The Lamb Of God

9th study in the series on the ‘Names of Christ’ 
adapted from PCC Prayer Meeting Exhortation on 3 Aug 2007

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

The Bible is full of name, titles and allusions to the Lord Jesus Christ. This is because the Bible is ultimately about Christ and His work of redemption. Indeed, many of the names of Christ lead us directly to His work of redemption,—the most prominent of which is the name ‘Lamb of God.’

This name first appears in the Scripture through the lips of John the Baptist.

John the Baptist was the prophet of God who was sent to prepare the way of the Lord by calling the people to repentance.

One day, John was baptizing his disciples in Bethabara beyond Jordon. The Lord Jesus was just about to begin His ministry as the Great High Priest of His people. To fulfill all righteousness, since all priests had to be sprinkled with water of purifying (Ex 29:4; Num 8:7a), our Lord went to John to be baptized. When John saw the Lord coming towards him, he immediately cried out:

29 …Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. 31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water” (John 1:29-31)

Why does John call the Lord Jesus, the Lamb of God? What is that to us? These are the two questions we must consider in this study, the Lord helping us.

1. Why is Christ Called 
the Lamb of God?

In the first place, I believe John the Baptist called Christ the Lamb of God because He understood that Christ is the lamb that Abraham told Isaac about.

You may recall the occasion when God instructed Abraham to offer up his only begotten son, Isaac as a sacrifice.

Abraham obeyed. He brought his son up to Mt Moriah together with the instruments for making a sacrifice. But on their way there it suddenly occurred to Isaac that something was missing. “My father”, he said, “Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” (Gen 22:7).

How did Abraham reply? He said:

“My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering” (Gen 22:8).

Now, what is remarkable is that when Abraham was about to kill his son, the angel of the Lord stopped him and God provided, not a lamb, but a ram for him to offer the sacrifice.

The Hebrew for ‘ram’ and ‘lamb’ are two different words. A ram is not a lamb. A lamb is not a ram.

So the lamb had not yet been provided. This lamb, which was represented by the ram was the Lord Jesus Christ who would be sacrificed in place of the seed of Abraham. Christ would come as this Lamb of God.

But before that time, God would give another picture of this Lamb of God.

He would institute the Passover. This was at the time when God would redeem His children out from Egypt. God had, through Moses, brought nine plagues upon Pharoah and his people to persuade him to let His people go. But Pharoah hardened his heart and would not let the people go.

God, then, appointed the final plague. The angel of the Lord would go through all the households in Egypt to slay the first born in every family.

But the children of Israel were instructed to take a lamb of the first year, and without blemish for each family (Ex 12:3-5, 21).

Each family was to keep the lamb in the house for 4 days,… I suppose until the members of the family develop some affection for it. Then they must kill it.

And they were to take the blood of the lamb and spread it on the door frames of their house. When the angel of the Lord saw the blood, he would pass over the house. So the lamb is called the Passover lamb.

The family is to roast the lamb and then eat it without breaking a bone of it.

This Passover lamb, no doubt pointed to Christ. This is why when Christ died, we are specifically told that none of His bones were broken. The malefactors who were crucified with Him had their legs broken, but not our Lord. He gave up the ghost before that so that when the centurions came to Him, they pierced His side so that a fountain of blood poured out, but they broke not His bones.

Christ our Lord died as our Passover Lamb.

As the blood of the Passover lamb turned away the wrath of God from the Israelites whose door frame of their house was smeared with it, so Christ the Lamb of God died to turn the wrath of God away from His people, upon whose heart is smeared His precious blood.

We are redeemed, in the words of the apostle Peter, “with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Pet 1:19).

The wages of sin is death. The soul that sinneth it shall die. Christ shed His blood and died on behalf of His people for their sin.

The prophet Isaiah puts it beautifully when he says, Isaiah 53:

4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

And again…

“He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter…” (Isa 53:7).

This is what John the Baptist means when he calls Christ the “Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.” He died to pay for the sin of His people… not just the Jews but also the Gentiles.

He suffered and died to turn God’s wrath away from all His people throughout the ages.

This is why the apostle John, in the book of Revelation would call Him, “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev 13:8).

Christ was slain in the fullness of time, around A.D. 30. But His blood was shed for His elect throughout the ages. Even before the foundation of the world, the people of God were beloved by God because of Christ the Passover Lamb of God who would be slain for them (cf. Eph 1:3-7).

2. What is That to Us?

First of all, the apostle Peter would remind us that we must be holy as God is holy and to pass the time of our sojourning with fear—because we are redeemed not with corruptible things, as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot (1 Pet 1:16-18).

We must in other words live for Christ since He purchased us. Our life is like the flower of the grass which is here today and gone tomorrow. How should we live our lives? We should live it for Him who died for us. We ought therefore to have His glory foremost in our minds in all the decisions we have to make in life.

Our life must be a life of worship, for as John puts it—

“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing” (Rv 5:12).

If this would be our song in heaven, shall we not ensure that this is our song in life—sung by the holy lives that we should live today?

But secondly, let us remember that we can never be holy enough by ourselves. If we can be holy enough, we need not Christ to be our Lamb.

No, no, Christ came as our Lamb to shed His blood to turn away God’s wrath from us by taking away our sin. He took away our sin by taking it upon Himself and by, as it were, washing our robes so that they are white in the blood of the Lamb (Rev 7:14).

We can live for God only because of Christ the Lamb of God. He turned the wrath of God from us. He imputes His righteousness to us so that we might have fellowship with God.

Shall we not therefore look to Him daily? Shall we not constantly remember that we are nothing, have nothing and deserve nothing apart from Christ our Passover Lamb.

So let us daily thank God for Christ and live gratefully and lovingly for Him. Without Him we can do nothing.

But finally, let us remember that Christ will only be a Lamb unto the world when He is still gathering His people.

There comes a day when the Lamb would no longer be the meek and lowly lamb who calls sinners to rest by His side. There comes a day, which the apostle John calls, “The great day of the wrath of the Lamb” (Rev 6:16-17).

In that day all who despise the Lamb of God, would face the wrath of God like the Egyptians who refused to make use of His provision for their deliverance.

John put it this way in Revelation 6:15-17—

15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Now, beloved brethren, children and friends, is the day of salvation and assurance of the Lord’s love. Will you not go to the Lamb that His blood might be applied to the door of your heart while He is still calling gently and meekly to His sheep and lambs to come unto Him?


The Lord’s Supper is the New Testament equivalence of the Passover. Christ the Passover has been sacrificed.

Do you believe Him? Are you a partaker of His Passover Feast? We no longer smear the blood of the lamb over our door frames. Today we must smear it over our hearts.

I speak to our visitors and young people: Do you have the blood of Christ over your heart? If you have, then you must come forward and join in the Table of the Lord—that you may partake of the flesh and blood of the Lamb of God slain for you from the foundation of the world.

I speak to you brothers and sister who are communicant members: May I beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, the Lamb of God, to live gratefully for Him whose flesh and blood you are a partaker of. Amen.

—JJ Lim