There is a curious verse in the book of Revelation which speaks about ‘the Lamb who was slaughtered before the world was made.’ (Rev 13:8). In order to explain, at least in part, the meaning of the phrase, I would like to draw your attention to the amazing story of Abraham and Isaac from Genesis 22.
Here we see the incredible picture of a young man carrying his altar up a mountain in order to be sacrificed at the hands of his own father. Yet, just at the moment when Isaac was about to lose his life; an angel of the Lord stopped proceedings and pointed to a ram caught by its horns in the thicket. The ram (or lamb), became the substitute in order that Isaac would be freed. Two thousand years later, Jesus, the Lamb of God carried his own cross, possibly up the same mountain in order to be sacrificed in your place and in mine!
Isn’t it incredible? Hundreds of years earlier that God had revealed a prophetic picture of his eternal plan and purpose. Even before the world was formed, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit had determined to redeem humanity through the means of The Son’s self-substitution.
Indeed, it is equally thrilling that according to the book Hebrews of ‘Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again.’ (Heb 11:19). Therefore today we rejoice, not only the death of Jesus, but his glorious and eternal resurrection. Therefore, having looked back with gratitude, we may look forward with confidence. I encourage you with the words of the hymn writer, ‘let the church with gladness hymns of triumph sing, for her Lord now liveth, death has lost its sting.
Yours and His, Gareth