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Day 13 – The Lamb

 

Luke 22:49-50(NLT) When the other disciples saw what was about to happen, they exclaimed, “Lord, should we fight? We brought the swords!” 50 And one of them struck at the high priest’s slave, slashing off his right ear. 51 But Jesus said, “No more of this.” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.

 

John 18:1-12(NLT) After saying these things, Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley with his disciples and entered a grove of olive trees. Judas, the betrayer, knew this place, because Jesus had often gone there with his disciples. The leading priests and Pharisees had given Judas a contingent of Roman soldiers and Temple guards to accompany him. Now with blazing torches, lanterns, and weapons, they arrived at the olive grove. 4 Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to him, so he stepped forward to meet them. “Who are you looking for?” he asked. 5 “Jesus the Nazarene,” they replied. “I am he,” Jesus said. (Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.) 6 As Jesus said “I am he,” they all drew back and fell to the ground! Once more he asked them, “Who are you looking for?” And again they replied, “Jesus the Nazarene.” “I told you that I am he,” Jesus said. “And since I am the one you want, let these others go.” He did this to fulfill his own statement: “I did not lose a single one of those you have given me.” 10 Then Simon Peter drew a sword and slashed off the right ear of Malchus, the high priest’s slave. 11 But Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Shall I not drink from the cup of suffering the Father has given me?” 12 So the soldiers, their commanding officer, and the Temple guards arrested Jesus and tied him up. 

 

There is so much that took place in the life of Jesus, that John writes: “Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.” The last week of Jesus’ life contains many powerful, life changing truths and it would take a lifetime to discover them all. From the triumphal entry to the empty tomb, we have historic events that changed the world. But this Jesus is more than a footnote in history. As the saying goes; “History is His Story.”  This was the fulfillment of prophecy. The culmination of God’s grand plan for His fallen creation. A Father’s willingness to rescue His wayward children. God becoming man so that man could be reconciled back to God. How would the God of the universe accomplish this? Would He come in all His power, glory and might? Would He make such a grand entrance that the very foundations of the earth would shake? Would He bring all the “Hosts of Heaven” with Him? Would He sit on His throne and let fire come from His nostrils and burn up anyone not willing to bow? Would He make every human being forcibly submit to His will? Does that sound like the God of the universe? Yes, if we were in charge.

 

Jesus was announced by angels but born in a cave. Greeted by animals and shepherds. Is this the birth of a king? If this is the King, why not a palace? Why lowly shepherds? All they know is sheep, all they do is raise little lambs. No criminal charge has ever been filed for lamb fighting. No one has ever been arrested for raising “fighting lambs.” If sheep are vulnerable, how vulnerable are lambs? Power is not a word anyone would associate when talking about sheep. Ruling, authority, royalty, conquering, victory, none of these words conjure up images of a lamb. Who would name their sports team, the fighting lambs? 

 

Soft, tender, vulnerable, harmless, innocent, maybe even tasty, these are words that come to mind when we think about lambs. Jesus the Son of God, the Son of man, comes in complete humility. He strips Himself of all divine privilege and humbles Himself, to the point of death on a cross. God in His profound wisdom, comes to us as a Lamb. The moment Jesus finished praying, He is confronted by the betrayal of a friend. Judas brings with him a small army of Roman soldiers, Temple guards all armed to the teeth. All of this just to arrest Jesus. So the Lamb steps forward. John writes and says: V4 Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to him, so he stepped forward to meet them. “Who are you looking for?” he asked. 5 “Jesus the Nazarene,” they replied. “I am he,” Jesus said. (Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.) 6 As Jesus said “I am he,” they all drew back and fell to the ground!

 

The Lamb simply says; “I am He” and all of the arresting party find themselves on the ground. Who is in charge here? Three words from Jesus and everybody hits the deck. Jesus had to allow them to arrest Him, they had no power over Him. Jesus had to ask them a second time who they were looking for, they were dazed. In the words of that famous theologian: “Jesus is as cool as the other side of the pillow.” Then He tells the arresting party to let everybody else go. What’s going on here? The One being arrested is giving orders! Suddenly the disciples want to fight. Peter deals the first blow. Off goes an ear. What’s next? Someone’s head? Then the Lamb steps in.

 

Luke tells us what He does: Luke 22:51(NLT) “But Jesus said, “No more of this.” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.” Who heals a member of the opposition? This guy is in the arresting posse. He serves the high priest, Jesus’ main accuser. We struggle to love our own but the Lamb heals His enemy. Absolute power under perfect control, because it is found in the perfect sacrifice.

 

No wonder Isaiah prophecies and says: He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth.” True power is having the capacity and the ability to do whatever you choose but having the self-control not to use it. Power that is motivated by love, is the greatest force for good in the universe. Power that is motivated by fear breeds destruction. The God of the universe comes as a Lamb, in order to rescue us from the tyranny of fear. True power does not need to be defended by human effort or by human ingenuity. There is no need for the church to be swinging swords, when we should be laying down our lives. The church might not have used swords in a literal sense, but we have used words as weapons. 

 

If we truly believe that Jesus has given us authority, then we need to follow in the footsteps of the Lamb. When meeting His accuser, Jesus said: Matthew 26:49-50(NLT) So Judas came straight to Jesus. “Greetings, Rabbi!” he exclaimed and gave him the kiss. 50 Jesus said, “My friend, go ahead and do what you have come for.” Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him. You talk about power under control. Calling your betrayer friend. That is meekness to the most unfathomable degree. Jesus looks at His betrayer and says, go ahead! What are we to make of this? We must decide, if we are seeking after power or seeking after His Kingdom. This is an upside down Kingdom, where we are led by the Lamb slain before the foundations of the world. We can try to hold onto the assumed power we have or we can trust that in laying down our lives we will find His power freely available to us.

  

In this hour Jesus tells us what He told the disciples. v52 Put away your sword,” Jesus told him. “Those who use the sword will die by the sword. 53 Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly? There is nothing that can happen to us, that our Father is not aware of. There is no evil that can conquer us. Heaven’s resources are freely available to Me but I have come as the Lamb. 

 

This is what the Lamb says; Luke 10v2(NLT) These were his instructions to them: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields. 3 Now go, and remember that I am sending you out as lambs among wolves. 

 

Who really holds the power? Lambs dressed up as lions or a Lion dressed as a Lamb?

 

Prayer:

  • Ask the Lord to give you a heart for those who do not know Him.
  • Pray that the Lord will give you opportunities to minister to them.
  • Pray that in this season we will use wisdom and grace as we minister truth.
  • Thank the Lord for the courage to be part of His lambs.