The Lamb of God

Did you know that the shepherds “abiding in the field keeping watch over their flock by night” were most likely guarding a flock of sheep who were raised for the express purpose of being sacrificed in the temple for the sins of the people? I was amazed yet again by God’s amazing attention to detail and intricate design, when I learned this. God’s law required that a lamb without blemish be offered for the sins of the people, regularly. This meant a huge need for perfect sheep. Those sheep were typically herded by shepherds in the hill country surrounding Bethlehem. So the shepherds were in the business of watching over¬† these lambs with the utmost care.

Isn’t it amazing that God sent His message of the arrival of the perfect, spotless, Lamb of God, to these shepherds? The angel who “came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shown round about them,” basically announced the end of their vocation. No more need of sheep to sacrifice daily in the temple! One, perfect Lamb, born to be sacrificed, once for all, crying out in triumph, “It is finished.” And these shepherds got to know it first. God’s gift, “peace on earth, goodwill to men” announced in fireworks across the sky to minimum wage¬† shepherds. I bet no one has ever been happier to hear an announcement that effectually ends his career! Theses shepherds” came with haste” to find the baby. Their joy could not be contained either, for “they spread abroad all they had seen and heard.”

How moving is their response! How precious! How truly challenging for me.

 


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