I have a confession to make. I love to come to the end of a busy Saturday with nothing to do and watch the newest episode of my favorite reality show. Its a show about a rural veterinarian and the animals he treats. I especially love to watch the lambs. They’re just so darn cute and cuddly I can’t help but want one of my own.
Sadly, my hubby says no to adding sheep to this little country place. He won’t let me have alpacas either, and my rancher brother strongly opposes my desire for mini-cows. It is just as well, for lambs are completely defenseless and would probably become the sacrificial meal for sneaky coyotes around here.
Cute. Cuddly. Defenseless. These are not words I think about when it comes to Jesus. Frankly it is hard to wrap my mind around the idea of Jesus, the Lamb of God. Oh I get it. I understand the symbolism of the name. God sent Jesus to be the sacrifice for sin. His death finally accomplished what thousands of bleating lambs could not.
My fondness for lambs gives me reason to pause as I consider what it might feel like to take the life of a defenseless lamb and exchange it for my sin. I imagine it making its final soft bleat, and I have to stop right there. I can’t go any further with this sacrificial lamb thing.
Most days I avoid it because it feels so much better to think about the happy moments of Jesus’ life, but the empty tomb doesn’t exist without the horror of crucifixion. Sacrifice is a bloody mess, and Lent calls me to reflect on the pain and sacrifice Jesus endured even if it makes me uncomfortable.
Jesus, the Lamb of God, became defenseless for me. He took the nails. He endured the pain, prayed his last prayer, and took his final breath for me. I may not like it, but sometimes uncomfortable is right where I need to be.
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!–John 1:29