Mary had a little lamb… until dad killed it!

Since I started looking for the amazing a few days ago, I’ve been struck by how hard it is… and then by how much there is!  There’s an entire mind shift that has to take place, but goodness gracious, once it’s happened, the world looks like a whole different place and everything make a little more sense.  I guess that while looking for the Beauty of God in creation, I’m looking at the bigger picture of who God is.

The problem now is that I have something new to share every day.  So please just excuse me when three posts pop up on one day – time and I are not exactly sympatico at the moment (look, look!  Disney reference!)

So, in light of this, I finally come to today’s (first) post and it’s all about sacrifice.  I know, I know, you’ve heard it before and it’s not a fantastic topic and can’t I talk about something else… But I’ll try make it a little more interesting and a little more thought-provoking.

So on Friday, I was sitting in class and the lecturer was speaking about sacrifices.   Now, this shouldn’t be a surprise considering I’m at a theological college and learning about the ten commandments, but sitting there as he went on, something suddenly struck me: all I was thinking about was that poor little lamb.  And those poor children who had come to care for the little sheepie who then had to watch it die!  It’s cruel!

Weird how we always feel sorry for the animal.  Even in movies – we don’t care how many people die in battle, all we care about is that single horse that fell over.

Anyway, back to the point.lamb

I sat there considering that sheep and wondering why an innocent little lamb (picture a frolicking white lamb here) had to be put to death for something that the people did.  Couldn’t God just punish the people? After all, they were the ones who messed up, not the poor little sheep.  And as I contemplated, I kept thinking how unfair it was for the sheep to die!  The people must die… and then I hit a scary thought: We must die!

It struck me!  We should die!  We should be the ones on that alter.  But then I stopped and asked myself why we weren’t.  After all, we certainly deserve it.  Lambs are blameless; people, on the other hand, not so much.  And then I finally understood: this is love – that He lay down his life for His friends.

God loves us and treasures us SO much more than those little sheep!  Sacrifices are almost a refusal to let us die – if we are repentant.  That is grace!  That is undeniable mercy!  That little sheep, undeserving of death, was still more pleasant for God to see die, than His people.

And the best part of all of it is that this all points to the cross!  The Lamb – the Spotless Lamb of God who died on that cross – was sent there so we wouldn’t have to die!  I know it’s been said before, but on Friday, it finally struck me.  I sinned.  I deserve death.  The spotless lamb deserves life.  It died in my place.  HE died in my place!

The Israelites had that image: their sacrifices were a reminder of the substitution.  Maybe it’s time we remind ourselves too.

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