This frieze is the remains of a church build 400 years after Christ. Behold the Lamb of God. The significance of the lamb was obviously well known to them. How beautiful is this? I love the exquisite detail and craftsmanship. I aways marvel at the great lengths men went to to honor the Lord.
We know, from yesterday’s study, that Adam and Eve understood something of God’s plan. They were given a very graphic lesson of the magnitude of their offense. Something innocent had to die to cover their sin. We know they had some understanding of this because later we see their sons bringing sacrifices to the Lord. Perhaps their parents told them what a close fellowship they had once enjoyed with God and about the tragic day they chose to disobey his command. I’m sure they explained what it cost them.
We know the lesson was passed down because Cain and Abel knew to bring sacrifices to the Lord. Cain brought his “works,” the fruit of his labors. Abel brought a lamb, perfect and spotless, without blemish. God accepted Abel’s offering and rejected Cain’s. Our ‘good works’ are not the proper way to approach a Holy God. We must first be cleansed from our sin. Until we are, nothing we do counts with God. We can be a really good person. It matters not to God. Good people go to hell every single day. Obedience is a choice. Cain wanted to do it his way and Abel did it God’s way.
The lines are drawn. They were drawn thousands of years ago and still remain drawn to this day. Will we chose to follow Cain and do it our way? Or will we follow Abel and do it God’s way? The choice is always ours.
Eventually the world grew so very wicked that God had to destroy it with a flood. There was one righteous man and he and his family were saved. Upon leaving the ark, the first thing Noah did was to offer sacrifice to the Lord. It was the right thing for a righteous man to do. The way to approach God was not lost in the flood.
The oral tradition was carried on and soon God would reveal the family line this ‘seed of woman’ would be coming through. Abraham was chosen. With Abraham, God revealed another piece of the puzzle. God told Abraham to take his only son, Isaac, to the mountain that God would show him and sacrifice him there on an altar. Abraham obeyed. He knew that God had promised him that his seed would be as numerous as the sands of the sea and stars of the sky. He had promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. And the record shows that Abraham knew that even if the Lord had required him to kill his son that God would raise him from the dead, because the promise of God was true. Hebrews 11 says that Abraham’s faith was accredited to him as righteousness. His faith was in God’s word, in His promise.
Abraham’s faith was tested and he was found righteous. What was the picture here, that we can now see clearly? It was a picture that the sacrifice would be a son. A beloved son of God. Sometime in the future all of mankind would Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
It was really even more detail than that. The scripture says in translation: “In the mountain of the Lord, it shall be seen in the future, that the Lord Himself, will provide the sacrifice.” Jehovah Jireh. The Lord will provide. The Lord sent Abraham to sacrifice his son on a hillside near the place that would one day be named Jerusalem. “In the mountain of the Lord, it shall be seen in the future, that the Lord Himself, will provide the sacrifice.” I surely hope you are following me…
We see the Lamb of God traced from Adam and Eve, to Abel, to Noah, to Abraham…
Tomorrow, we will Behold the Lamb of God, even further.