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Behold The Lamb

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Sermon Number 1:
The Lamb Promised
Series Introduction:
As we enter this Christmas season, it is a good time for us to reflect on the reason for this season.
Our society has embraced this season as a time of merchandise, parties and foolish observances.
People spend money they do not have to buy gifts for people they don’t even like, in the hope that they will receive something in return that they do not even need.
Many focus their attention on characters like The big guy , ol saint nick, flying reindeer and busy little elves; while neglecting the primary reason for the season.
Now, you can celebrate Christmas how ever you please But, I believe that a true born again Christian should have those things in their right place, way behind the true meaning so,beginning today, and for the next few Sundays I want to preach a series which revolves around the real reason for the Christmas season.
I would like to take the focus off of Santa Claus; off pretty packages under decorated trees; off fictional characters like Frosty the Snowman and the Grinch; and place it squarely where I believe it needs to be.
I want to focus our attention for the next three weeks or so on Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. I want to preach a brief series which I am entitling Behold The Lamb.
My desire is to magnify Him, edify you and help us all to be drawn closer to God during this special time of the year.
Genesis 3:1-21
THE LAMB PROMISED
Intro:
This may seem like a strange place from which to preach a Christmas sermon. Yet, here in the midst of man’s greatest tragedy, is the revelation of man’s greatest hope.
For it is in this tale of sin, judgment and death that we meet the message of the saving Gospel and the Person of the Lamb of God for the first time.
Ill.
The Context.
God has made man in His image. He created man in perfect innocence and placed him in a perfect environment. Adam has been given dominion over the Lord’s entire creation and he has been presented with a perfect companion, a woman called Eve.
They live an idyllic existence, free from pain, disease, death and sorrow. Every need they have is met and they enjoy unbroken, unhindered fellowship with God Himself.
The only restriction they have regards one tree which is located in the Garden of Eden. This tree is called “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Adam is warned to stay away from this tree, for to eat its fruit will bring death into the world, Gen. 2:15-17
Genesis 2:15–17 KJV 1900
And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Well, for an undefined period of time things go well in the Garden, until one day when Eve finds herself confronted by a serpent controlled by Satan.
This serpent tells her that God is holding out on her and Adam.
He tells Eve that God does not want them eating of the fruit because God knows that when they eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they will be like him.
Eve succumbs to the temptation of the devil and eats of the fruit. Adam also falls for the lie and eats as well.
In an instant, everything changes!
They are no longer innocent and pure, but they have become sinners;
they have become fallen beings.
Immediately, they are aware that everything has changed.
They become ashamed because of their naked condition and seek to cover themselves with fig leaves, v. 7.
In the midst of this tragedy, God comes into the Garden to fellowship with Adam and Eve.
He calls out to them because they have hidden themselves from him, v. 8.
God knows what they have done and extracts a confession from Adam, v. 10-12.
Then the blame game begins.
Adam blames Eve and God, while Eve blames the serpent, v. 12-13.
God immediately pronounces judgment upon Adam, Eve and the serpent, and God casts them out of the Garden of Eden.
Yet, right here in the middle of this tragedy, the fall of man. The rebellion againist God, there is a flicker of hope.
Verse 15 we can see this one verse shines out of this darkness that man had put hisself in, like a great beacon, illuminating the amazing grace of God.
This verse has been called the “Protevangelium.”
That is a Latin word that means “First Gospel.”
Here, in seed form, is the Gospel of salvation through the grace of God.
Here, for the first time, we see a glimpse of the Lamb of God Who will later give Himself on Calvary’s cross to redeem a lost and dying world.
Here we can see the first stitch in the scarlet thread of redemption that courses its way through the entire Word of God.
This precious verse gives us the very first promise in the Word of God regarding the coming Lamb.
I would like to take a few minutes to look into this passage as I try to preach on Behold The Lamb: The Lamb Promised.
This passage reveals some precious truths regarding the promised Lamb. and if you would allow me I would like to share these truths with you today.

I. THE PERSONALITY OF THE PROMISED LAMB

A. This Lamb Is Unique In His Origin

v.15
We are told that this One Who is coming will be “the seed of the woman.”
This is a strange statement because by God’s very design the “seed” is provided by the male members of every species.
Here, we are told that the woman will produce an offspring without the aid of a man.
This verse gives us the first kernel of a great truth that will be more fully revealed down the road.
This verse is the first prophecy of the Virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Satan did not understand it, Adam and Eve did not understand it; but God indicates that He will send His Lamb into the world through a woman without the involvement of a man!
Of course, we know this is how the birth of Jesus came about.
Isaiah prophesied it, Isa. 7:14
Isaiah 7:14 KJV 1900
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, And shall call his name Immanuel.
and the angel Gabriel announced it to Mary, Luke 1:26-35,
and to Joseph, Matt. 1:18-25.
Why is this important?
The Bible clearly teaches that sin and the sin nature are handed down through the man, Rom. 5:12
Romans 5:12 KJV 1900
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
Every person who has entered this world has inherited a sin nature, and is in fact a sinner at birth,
Psalm 51:5 KJV 1900
Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; And in sin did my mother conceive me.
Galatians 3:22 KJV 1900
But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
The birth of Jesus was, however, very different.
Since He came into this world without a human father, He was born without the taint of sin!
He was born pure and sinless, thus He was qualified to die for the sins of humanity, 2 Cor. 5:21
2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV 1900
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Of course, what makes the birth of Jesus particularly unique is the fact that He was no ordinary baby, but He was, and is, God in the flesh, John 1:1 14 Phil. 2:8-11.
John 1:1 KJV 1900
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:14 KJV 1900
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
So He was unique in His origin, there was and never will be one born like This Lamb.

B. This Lamb Is Unique In His Occupation

We are told that He was coming to “bruise” the serpent’s head.
This refers to a fatal injury.
This Lamb was coming to this world not to show men a better way to live.
He was not coming to improve their environment.
He was not coming to improve their social standing.
He was coming to save those that are lost and defeat sin once and for all.
That was His sole mission, what did John the Baptist say in John 1:29
John 1:29 KJV 1900
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
The Bible goes on to say in:
John 1:29 KJV 1900
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
Heb. 2:14 Luke 19:10
Luke 19:10 KJV 1900
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Hebrews 2:14 KJV 1900
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
This promised One was coming to deliver humanity from the sin into which it had just fallen.
Many men and women would battle evil over the years; this One would give it a death blow.
He was coming to do for men that which they could never do for themselves. He was coming to secure their liberty and salvation from sin.
How would He deliver that death blow?

II. THE POWER OF THE PROMISED LAMB

A. He Would Come As A Warrior

The word “enmity” means “hatred or enemy.”
Of course, it brings to mind the natural hatred humans have for serpents, but there is much more in view here.
The enmity or hatred referred to here runs far deeper than that of a man hating a snake.
It refers to the hatred Satan possesses toward the Lord and all that the Lord represents.
It refers to the hatred that resided within the heart of the devil that caused him to attack Adam and Eve in the Garden and tempt them to sin.
It is a hatred that desires nothing less than the overthrow of the Lord and His kingdom.
It is a hatred that demands the death of God and the installation of Satan as god, Isa. 14:12-16; Eze. 28:11-19.
This is the battle that was raging in Eden!
It had less to do with mankind than it did with Satan’s desire to wage war on God Almighty.
We are told that the One Who is coming was coming to this world as a Warrior.
He was coming as One Who would engage in warfare with a determined enemy.
He would take up the fight that Adam had lost in the Garden of Eden.
He would come to do battle with Satan!
Of course, Jesus did just that! From the instant this prophecy was given in Genesis 3:15 until the moment Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose again from the dead; Satan did everything in his power to stop “the seed of the woman” from being born.
He worked through Cain to kill Abel, Gen. 4.
He tried to kill the people of Israel in Egypt, Ex. 1-2.
He tried to bring about their destruction by leading them into gross idolatry during the kingdom years of Israel.
Then when Jesus was born,
Satan tried to destroy Him as an infant, Matt. 2.
He tried to lead Him to sin on the Mount of Temptation, Matt. 4.
He tried to get Jesus to claim the crown without going to the cross, John 6.
He tried to kill the Savior in the Garden of Gethsemane, Luke 22.
And, surely he thought he had won the victory when Jesus died on the cross.
What Satan did not realize was that the greatest death blow fired by Heaven, was the instant God became sin and died in the sinner’s place.
Jesus, the blessed Lamb of God, came into this world as a mighty warrior!

B. He Would Come As A Winner

– The serpent is told that he will “bruise the heel” of the seed of the woman, but the seed of the woman will “bruise” the head of the serpent.
Bruising the heel refers to an injury that is not fatal; while bruising the head refers to a fatal wound.
The word “bruise” has the idea of “crushing or striking.
The serpent might strike the heel of the coming Lamb, but the Lamb would crush the head of the serpent.
Of course, this was fulfilled at the cross.
The Lamb of God endured death for God’s elect, but death could not hold Him!
On the third morning, He arose from the dead as the Victor in the greatest battle ever waged.
But, in His dying and rising again, He inflicted a mortal wound upon the head of the serpent that will ultimately end with him sentenced to an eternity in the Lake of Fire, Rev. 20:10
Revelation 20:10 KJV 1900
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
The Prince of Life entered the arena of battle with the Prince of Death.
When the battle had ended, the Prince of Life emerged as the lone Victor.
Now, all those who know Him enjoy His victory and share in the spoils of His conquest. When He arose,
He became the “Firstfruits from the dead”, 1 Cor. 15:20;
and as such He promises eternal life to all who receive Him by faith, John 5:24; John 11:25-26.
(Ill. We are not just “on the winning side”, we are on the side that has already won!)

III. THE PORTRAIT OF THE PROMISED LAMB

v21
(Ill. After God pronounces judgment on the guilty parties, He does something very remarkable. God Himself slays a beast of some type and uses its skin to make garments for Adam and Eve. In this graphic scene of death, there is a wonderful portrait given of the coming Lamb.)

A. It Is A Portrait Of Sacrifice

– Imagine the horror that must have filled the hearts of Adam and Eve as they witnessed death for the very first time!
They had never seen blood before,
now they watch as God, with His Own hands, slaughters an animal to provide a covering for their nakedness.
It was in that instant that they saw first hand just how much their sin really cost.
They finally understood that the wages of sin is death, Gen. 2:17
Genesis 2:17 KJV 1900
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Romans 6:23 KJV 1900
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
What we see in this verse is a clear portrait of what the coming Lamb would do for us.
Remember that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Remember that He had never sinned, 1 Pet. 2:22
1 Peter 2:22 KJV 1900
Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
and that He did not deserve to die.
Remember that He came to this world to have His heel bruised so that He might crush the head of the serpent.
Now, look away to Calvary.
See the Lamb of God nailed to a cross.
See His tormentors as they spit in His face.
Watch them as they pluck the beard from His cheeks.
Listen as they mock Him. Curse Him and deride Him.
Watch as they very people He came to this world to save deliver Him up to be crucified.
Can you hear the sound of the whip as the cruel strokes fall again and again upon His back?
Can you feel the agony as He is nailed to that cross of wood and lifted up between Heaven and earth to die?
Watch Him as the blood pours from the wounds in His head, His hands and His feet.
Look at Him as the blood runs down the cross pooling up on the ground.
Now, understand that everything He went through; every stripe on His back; every agony He suffered; every disgrace He endured; everything He suffered during His life, His trial and His death was because of your sins!
He was marred for you, Isa. 52:14 He bled for you.
Isaiah 52:14 KJV 1900
As many were astonied at thee; His visage was so marred more than any man, And his form more than the sons of men:
He died for you,
Isaiah 53:4–6 KJV 1900
Surely he hath borne our griefs, And carried our sorrows: Yet we did esteem him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: The chastisement of our peace was upon him; And with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned every one to his own way; And the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Realize that Calvary is God’s billboard, screaming out His love for fallen man, Rom. 5:8
Romans 5:8 KJV 1900
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Look at that scene and see the awful hatred God has for sin.
Look at that cross and see the boundless love God has for sinners.
Look to the suffering Savior and live!

B. It Is A Portrait Of Sufficiency

– After Adam and Eve sinned and became aware of their nakedness, they attempted to cover themselves by making aprons of fig leaves. But, their efforts were insufficient and God killed an innocent animal to provide a covering for their bodies.
God wanted to show them, and us, that the works of the flesh can never atone for, or cover, sin. It requires the death of the innocent in the place of the guilty. Sin is taken away only through the shedding of innocent blood, Heb. 9:22
Hebrews 9:22 KJV 1900
And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
This is a clear picture of the inability of man to make himself presentable to God through his own efforts.
The very best we can produce will always fall woefully short, Isa. 64:6.
Man has always tried to craft for himself garments of righteousness and garments of religion.
But, man’s effort never succeeds in covering his sins from the terrible gaze of Almighty God.
Man needs a covering that he cannot provide for himself.
When Jesus, the Lamb of God, came into this world and died on the cross, He provided a sufficient covering for the sinfulness of man.
When a person come to Jesus by faith and is born again, He robes them in His righteousness, and makes them worthy to stand in the presence of God, Phil. 3:9; 2 Cor. 5:21. (Ill. When the Prodigal Son returned home, he was dressed in the Father’s robe. His filth was covered and he would have easily been mistaken for the Father, Himself.)
The whole point is this: you can try anything you please, whether it is religion, good works, clean living, etc, to please the Lord; but, nothing will be sufficient to deal with your sin problem, until you come to Jesus and are saved by grace. Then, and only then, can you stand before the Lord and be accepted by Him, Eph. 1:6! Only Jesus Christ and His shed blood is sufficient to allow us to stand in His presence, John 1:29.

Conclusion

I am sorry that Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. Imagine what the world would be like today if they had not. But, they did, and because they did you and I were born into this world with a desperate sin problem. I thank God that He saw our need and sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world to die on the cross as the perfect Lamb.
As we enter and move through this Christmas Season, do you know for sure that you know the real reason for the season?
Do you know Jesus as more than a baby in a manger?
Is He your personal Savior?
Or is He just a story in a book; a sweet thought but nothing more, during the busy holiday season?
You need to be sure!
You see, just as surely as Adam and Eve came to end of their lives and eventually died and went out into eternity, you will too!
You need to know where you will go when that event happens.
And, where you go hinges upon what you do with Jesus Christ.
Are you saved?
If you are then praise the Lord! If you are not, you need to know you can be. If the Lord is calling you to come to Him, now is the time to do just that. Why not come to Jesus today and Behold the Lamb of God Promised?
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