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Topical - Behold the Lamb

Notes & Transcripts

Behold the Lamb

April 8, 2001       Gen. 22:1-19; John 8:12-59

Introduction:

Max Lucado Golf Video

Yellow golf ball I found in LaBaugh Woods

We slice 'em off into the woods all the time.

Our life is full of mistakes.

Our game is imperfect.

We need to be part of a team that will cut our losses.

In Gen. 22, Abraham decided to play golf with God.

Even if it looked like the game was going to cost him, he wanted to be on God's team.

He had faith in the Captain.

This morning, we are going to take a look at Gen. 22 and see how that faith played out.

Then we will take a look at John 8 for Jesus' response to the Jews who claimed to be sons of Abraham.

My interpretation of that response will be highly stylized and paraphrased regarding our own response to him.

What will we shout in response to him as we wave our palm branches in praise of him today?

Is he the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world?

Or do we have some more fleshly motive?

Do we desire to fit into his program as part of his team?

Or do we desire to fit him into our program, whatever that may be?

Let's begin by taking a look at the story in Gen. 22 and then make some comments.

Chiastic Structure:

v. 2 your son

          v. 3 his son

                   v. 6 his son

                             v. 7 my son

                             v. 8 my son

                   v. 9 his son

          v. 10 his son

v. 12 your son     

A. your son, your only son v. 2

          B. the place his God had mentioned to him v. 3

                   C. the two of them went along together v. 6

                             D. my son v. 7

                             D'. my son v. 8

                   C'. the two of them went along together v. 8

          B'. the place his God had mentioned to him v. 9

A'. your son, your only son v. 12

Divine call and response v. 1, 11 "Abraham --- yes Lord'

Instructions v. 2, 12 "take --- do not lift"

Obedience (fear) v. 3, 12

Visibility v. 4, 13 "Abraham lifted his eyes"

Worship v. 5, 14

Promise (dialogue/speech) v. 8, 17 "God will provide --- God will bless"

Arrival v. 9, 19 reached the place, returned to Beersheba

Now notice John 8:56

After Jesus had dealt with the situation with the woman caught in adultery where he revealed that there were no witnesses against her, he said to the people, "I am the light of the world. I am the only witness you will ever need."

If you need an advocate, I'm your man.

They said, "You are a bald-faced liar. We must work out our own salvation. We must be our own light. Each must bring his own sacrifice to the altar. You cannot testify on your own behalf for yourself or anyone else."

When you look at Jesus, what do you see?

He said, "Lift up your eyes and see that God has provided the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. I am more than my own witness. Your testimony is humanly short-sighted, mine is divine. My father is God."

If you want to see, you must see beyond yourselves.

They said, "You are a fatherless illegitimate fake." If they had our slang term for this (bastard) I'm sure they would have used it.

When you look at Jesus, what do you see?

He said, "Lift up your eyes and see that God has provided the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. But how can you do that when you don't know God because you refuse to know God? Neither can you know me if you do not know God, since we are One."

If you want this to add up, you must do the math.

Then he said, "There will come a time when you will want to lift up your eyes and behold me, but it will be too late since I will be gone. You will look but you will not be able to see anymore than you can see now because you have rejected me. You will die in your sin, and because that is true, you will not be able to follow me no matter how hard you try."

If you don't take me while you can, there will not be a second plan.

Then they said, "You're a suicidal maniac."

When you look at Jesus, what do you see?

He said, "Lift up your eyes and see that God has provided the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. I can do this because I am not of this world. There is a great difference between us in where we come from. It is the difference between above and below, light and dark, life and death. Those who cannot receive who I am cannot receive what I do and will die in their sins."

If you don't believe, you can't receive.

Then they said, "OK, then who are you?"

When you look at Jesus, what do you see?

He said, "Lift up your eyes and see that God has provided the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. That is who I claim to be – for now. But this Lamb will soon become the Lion of Judah and sit in judgment of you. But for now I am the Lamb whom my Father sent, and he is reliable, and I am giving you his message."

If you want to avoid judgment you must judge yourselves.

Then they said, "OK, then just who is this father of yours?"

When you look at Jesus, what do you see?

He said, "Lift up your eyes and see that God has provided the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. You will know that I come from God and please God when you crucify me and see the wondrous display of his almighty power. You will see that he will not abandon me."

And if you believe in me, God will not abandon you."

Then some said, "We believe in you."

When you look at Jesus, what do you see?

And he said, "You believe in me if you continue in my teachings as my disciples. In continuing to lift up your eyes toward God, believing that I am the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, you will find truth and freedom."

If you do not lose faith in me, you will not lose your freedom in me.

They said, "Explain what you mean about freedom since we are the sons of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. How can we be set free when we are already free in God? We are already self-satisfied in the covenant. There is nothing else we really need."

When you look at Jesus, what do you see?

And he said, "Don't you see the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world? I am that covenant. All the world is a slave to sin. The covenant is the promise of God in me to deal with that sin if you have faith in me. I am the Son of God and not a slave to sin like you are. Since I am free I can set you free as forever sons of God in me. My freedom is secure and the freedom I give is secure. You are not secure as sons of Abraham in the flesh, only as sons of Abraham in faith. Isn't it strange that you self-avowed sons of Abraham in the flesh are ready to kill the one who offers you the fulfillment of Abraham's freedom of faith? Make room for the Word of God that I am since I have come from his very presence and make his will known to you. But, alas, you do not follow him as your father since you have another whom you listen to."

If you trust in the flesh, you will fail in the faith.

They said, "It is enough for us that Abraham is our father."

When you look at Jesus, what do you see?

He said, "Can't you see that I am the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world? If you were Abraham's children you would have Abraham's faith and carry out his acts of faith. But it is not an act of Abraham's faith to be determined to kill me because I have told you about his faith. I tell you the truth I heard in the very presence of God. No, your actions and disbelief reveal the true nature of your upbringing. Your father is not God but the devil himself. He is the one you would rather listen to."

If you prefer listening to lies, you begin to believe them.

They said, "We are not illegitimate like you are, born of a single parent who does not know his own father. But our father is God."

When you look at Jesus, what do you see?

He said again, "Can't you see that I am the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world? How can you have no love for me and still claim that God is your Father? I came from God the Father. I am here because of God the Father. I came because God the Father sent me. I did not come on my own. Read my lips. What part of "God the Father" don't you understand? You cannot hear me because you desire to listen to the devil who drowns out my voice in your ears. You desire to do his will and not God's will. The devil is a murderer, and has always been a murderer, and that is what you want to do to me. He is a liar since he has no capacity for truth, and he is lying to you. You take what he tells you 'hook, line, and sinker'. But I tell you the truth and you do not believe in me. No one, not even the devil, has anything on me since I am free from sin. I tell the truth and you find it strange. But whoever belongs to God hears God. Sorry to say that doesn't fit your description."

If you run with the pack, your head's in a sack.

And they said, "Yah but we're right in saying about you (aren't we?) that you are a half-breed demon-possessed Samaritan?"

When you look at Jesus, what do you see?

He replied, "Lift up your eyes and see that I am the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Anyone who believes this truth and keeps it will never die. I am not demon possessed but God possessed. I honor God the Father. You do not honor God the Father and you dishonor me, his Son. But it is his honor at stake. I don't seek my own honor but his. And if you don't want to be judged you will seek his honor too by honoring me.

If you honor the Son, you won't be on the run.

They replied, "You have now affirmed the demon possession that we said you had. Everyone experiences death, even Abraham and the prophets. You are 'whacked out' if you think you can get us to believe we will never die if we believe in you. You must think you are pretty hot stuff, even greater than Abraham. Are you greater than Abraham?"

When you look at Jesus, what do you see?

Jesus said, " Lift up your eyes and see that I am the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. I will not glorify myself since that means nothing in human terms. God, the Father you say you claim, is the One who glorifies me. You say you know him but you are liars. Since I do know him I would be a liar if I said I did not. I know God and I keep his word. I will not lie to appease you or your sensitivities. Your father Abraham was ecstatic at the faith-knowledge that my time would someday come. He looked up and saw it from afar, and now here it is right in front of you."

If you don't want to die, you've got to fly by faith.

And they retorted, "You can't even be 50 yet you say you have seen Abraham! Is there any earthly reason we should listen to such nonsense?"

When you look at Jesus, what do you see?

Jesus concluded, "Won't you lift up your eyes and see that I am the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world? Indeed, I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I Am!"

The God whom man pleases must certainly be Jesus!

Then they picked up stones to kill him, but it was not yet to be. There would soon come another day when he would not hide himself from them but bare himself before them and the world as the Lamb of God who takes away its sin – if you believe.

When you look at Jesus, what do you see?

Do you see with the eyes of Abraham, the man of faith?

Galatians 3:15-22

The Law had to be put into place to prepare for Christ – not only to reveal our sinful inability to keep the Law of God without a Savior, but to reveal the Savior who could keep it. The righteousness of Christ is proven against the standards of God as the Lamb of God that was, is, and shall be, as the acceptable sacrificial atonement for our sin.

Today as we remember those who waved the palm branches of jubilation at the entrance of the King into his city, the mountain of Moriah, we can rightfully ask their motives. Did they see him as he was? Better yet, do you see him as he is? Do you need a lamb today? God has provided him for you.

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God that transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."

Has it ever impressed you that Scripture never says Jesus became depressed by the constant accusations, threats, testing, and disbelief of the Jews? He became amazed or puzzled at their disbelief. He became tired in ministry. He was troubled at the death of Lazarus. He was troubled after his triumphant entry at the thought of his imminent crucifixion. He was troubled, sorrowful, and overwhelmed in the Garden. He was troubled at the Last Supper at the knowledge of his imminent betrayal. He stumbled under the weight of the cross. Indeed sin causes consternation because of its insidious nature. We would not be righteous if we were not troubled by sin. But Jesus never became depressed. We can become depressed because of our fallen nature that is subject to such things. But he had no fallen nature. His cry on the cross was the agony of sin's weight and the horror of God's rejection of himself who bore that sin in the flesh. It was not his sin, but ours. God did indeed reject him, but Jesus never rejected God. His faith was always firm. So how could Jesus not become depressed? How could he remain firm in faith? As God, he knew the end from the beginning. Even though it is difficult to die, it is even more difficult to rise from the dead. He knew his Father would not forsake him forever – only for three days. And in Christ neither will your Father ever forsake you – not even for three days. Don't become depressed because of sin even though it troubles you. Behold the Lamb!

Don't be like those who missed him!

They Missed Him!

They were looking for a lion,
He came as a Lamb, and they missed Him.

They were looking for a warrior,
He came as a Peacemaker, and they missed Him.

They were looking for a king,
He came as a Servant, and they missed Him.

They were looking for liberation from Rome,
He submitted to the Roman stake, and they missed Him.

They were looking for a fit to their mold,
He was the mold maker, and they missed Him.

What are you looking for? Lion? Warrior? King? Liberator?
What are you looking for?

They were looking for their temporal needs to be met,
He came to meet their eternal need, and they missed Him.

He came as a Lamb to be sacrificed for your sin.
Will you miss Him?

He came to make peace between God and man.
Will you miss Him?

He came to model servanthood for all mankind.
Will you miss Him?

He came that we might have true liberty.
Will you miss Him?

He came to give you eternal life.
Will you miss Him?

When we submit to the Lamb, we will meet the Lion.
Join with the Peacemaker, and we will meet the Warrior.
Work with the Servant, and we will meet the King.
Walk with the Submitted, and we will meet the Liberator.
Concern ourselves with the eternal, and we will have the temporal.

If Jesus is not fitting into the mold you have, then come to the mold maker and get a new one.

Submit to His plan for your life and you will see the eternal need met first; then all the other things you have need of will be taken care of as well.

--Author unknown

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