5 Minutes with the Director
If one thinks about it — and I am writing this editorial to encourage you to do so — the birth and death of Jesus are uniquely ironic.
When Jesus was born. God chose a lowly stable as the place for His Son’s birth. Had I been called upon to arrange the appointments for the birthplace of the King of glory, things would have been different.
I am certain that, human nature being what it is, I would have chosen a resplendent palace. And within its massive waits I would have erected a nursery bedecked with a royal crib. Nearby I would have placed a golden scepter and diamond-studded crown, all showcased with the draping of purple majesty — and, of course, with the choicest of physicians to attend the birth of the infant child “. . . whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Mic. 5:2).
But when God the Father chose a place for His Son’s birth, He said a stable. And if inquiry be made as to why, the answer is clear. Jesus was a Lamb, and lambs are born in stables — not palaces. It was, therefore, not without significance that shepherds were among the first to behold this incomparable LAMB (Lk. 2:15-16).
A SUITABLE LAMB
Not only was Jesus born a Lamb — but He would die a Lamb. During the last days of His life, He stood trial before Jewish and Gentile authorities. The charges were contrived and the testimony false. No court functioning with holiness and dispensing justice would ever have found Jesus guilty. Even the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, declared: “. . . I find no fault in this man. . ,’ (Lk. 23:4, 14). Under the Mosaic law. the Passover lamb had to be examined for three days and found to be without spot or blemish before being suitable for sacrifice (Ex. 12:3, 5-6). Jesus had approximately three years of public ministry at the end of which men could find in Him no spot or blemish — truly Jesus was a SUITABLE LAMB.
A SILENT LAMB
The Son of God was never at a loss for words. He had come as His Father’s spokesman, and books written to interpret His teachings are without number. Only during His “trial” did He refuse to speak or defend Himself (Mt. 26:63; 27:12; Mk. 14;61; 15: 3; Lk, 23:9). Jesus as a youth had confounded the doctors of the law (Lk. 2:46-47). Later He repeatedly, in response to inquiry and attempted entrapment, left the Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians and scribes bewildered, dismayed and silenced (Mt. 22:15-46; Mk. 12:13-34; Lk. 20:19-40).
His knowledge of the law was complete, His logic flawless. His communicative skill perfect. Had He chosen to defend Himself, the outcome would not have been in doubt — freedom would have been certain. He simply refused to come to His own defense — He would not respond. But why? Hear the prophet Isaiah give the reason: “. . . and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth” (Isa. 53:7). Like a lamb who makes no sound before her own slaughter, Jesus refused to cry out. Truly he was a SILENT LAMB.
AN OBEDIENT LAMB
In the Garden of Gethsemane the Roman soldiers, with Judas as their guide, closed in on the unresisting Son of God. But Peter, wonderful, impetuous Peter – drew his sword thinking he could come to the rescue. Patiently the Lord told him to put up his sword, graciously He restored the soldiers severed ear, and instructively the Lord taught Peter. Listen in to what He said; “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Mt. 26:53). The hymnwriter put it this way: “He could have called ten thousand angels to destroy the world and set Him free . ..but He died alone for you and me.”
Why didn’t He resist? Why didn’t He rebel? Why didn’t He choose to fight? Why didn’t He use all means at His disposal to avoid Calvary? The reason is simple. Jesus was born to die that we might live. He was an OBEDIENT LAMB.
Jesus was born in a manger because He was a LAMB. No fault was found in Him because He was a SUITABLE LAMB. He did not defend Himself because He was a SILENT LAMB. He did not seek escape from Calvary because He was an OBEDIENT LAMB.
In this special Passover-Passion Week issue of ISRAEL MY GLORY, we invite you to
“. . . Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world” (Jn. 1:29).
I have asked a number of my colleagues and friends to write special articles. A history of the Lamb will be seen in “The Lamb Typified in the Law”, “The Lamb Personified in the Prophets”, “The Lamb Identified in the Gospels” and “The Lamb Glorified in the Book of Revelation”. The age-old question of responsibility for the death of Christ is examined in “Who Killed the Lamb?” Because the Jewish feast of Passover points to Calvary, we have included an article on “Passover: Redemption Through the Lamb”. And, inasmuch as a consideration of the Lamb must look forward as well as backward, we have included a prophetic article, “Arming for Armageddon” or “When Will the Lamb Come for His Own?” Since Jesus came to save men from their sin and He never fails, we have included testimonies under the heading “Lambs Who Found Their Shepherd”. And, of course, we could not go to press without including a thrilling report from Joel of Jerusalem relating an incident which occurred in his home less than three miles from where the Lamb was born almost two thousand years ago.