Arnion, Amnos Tou Theou
Lamb, Lamb of God
(ar-NEE-on, am-NOS tou the-OU)
Most of us picture lambs as downy white animals frolicking in rolling green meadows or carried tenderly in the arms of their shepherd. Lambs represent gentleness, purity, and innocence. Though it is one of the most tender images of Christ in the New Testament, the phrase “Lamb of God” would have conjured far more disturbing pictures to those who heard John the Baptist hail Jesus with these words.
Hadn’t many of them, at one time or another, carried one of their own lambs to the altar to be slaughtered as a sacrifice for their sins, a lamb that they had fed and bathed, the best animal in their small flock? Hadn’t the bloody sacrifice of an innocent animal provided a vivid image of the consequences of transgressing the Mosaic law?
Surely, John must have shocked his listeners by applying the phrase “Lamb of God” to a living man. When we pray to Jesus as the Lamb of God, we are praying to the One who voluntarily laid down His life to take in His own body the punishment for our sins and for the sins of the entire world.
Key Scripture passage
John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
Promises associated with Arnion, Amnos Tou Theou
One of my favourite lines in Scripture is the promise God makes near the end of the Bible. To those who have suffered because of their faith, He points to the day when “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” Revelation 7:17.
Like a parent encouraging a child, He tells us that in the end all will be well. When the Lamb is on the throne, when every power in the universe is completely subject to Him, God’s own fingers will wipe away the last of our tears. Our life in this world is nothing but a long growing up, a time of testing that stretches and shapes us toward maturity so that we can become more Christ-like. If we let Him, God will use our suffering to etch His character in us. And in the end, no matter how deep our sorrow, it will be obliterated by the joy of seeing the Lamb face to face.
Promises in Scripture
Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd; He will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”