The Last Lamb
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. Luke 2:8-9
When it came time for the birth announcement of Jesus to be given, the Lord told shepherds first. These lowly and modest outdoors men were the first people God gave the “good news” to. It is only fitting that they were the first ones to hear about Baby Jesus. I hope to tell you “why” in just a moment. For now consider sheep:
Sheep are used for several important things in history:
- Sheep cheese. The milk of Sheep is better for making cheese that Cows or goats’ milk. According to Wiki: “sheep milk gives a much higher cheese yield than the milk from cows or goats. …Sheep milk is rarely drank as fluid milk.”
- Sheep wool. The wool of sheep is used for clothing even today. It is a terrific natural product for fabricating warm, durable clothes.
- Sheep sacrifices. The Lord accepted the life of the sheep.
Sheep play a central role in the story of the Bible. For example:
- I believe the first sacrifice was when God killed an animal to make clothing for Adam and Eve following their sin. It was probably a sheep.
- Abel comes next and offers a lamb to God while Cain offered vegetables. God accepted the sheep sacrifice in Genesis 4:2.
- Abraham, Isaac, Jacob all gave lambs to God.
- Moses formalized the sacrifice of lambs in the Law.
- The Lamb must be young with no blemish. This requirement is demonstrated at the first Passover in Exodus 12.
- The sacrificial lamb at the tabernacle and later the temple were to be offered daily. Once in morning and another one in evening according to Exodus 29:38-43. In addition there were several other offerings where a sheep was sacrificed, and killed on behalf of the people for their sin.
By the time Baby Jesus arrives on earth, the shepherds, particularly in Bethlehem, had been working diligently, since the days of Solomon, to produce the best, and most perfect lambs. The priest in the Temple looked to the shepherds in Bethlehem to supply the sacrificial lambs to be used in the Temple worship.
When the “Last Lamb” was born, it is only fitting and quite poetic that God tells the shepherds about His arrival first! Jesus is the “sacrifice once for all” according to Hebrews 10:10 and like John the Baptist said in John 1:29, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
Jesus is the Last Lamb. He paid the final sacrifice with His very own life’s blood. While religion says: “do” Jesus says: “Done.” When dying on the cross, being sacrificed for our sins, Jesus said: “It is finished.” Jesus completed the redemption plan and for you and I to be forgiven of our sin and to be saved, all we do is believe. WE believe the Gospel, the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lamb, Jesus. Have you expressed faith in Jesus to God? Have you prayed the “sinners’ prayer” confessing you sin, acknowledging Jesus and the Gospel and asked God to save you? If not, why not take a moment to pray and do so now?