gen. 4. He sought to corrupt the human blood line
through evil marriages, Gen. 6. He tried to kill the people of
Then when Jesus was born, Satan tried to
destroy Him as an infant, Matt. 2. He tried to lead Him to sin on the Mount of
Temptation, Matt. 4. He tried to get Jesus to claim the crown
without going to the cross, John 6. He tried to kill the Savior in the
B. He Would Come As A Winner The serpent is told that he will bruise the heel of the seed of the woman, but the seed of the woman will bruise the head of the serpent. Bruising the heel refers to an injury that is not fatal; while bruising the head refers to a fatal wound. The word “bruise has the idea of crushing or striking. The serpent might strike the heel of the coming Lamb, but the Lamb would crush the head of the serpent.
course, this was fulfilled at the cross.
The Lamb of God endured death for God’s elect, but death could not hold
Him! On the third morning, He arose from
the dead as the Victor in the greatest battle ever waged. But, in His dying and rising again, He inflicted
a mortal would upon the head of the serpent that will ultimately end with him
sentenced to an eternity in the
Prince of Life entered the arena of battle with the Prince of Death. When the battle had ended, the Prince of Life
emerged as the lone Victor. Now, all
those who know Him enjoy His victory and share in the spoils of His
conquest. When He arose, He became the “Firstfruits
from the dead, 1 Cor. 15:20;
and as such He promises eternal life to all who receive Him by faith, John 5:24; John 11:25-26. (
III. v. 21 THE PORTRAIT OF THE PROMISED LAMB
A. It Is A Portrait Of Sacrifice Imagine the horror that must have filled the hearts of Adam and Eve as they witnessed death for the very first time! They had never seen blood before, now they watch as God, with His Own hands, slaughters an animal to provide a covering for their nakedness. It was in that instant that they saw first hand just how much their sin really cost. They finally understood that the wages of sin is death, Gen. 2:17, Rom. 6:23.
What we see in this verse is a clear portrait of what the coming Lamb would do for us. Remember that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Remember that He had never sinned, 1 Pet. 2:22, and that He did not deserve to die. Remember that He came to this world to have His heel bruised so that He might crush the head of the serpent.
look away to
Now, understand that everything He went through; every stripe on His back; every agony He suffered; every disgrace He endured; everything He suffered during His life, His trial and His death was because of your sins! He was marred for you, Isa. 52:14. He bled for you. He died for you, Isa. 53:4-6!
that Calvary is God’s billboard, screaming out His love for fallen man,
B. It Is A Portrait Of Sufficiency After Adam and Eve sinned and became aware of their nakedness, they attempted to cover themselves by making aprons of fig leaves. But, their efforts were insufficient and God killed an innocent animal to provide a covering for their bodies. God wanted to show them, and us, that the works of the flesh can never atone for, or cover, sin. It requires the death of the innocent in the place of the guilty. Sin is taken away only through the shedding of innocent blood, Heb. 9:22.
is a clear picture of the inability of man to make himself presentable to God
through his own efforts. The very best
we can produce will always fall woefully short, Isa. 64:6. Man has always tried to craft for himself garments of
righteousness and garments of religion.
But, man’s effort never succeeds in covering his sins from the terrible
gaze of Almighty God. Man needs a
covering that he cannot provide for himself.
When Jesus, the Lamb of God, came into this world and died on the cross,
He provided a sufficient covering for the sinfulness of man. When a person come to Jesus by faith and is
born again, He robes them in His righteousness, and makes them worthy to stand
in the presence of God, Phil. 3:9; 2
Cor. 5:21. (
The whole point is this: you can try anything you please, whether it is religion, good works, clean living, etc, to please the Lord; but, nothing will be sufficient to deal with your sin problem, until you come to Jesus and are saved by grace. Then, and only then, can you stand before the Lord and be accepted by Him, Eph. 1:6! Only Jesus Christ and His shed blood is sufficient to allow us to stand in His presence, John 1:29.
Conc: I am sorry that Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. Imagine what the world would be like today if they had not. But, they did, and because they did you and I were born into this world with a desperate sin problem. I thank God that He saw our need and sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world to die on the cross as the perfect Lamb.
As we enter and move through this Christmas Season, do you know for sure that you know the real reason for the season? Do you know Jesus as more than a baby in a manger? Is He your personal Savior? Or is He just a story in a book; a sweet thought but nothing more, during the busy holiday season? You need to be sure!
You see, just as surely as Adam and Eve came to end of their lives and eventually died and went out into eternity, you will too! You need to know where you will go when that event happens. And, where you go hinges upon what you do with Jesus Christ. Are you saved? If you are then praise the Lord! If you are not, you need to know you can be. If the Lord is calling you to come to Him, now is the time to do just that. Why not come to Jesus today and meet the Lamb of God?