Behold the Lamb of God

Behold the Lamb of God

Behold the Lamb of God, 30″ x 40″ Acrylic Painting

The idea behind my painting entitled, Behold the Lamb of God, came from several sources in the Bible. In Genesis God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. On the way to the alter Isaac asked his father Abraham, “Where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham replied, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” Isaiah 53:7 prophesied that He (Christ) was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And in John’s gospel, John the Baptist said twice in the first chapter, “Behold the Lamb of God!”

Historically, the Lamb was sacrificed to cover over sins in both the Passover story and on the Day of Atonement. John the Baptist recognized that Jesus would fulfill these ancient prophecies.

I wanted to create an image that combined the idea of a lamb and that of the suffering Savior on the cross. We can see Him as the Lamb (without spot), as the Lamb of God and as a lamb being led to the slaughter in the deep spiritual battle that occurred on that Passover.

It is my desire that we all will recognize Him as the Lamb of God.

 

Who is Jesus?

_4000010134Is He Abraham’s lamb that God would provide, Genesis 22:8, Isaiah 53:7; the One through whom all nations on earth would be blessed, Genesis 18: 17-18; the One through whom the scepter would not depart, Genesis 49:8-10; the One born in Bethlehem, Micah 5:2, at the tower of the flock, Micah 4:8; at a time that would make Rachel cry, Jeremiah 31:15; born as a sign, behold a virgin shall give birth, Isaiah 7:14; the Child that was born, Isaiah 9:7; the One to whom kings would bring gifts and bow down to, Psalms 72:10-11; to be a Rod out of the stem of Jesse, Isaiah 11:1-2; the One called out of Egypt, Hosea 11:1; rejected by his brethren, Psalm 69:8; the One the builders rejected, Psalm 118: 22-23; the Stone of stumbling, Isaiah 8:14; the One who open eyes and made the dumb to hear; Isaiah 29:18, Isaiah 35:5; the Passover sacrifice, Exodus 12:46; the One hung on a tree, Deuteronomy 21:23; the One accused by false witnesses, Psalm 27:12, Psalm 35:11: the One struck on the cheek, Micah 5:1, and the One given gall and vinegar because of thirst, Psalm 69:20-22; and spat on, Isaiah 50:6; the One who was scorned at while on the cross, Psalm 22:7-8; surrounded by an angry mob, Psalm 22:12-13, Isaiah 53:3; the One whose hands and feet were pierced, Psalm 22:16, Zechariah 12:10; the One whose garments soldiers cast lots for, Psalm 22:18; the One wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, took our chastisement upon Himself, and healed us by His stripes, Isaiah 53:5; the One who was offered for sin, Isaiah 53:10-12; the One crucified Psalm 22:14, cut off from the land of the living, Isaiah 53:8; the One who was buried and resurrected, Psalm 16:10-11; the One who returned to His Father, Psalm 24;1-10; the One who crushed the enemies head, Genesis 3:15, the One who confirmed a new covenant to the Jews and became a Light to the gentiles, Isaiah 42:6, Isaiah 49:6, Jeremiah 31:31-34?

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By Whose Stripes We Are Healed

Image

I just finished this painting. It was painted in acrylic on canvas and measures 32” x 48”.

The painting is about Christ’s suffering during His crucifixion, focusing on His scourging which is recorded in Matthew 27:26, Mark 15:15 and John 19:1. Pilate ordered Jesus to be scourged as a prelude to His crucifixion. Christ could have received up to 39 lashes.

I did not include a pillar or column that Jesus would have been tied to. I mainly wanted to show the stripes. My research on the whips the Romans used at that time seemed uncertain, so I painted something similar to what I thought a cat-of-nine-tails would have looked like. I simply made it up, painting sharp pieces of shells tied to the end of the leather cords, having nine of them.

Isaiah states in 53: 5, “And by His stripes we are healed.” Peter in 1 Peter 2:24 seems to be quoting Isaiah, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” Our ability to live unto righteousness was won for us by these stripes.

The word healed is Iaomai in the Greek and means to heal, make whole. Just how did the stripes of Jesus heal us? They make us whole! We are all born into this world without God. We each had or have a disease called “Without God.” Ephesians 2:12 tells us, “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.” The only cure is to be injected with the serum Christ In Me. 1John 5:11-12 tells us, “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” A Christian is someone who possesses Christ and has Christ living in them. (Galatians 2:20)

Christ’s death on the cross sets the stage for our ability to receive Him. Romans 5:10 states, “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” Being reconciled to God occurred because of Christ’s death, which would include the spilling of His blood during His scourging.  In fact, Christ lost most of His blood during His flagellation. During scourging, the amount of blood loss would lead to hypovolemic shock, which is why it was a prelude to crucifixion. It was part of the overall act of dying by crucifixion.

What is meant by the phrase, “that we are reconciled to God by the death of His Son?” 1. Death is the penalty for all our sins, because the wages of sin is death. Jesus paid for our sins with His life. His payment removed our need to pay for our own sins. God accepted his payment. Anyone who does not accept Christ’s sacrifice must pay for his or her own sins themselves. 2. His blood secures the forgiveness of all our sins. All our sins! According to the writer of the book of Hebrews, one sacrifice for all sin for all time. Anyone who accepts Christ’s sacrifice are forgiven forever, anyone who does not accept Christ’s sacrifice will never receive forgiveness for his or her sins because there are no more sacrifices for atonement. As stated in Hebrews10:26, “For if we sin  willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.”

3. He was the Lamb that Abraham told Isaac that God would provide in Genesis 22:8.

John 1:29 ¶ The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

John 1:36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, “Behold the Lamb of God!”

Acts 8:32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:

1Pet. 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Hebrews 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Hebrews 10:14, For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

Believers are perfected forever!

This is exactly what had to happen before a Holy God could come and take up residence in the bodies of believers. We become a tabernacle, a dwelling place for God on this earth. In studying the Old Testament we see that the priest had to cleanse and purify the tabernacle before the Shekinah Glory of God came into it. The same goes for us. God cannot and will not take up resident in an impure person. Whenever a person accepts the Lord’s sacrifice on the cross, God cleanses and forgives them of all their sins, accepts them into His family and immediately imparts the Holy Spirit into them.  From that point on, God will recognize them as Holy and will never depart from them. Colossians 1:27 reveals, “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” The infusion of Christ into the person cures the disease of “Without God”.  2 Corinthians 5:17 put it this way, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

Yes, by His stripes we have been healed, made whole!

My sins are washed away!

God has washed away my sins!

I was looking at a photo that I had taken of the Grand Canyon when I began to wonder about what happened to all that dirt that once filled it up.  It’s just gone, never to be seen again. Christ took advantage of that thought and created in my mind a analogy between the missing dirt that’s never to be seen again and my sins. He reminded me that He had separated me from my sins as far as the east is from the west. As the dirt that once filled the Grand Canyon is just gone, so are my sins. So I painted this painting to remember it by.

Yes, I have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus and I am forgiven. Wow! If you are in Christ the same goes for you. If you are not in Christ then your sins are still clinging to you like sand on sandpaper. Only Christ can forgive you and cleanse you of all your sins. Only Christ. He has to cleanse you of your sins before He can indwell you. He will do that the moment you ask Him to. What are you waiting on? Now is the time.

Moment of Moments

There is a moment that surpasses all other moments in history. It trumps all other events in transformative power, changing the human condition for the better. In fact, it is only what happened during this moment that has any transformative power to reshape any individual.  For without this moment mankind could never change, locked forever in a dungeon under the control of an unrecognized, unknown entity. This moment, and only this moment, set the captive free.

Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it abides alone. Lying on a cold slab of stone, a dead body, hours from decay, beyond any hope, rises. Then the moment of moments occurs: a divine germination, life out of death, light out of darkness, thought out of thoughtlessness, the startling of the grave. The action of this event happens, hidden from human sight under the earth, as is the case for most seeds. But not for long. A young tender shoot bursts through the dry ground; a stone is rolled back. The proto-moment has happened: a young man, now King of Kings and Lord of Lords, given a new type of life the world has never seen or known steps forward; the first in the power of a resurrected life.

This life, this resurrected life, is the source of all the transformations that have followed. In this resurrected life, the transformed live. Those without this life have no choice but to follow the same course, to stay in the same dungeon under the promptings of a flesh that is controlled by an entity under the command of the principal of death and darkness. This moment of moments established the difference between life and death. It is this life that is given to those who ask. The transformed are not given a life different or apart from this new life, but are given that same life: His new resurrected life. This life permanently seals those who receive it to God Himself because it extends from His Life. It is the Christ Life; the Life the Father gave Him at that very moment when He quickened Him.

The Exchanged Life

The exchange life is the only way Paul teaches us in Romans to live as Christians. The life of Christ became our new life when we first accepted Christ. Our old adamic or sinful nature was crucified with Christ. We became new creations (2 Cor. 5:17) having received and now possessing Christ.

Unfortunately, we are new spirit beings still living in this old unregenerate body, or as Paul puts it, this body of death. Sin’s power over us was broken according to Romans 6:6 and that we have been set free from its power (6:6,7,and 11). But according to Romans 7:17,18,19,20,21 Sin is very much alive and still within our bodies. It is this “Sin” which controls the old man or what we call the old nature.

The life of Christ has replaced this controlling factor in us. According to Colossians 3:4 Christ has become our life. We were never created to be independent. Adam (us included) was created to be motivated and controlled by God. This does not mean that we were to be puppets but we were to have our natures derived from God Himself. Satan exchanged God’s control for his. The system he introduced to control us was the evil power called Sin. Satan through Sin controlled man, so man’s nature became sinful. Man’s nature became identified with its controller. All that was Satan’s became man’s. (Read Ephesians)

Now because of the exchange (being born again of the Spirit) we Christians are identified with Christ and no longer with sin. His life becomes our controlling factor. His Life becomes our new identity, His nature our nature. All that is Christ has become ours. We are now to yield ourselves to Him (Romans 6:13) and He will live His Life in and through us (Galatians 2:20).

But, according to Paul, if we yield to Sin, we will fall back into his control and find ourselves under his mastery (Romans 6:16). This is the reason the just shall live by faith. Because as long as we trust Christ to live for us, in us, through us, we will not sin or fall under Sin’s control. Walking in the Spirit or by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16, Romans 8:4) is our yielding to God.

There are two ways of falling under Sin’s control. First, the flesh, the cravings of our bodies outside of God’s control, may fall to Sin’s control by simply falling to one of his constant temptations. Since Sin was past on to us through our father’s seed, he has been with us all our lives and knows us in detail. Sin knows how to tempt us and with what to tempt us with, and He is very good at it. But remember, we are to yield to God and not to Sin according to Romans 6:12,13. Yes, he may tempt us but he is powerless to force his will over us because of  our co-crucifixion with Christ. According to Romans 6 we are freed from the power that sin has over us.

The second is trying to live by the law. The law was given to expose sin. Christ is given to us to life out the law through us. It is indeed to be an unexplainable, miraculous life. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:3,4