Monday, April 11, 2011

Bunnies and Eggs and Lambs, Oh My!

My favorite symbol of this season is the lamb. When my kids were young, we raised a couple lambs. Like puppies, they were adorable. We also found them dumb, helpless, and vulnerable to danger. But they never ceased to cause me to think of God’s great sacrifice of His only Son, Jesus. He submitted Himself to torture and death so we might live in forgiveness of our sins and in close fellowship with Him now and in eternity. Hallelujah! “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)


The Red Thread

Our life is dependent on the blood that flows through our veins and arteries. Its red and white cells, plasma, and platelets have distinct and complex jobs. Simply put, our blood gives us oxygen for energy and food for fuel and heat, and it provides us with a built-in alarm system that tells us when something is not working right. Blood is so powerful that without it, we would die.

Blood is powerful in the spiritual sense, too. Did you know that the Bible carries a “red thread” from the books of Genesis through Revelation? That is to say, the Bible tells the story of Jesus’ blood sacrifice throughout the entire Bible. An agnostic told me she could not believe in a religion that taught about blood sacrifice. Little did she know how important it is to our spiritual wellness.

In the beginning, after Adam and Eve sinned, God clothed them with the skins of animals that could not have been taken without the shedding of blood. We can fast forward to the story of the Israelites when God delivered them from Egypt across the Red Sea. Before they left, they were instructed to smear lamb’s blood on their doorpost as protection from death by God’s angels. The blood became their covering, or atonement.

God made an everlasting covenant with His people that included the sacrifice of animals. He promised redemption from sin and protection from death to eternal life. His blessings included power and healing. His promise holds true today for those who believe in Him. But there is a great difference between then and now. No longer do we need to offer blood sacrifices for our well-being. Christ did it for us, once, and for everyone.

Take time during this Lenten-Easter season to meditate on the great sacrifice our Savior made for us. Remember that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Jesus is our High Priest—the One who took over the job of Israel’s former high priests who sacrificed animals to atone for, or cover, the sins of the people. I repeat: Jesus took it upon Himself, once, for everyone, to cover our sins.

We thank You, Lord, for Your shed blood that gives us these gifts: spiritual energy to live according to Your will; food from Your Word and Spirit for a healthy body and mind; and warnings to heed against our enemies. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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