The Story of the Lamb – Gospel in Life

The Story of the Lamb

Tim Keller |  September 29, 2002

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  • Atonement
  • Redemption
  • Salvation
Exodus 12:1-13
RS 154-04


One of the major narrative plot lines of the Bible is the story of the lamb. It runs all through the Bible,beginning with the story of Abraham being asked to kill Isaac,continuing with the Passover in Egypt,and running through the Passover supper with Jesus and his disciples. In all of these cases a lamb is offered as a sacrifice for a debt. In John 1,John the Baptist tells us to “behold the lamb of God,” meaning to soak in and understand who Jesus is and the debt he paid for us with his death.

Exodus 12:1–13

When we look at Exodus and the story of Passover, we see something unique about the Israelites’ faith, something Pharaoh couldn’t understand. Their faith centered around the death of an innocent victim, a concept other religions didn’t share. This becomes even more meaningful when we consider the bigger picture of the Bible, where the theme of ‘Lamb’ is consistent. John the Baptist invites us to understand and embrace this idea further.

1. The sacrifice of the lamb

Despite God’s repeated pleas to Pharaoh to free the Hebrews from slavery, Pharaoh refuses. The result is a series of disastrous events, ending with the death of every firstborn in Egypt. This shows that going against God’s plan for us can lead to chaos, represented by the destroyer, a sign of temporary judgment. But, there’s hope. Protection from this chaos is possible through the symbol of a lamb, a concept that may seem strange or even shocking to us today, but fits perfectly in the Bible’s larger ‘Lamb’ narrative.

2. The tale of the Lamb

The story of Abraham and Isaac gives us a peek into what life was like in ancient times, much different from our Western individualistic society. It talks about debt, forgiveness, spiritual equality, and substitution, highlighting the need for a lamb to be sacrificed to pay our debt to God. Ultimately, it points to Jesus as the ultimate sacrificed lamb, symbolizing the key moment of salvation in God’s relationship with the world.

3. Recognizing the Lamb

Jesus, the Lamb of God, is the perfect sacrifice that takes away the world’s sin. His death, which was necessary to pay for our wrongdoings, shows not only how much God loves us but also changes our views on glory, success, and suffering. It is essential that we understand and value Jesus’ sacrifice, as it brings about a major change and encourages us to love and support each other in community.



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