Sunday, December 30, 2007

Lamb object lesson

Recently I had two friends in my apartment. We got to talking about faith, and I was trying to communicate that Jesus needed to die in order for the sins of people to be forgiven. It was hard. Why did Jesus need to die?

About a week ago I witnessed a Muslim family sacrifice a lamb. They bought him live, housed him for a few days, then sacrificed him by slitting his throat. The lambs greatest struggle against death came only after the cut had been made at his neck. It was interesting and disturbing that the greater struggle came too late, and the struggle itself helped to quicken the process of dying because of the heightened blood rate, and quicker loss of blood. Within three hours of the sacrifice, we were eating the lamb. That was the other interesting thing I reflected on. We need things to die so we can live.

Now doesn't that provide some interesting light on why Jesus needed to die? Life relies on the death of others. Christians rely on the death of Christ to live. But why then, does his death bring us life? The lamb's futile struggle to live gives insight to that also. This lamb could not overpower natural law. No blood, no life. I'm like that lamb. I struggle a lot to make my life work fine, present a good face, not do bad things. It's a losing battle. Loose ends come back to bite me, pride taints the best of my motives, and I won't be able to fix all this before my heart fails and my blood stops. There was one that overpowered the natural order. Christ did die, he was lead like that lamb, and slaughtered in a much more gruesome way, but death did not have the final word in this case. Christ broke death's power and came back to life. That resurrected life is the hope of the Christian. The Lamb that death cannot contain. The best miracle that ever took place.

Death is swallowed up in victory
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?

2 Cor 15