April 14, Friday

The AMI QT Devotionals April 10-16 are written by David Son, who serves as the college pastor at Symphony Church in Boston.  David, a graduate of UC Berkeley (B.S.) and Gordon-Conwell Seminary (M.Div.), is married to Grace who teaches at a public school.

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT FOR THE PASSION WEEK

“The Lamb of God”

John 1:35-36

The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!”

Not only is the Bald Eagle the national animal for the United States, the majestic bird is also a cultural symbol representing freedom and strength. Where people from other nations/cultures might see a mere bird, Americans understand the special and profound effect that the bald eagle has in stirring up patriotic emotions.

In a similar way, lambs had a certain special and profound effect on the Jewish people in the first century. To us today, a lamb is just a lamb. But every Jew would have understood that lambs represented sacrifice and atonement. Since the days of Moses, and for generations upon generations, the blood of lambs was the means of forgiveness for the Jewish people for their sins against God. And while wool and meat were some of the secondary provisions from lambs, the primary symbolism of lambs during those times was to remember the grace of God and the forgiveness of sin.

So it must have been strange for his disciples to hear John the Baptist proclaim, regarding Jesus, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” Interesting choice of animal to describe a fellow rabbi! John could have said, “Lion of God” or “Eagle of God,” but he said, “Lamb of God.” John understood something that few people understood at the time, and we only understand in hindsight: Jesus came to offer atonement for us. He is indeed the Lamb of God.

Many years ago, Jesus submitted Himself to death on a cross. Spend some time this morning coming to Jesus and thanking Him for being our perfect Lamb.

Prayer: Jesus, we thank You for Your sacrifice. Thank You for being the Lamb of God. As we go through this day, we remind ourselves that we are where we are because of what You have done for us. In Your name I pray. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Leviticus 5; Mark 15


LUNCH BREAK STUDY

Read Philippians 2:5-8: Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Questions to Consider

  1. What is Paul’s primary command in this passage?
  2. According to the passage, what actions did Jesus take (although he was God)?
  3. How can we have the mindset of Jesus?

Notes

  1. Paul’s primary command for his readers is found in the first clause: “Have this mind among yourselves….” In other words, he is about to tell us the type of attitude we should have.
  2. When we observe the verbs in this passage, we see that although Jesus was God,
    1. He did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped
    2. He emptied Himself
    3. He took the form of a servant
    4. He humbled Himself
    5. He became obedient
  3. Paul’s intention is not for us to literally hang ourselves on a cross. But he exhorts us to have the mindset of Christ, which is to consider others’ needs more than our own, to empty ourselves, take on the form of a servant, humble ourselves, and become obedient to the Lord. This is something we can all do, in both big and small ways!

EVENING REFLECTION

A popular praise song goes like this: “I remind myself of all that you’ve done, and the live I have because of your Son.” This evening, spend some time reminding yourself of what Jesus did for you on the cross, and the life you have because of His sacrifice.

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