The Lamb of God

With Christmas just a few days away, many of us will at some point this week open our Bibles to Luke 2 and read the account of Jesus’ birth. It’s a beautiful story that we all would do well to remind ourselves of. But there’s a significant detail here that we can easily miss.

When Jesus was born an angel appeared to shepherds who were nearby and told them, “…this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12). The angels announcement to the shepherds didn’t just allow them to identify Jesus when they saw him, but it gave them an idea about what Jesus came to do.

You see, these shepherds would have almost certainly raised lambs to be used in the daily sacrificial offerings in the Temple. And these lambs had to be without spot or blemish; so when a spotless lamb was born the shepherds had to make sure it stayed that way. To protect a spotless sacrificial lamb from harm a shepherd would wrap it in strips of linen, also called swaddling cloths.

As the angel told these shepherds that they would find Jesus wrapped like a sacrificial lamb, they knew who this baby was. This was no ordinary child. This was the Lamb of God who came to be the perfect atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world.

Remember that Christmas isn’t just about a special baby, it’s about the birth of the Lamb of God who took upon himself the punishment for your sins and mine.