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Behold the Lamb

  • By President Matt Proctor
  • Published 03 06, 2024
Lamb 3

“Behold the Lamb!” Springtime is lambing season at the Proctor home, and yesterday, our first mama sheep gave birth: two beautiful lambs. They’re small, maybe eight or nine pounds, big dark eyes, all-white faces, wet pink noses—fluffy little clouds on four spindly legs. When they eat, their little tails wag like happy, high-speed metronomes, and when they’re not eating, the two small wool-babies frolic and skip and explore their paddock. We smiled, thought of words like joyful and innocent, and we gave God thanks.

We also thought of words like tiny and vulnerable. Baby lambs are powerless. They’re in the paddock because how could they ward off a predator? They are not fast runners, have no sharp teeth or claws, and have no fearsome roar. They have no camouflage—white wool stands out against green grass. Lambs have no horns, and even if they did, eight pounds of charging lamb hits like a soft pillow. When you behold a lamb, you do not think powerful protector, and yesterday, I thought: God’s instructions to Israel must have seemed confounding.

In Exodus 12, God said to the captive Israelites, “I am sending the Destroyer to bring death on Egypt.” A shiver surely went down every Israelite spine: Destroyer! A fearsome word. God was unleashing some powerful force of devastation—an unstoppable divine judgment—a Destroyer that would cut through the most powerful nation in the world like a hot knife through butter. “But,” said God to the Israelites, “one thing will protect you: a lamb.” “What?” some Israelite must’ve thought. “A powerless lamb will stand between me and the Destroyer? These eight pounds of fluff will divert the death-dealing wrath of God?”

And God, in his counter-intuitive wisdom, said, “Yes. The blood of the lamb will protect you.” And so it did. The angel of death passed over every house under the blood of the lamb. And the Passover Lamb was not their only protector. Read Exodus 29. Every morning (at 9 a.m.) and every evening (at 3 p.m.), God told the Israelites to offer a single lamb to protect them from God’s judgment. A small sheep seems like a strange savior. But God uses the weak things of the world to shame the strong, and in God’s plan, the lamb protected them from punishment and death.

In John 1, then, John the Baptist spots a seemingly unremarkable man: an unknown carpenter-turned-teacher from a tiny, backwards town. And he cries out, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” A smalltown sage seems like a strange savior, but this was God’s plan. Jesus—all powerful God—was now as tiny and vulnerable as a lamb, so vulnerable that he would eventually be killed. Crucified in the morning (9 a.m.) and expiring in the evening (3 p.m.), Jesus was the final sacrificial lamb, and in God’s counter intuitive wisdom, that Lamb protected us from punishment. The Lamb protected us from Death itself.

“Behold the Lamb.” During this Easter season, we remember the sacrifice of Christ, and we are also wise to remember: God loves using weak things. God used a small, powerless lamb to save a nation, and he used a smalltown, crucified carpenter to save a world. And maybe, just maybe, he can use a small Bible college to save people as well. At Ozark, we train men and women to take the gospel to the world, and in God’s wisdom, every year thousands are saved. So we want to say: thank you! Your partnership makes it all possible.

While I wish you could stop by our paddock to see our fluffy new additions, here is my real hope: that you will take time this month to behold the Lamb…and give God thanks.