There is a picture from my childhood that is unlike any other. It is of my sister and I, bundled up against the bitter early Spring on an Idaho farm. We have on giant beanies, “toughskin” jeans, and pink cheeks that tell of the frigid wind. Next to us, in a sheep’s pen, is a tiny newborn lamb and its mother.
We had spent the morning seeing all of the animals and hearing about farm life. We especially enjoyed the newborn lambs. Have you seen baby lambs? Really, nothing is cuter. Farm life can be full of harsh realities, though, and before long we came across death in the midst of all the new life.
With such a big herd, it was not unusual for some of the baby lambs to die. Some of the mothers also died as they gave birth, leaving orphaned lambs that would not survive alone. If only the newly-bereaved mothers of stillborn lambs would nurse the orphans, they would be saved! But they would not.
Sometime in the past, farmers found a solution for the motherless newborns. They would take the skin of a stillborn lamb, and cover the orphaned lamb with it. The mother of the dead lamb was then able to accept the orphan, and nurse it as her own.
So there we are in the picture. Two young girls next to a baby lamb with a dirty, blood-stained piece of skin draped across it’s back. Covered by the death of another that made it acceptable and gave it life. A picture of the gospel.
Have you lost your sense of wonder at what Christ did for you on the cross? Don’t let your heart become calloused to this story.
So it is with you and me. We are covered by the blood of the Lamb, the only worthy sacrifice that could make us acceptable. Without His death and resurrection there is no hope for us. We are unworthy. We are helpless and hopeless to save ourselves. But His death has made us sons and daughters.
See what great LOVE the Father has LAVISHED on us, that we should be called children of God! (1 John 3:1)
That bloodied, fragile little lamb from my childhood has stayed with me all of these years. When I looked at it, I couldn’t help but think about the lamb who had died – who covered the living lamb like a blanket. In the same way, we cannot think about our own spiritual life without thinking about the loving sacrifice that made it possible. By His wounds we are healed (Isaiah 53:5). There is so much awe and joy that comes from this good news! Have you lost your sense of wonder at what Christ did for you on the cross? Don’t let your heart become calloused to this story. It is the heart of God, the turning point of history, and the hope of mankind. Let’s remember His death until He comes.
Because the sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God, the Just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.
Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace,
One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!
Charitie Lees Smith 1863
“Before the Throne of God Above”
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