We took a field trip to Myrvik Farms in Edmore, ND last week.
Their Katahdin Hair sheep were lambing.
My children held the lambs and learned about their care and routines.
The gentle faces, soft hair, and wobbly legs brought the startling horror of sacrifice into stark contrast. Why did it have to be the blood of a lamb?
The shepherd, Lance Myrvik, shared about the process the sheep go through after lambing. First, they are separated from the other sheep into an individual pen where they can bond with their lamb. Mother and baby stay isolated together until bonding occurs, which can take anywhere from three to seven days.
Next, they move to a small area of the barn with other mother-lamb pairs.
“We give them a controlled environment to get lost in,” Lance said.
While we were standing at that pen, I noticed that one of the lambs had made himself a bed in the feed trough. The lamb lying in a manger brought the idea of sacrifice even more fully to my mind.
Why did it have to be the blood of God’s Son?
We celebrated His birth at Christmas with manger scenes and snowy white lambs. But now, Good Friday is here when we remember His death on the cross, pictured long before when the lamb was killed at Passover and its blood smeared on the lintel and posts of the door.
Jesus is the only sacrifice pure enough to propitiate God’s righteous wrath toward our rebellious sin.
Yet, He is the one who told the story of the shepherd who diligently sought the one lost lamb. Instead of resenting the fact that “all we like sheep have gone astray,” He came “to seek and to save the lost.”
He understands our sheepishness because He also was a Lamb. He has compassion for our sheepish sorrows because He was at once a man of sorrows and the Shepherd who binds our wounds. He sympathizes with our struggles to “feed His lambs” and “tend His sheep” in His church because He continually cares for us.
At once Shepherd and Lamb, Priest and Sacrifice,
He was both Cursed and I am, Purchaser and Price.
Why did it have to be a lamb?
The Lord puts His perfect pictures all around us to help us understand His goodness. A simple lamb is really not so simple after all.
In the book of Revelation, it says that in the final city, there will be “no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.” All we can say is, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” He gave us a controlled environment to be lost in, and then, came to rescue us.
“For Christ, our passover lamb has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
He is Risen Indeed!