Understanding the Power of the Jesus the Lamb


The following is an excerpt from Rob Bell’s, ‘Jesus Wants to Save Christians.’

"…A meal unlike any other.

And central to this Passover meal is the command never to forget it. They are told to set aside the date and make it the beginning of their calendar, because time will now be marked by this event.

“When your children ask you,… then tell them, ‘It is Passover sacrifice to the LORD who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’”

A lamb sacrificed for the people becomes the flash point for God’s revolution. Blood on the doorposts of the house of Israel.

This even took on significance later, as the exiles in Babylon made connections between their situation and their ancestors’ slavery in Egypt. As the prophets painted bigger and wider pictures of what the new exodus would look like, they realized that all of creation was in a sort of exile and for all of creation to leave exile and come home it would take more than the blood of an innocent lamb.

Sin would have to be dealt with in an entirely new way.

The prophets described a suffering servant, a firstborn child among God’s firstborn nation who would take upon himself the burden not only of Israel’s exile, but of the exile of all of humanity.

Isaiah said that a first born son of Israel would emerge and he would be despised and rejected, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. The suffering he would endure would be such that people would hide their faces from him; he would take the pain and suffering of others upon himself. he would not look like the powerful rulers of empire, but would be considered punished by God, stricken and afflicted.

The prophet Isaiah promised that someday, suffering and exiled Israel would produce a suffering servant who would not be spared. This sacrificial lamb would be a man, a firstborn son, and he would take the path not of violence and coercion, but of sacrifice.

Just before the birth of Jesus, Joseph returned to Bethlehem, “the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David,” where Mary “gave birth to her firstborn, a son.”

Jesus the lamb,

but a different kind of lamb.

A son of David,

but a different kind.

God’s firstborn.


Backstory: Various people refered to Jesus as “Son of David.” When they did this, they were subtly asking Him - Are you the Messiah? They were waiting for a new son of David to come. Solomon was a son of David who built Israel on the backs of slaves - God said not to do this, but they did and resulted in exile in Babylon… Jesus is not an oppressor. He is a liberator. A different kind of son of David.


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