The Lamb Slain

 by Jack Picataggi

One day two thousand years ago, on a little forsaken hill outside of Jerusalem, the most profound event in history took place.


It was not the nature of the event that particular day that was so unusual, because many men had been beaten, whipped unmercifully, nailed to a beam and hoisted up for public example until after much anguish, they died on that very spot.


To the natural observer, this day began just as any other day. As had happened before, three men were being led out to be crucified, but unknown to almost all, the Father of one of the men was there in all His majesty. He had planned this day since before man was created, and finally on this day, He had come to receive the sacrifice His Son was going to make on behalf of all mankind. He and His Son, the Son of His love, were about to enter into an eternal covenant so complete, there would never need to be anything else done on behalf of man and his sin again. In a day, the God who created the entire universe was about to change everything forever with one transaction between Him and His Son.


This day, God’s great plan was worked out right in front of mankind, who, blinded by arrogance, could not see God or His purposes—only himself. The Romans thought they were the masters of mankind; the Jews believed that they controlled the only true religious system in the earth. The High Priest and the Roman government thought that by ridding themselves of this man, they could get back to business as usual. Satan himself thought that by killing this man, he would win and mankind would be his to fully destroy—God would be finished.


What foolish assumptions they all made in the processes that led up to that day. God’s higher purpose was completely hidden from man’s understanding, yet it would determine his eternal destiny. Mankind was about to learn a lesson from God Himself on just how involved He was in the affairs of men and how much He loved the people He had created.


Even as man went about his usual business, I believe as that day dawned upon the earth, heaven and its entire host stood up, in a divine hush, with full attention upon the events as they unfolded.


That day, through His death on the cross of Calvary, Jesus Christ paid in full the debt that mankind had incurred. Now, in the profound wisdom and purposes of God, Jesus satisfied that debt forever.


There was never again going to be business as usual. In one day, mankind’s bondage was broken, Satan’s kingdom was utterly destroyed and God won in complete victory.


Recently, Pinecrest graduate Ken Daly shared a story in class that had a profound effect on all of us who heard it. He began by explaining that in Judaism, when a father witnessed his son’s death, he would tear his garment from top to bottom in an act of grief.


That day, in extreme grief at what mankind was doing to His Son, with His heart bursting in pain and anguish, God the Father rent His garment from top to bottom. As the heart of the Father was rent in Heaven, the veil of the Temple was rent in the earth. In so doing, He made an entrance into the Holy of Holies for Jesus, our great High Priest, to come in to present His blood as the sacrifice, that the sins of man might be atoned for and that the wrath of God against His creation might be satisfied.


In the moment Jesus died, the Scriptures tell us that the Temple veil into the Holy of Holies was rent from top to bottom, and access was made for us to come boldly in, forevermore, by the blood of Jesus Christ. I have always viewed this as the most glorious moment for us, but in this story, we can see the picture of the great price our Father paid and suffered for this to be possible.


It’s as if in that brief moment as Jesus died upon the cross, the Father tore His garment in anguish to pour out of that chamber in judgment for what man was doing to this innocent Lamb. The blood of Jesus came in to satisfy that great wrath and permanently made a way for us back into the very place where God Himself resides. In what would have been access for an angry God to instantly burst out upon creation in judgment, the precious blood of Jesus gave creation access back into His Most Holy Presence.


Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father (John 14:9, NKJV).” On that day, through the veil of Jesus’ flesh, we beheld the Heart of the Father. Access was made into the Holy of Holies, not into a room, but into a person-our Father.


On that seemingly ordinary day in Jerusalem, mankind went around his business, so consumed with his own affairs that he was entirely unaware of what God was doing. Yet, as God tore His garment, He exposed to an unseeing, unknowing people the grief of a Father whose innocent Son was murdered by the very ones He had come to save. At the same time, the heart of that Father became visible for all to see, and what we saw was a Father that so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son to die so that we might be saved. That day in all His anguish, God laid Himself open to us to see Who He really was. 


That day in history, as the innocent Lamb of God was led up the hill of Golgotha, turned out to be not just another day, but rather the most profound day in the history of man. The veil was rent, and when we caught a glimpse inside, we saw Jesus, the only Begotten of the Father, as well as the Father Himself. We saw God making a covenant with Himself:


For God, having promised to Abraham, since he had no greater to swear by, swore by himself, saying, ‘Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee’; and thus, having had long patience, he got the promise. For men indeed swear by a greater, and with them the oath is a term to all dispute, as making matters sure. Wherein God, willing to shew more abundantly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of his purpose, intervened by an oath, that by two unchangeable things, in which it was impossible that God should lie, we might have a strong encouragement, who have fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before us, which we have as anchor of the soul, both secure and firm, and entering into that within the veil, where Jesus is entered as forerunner for us, become for ever a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 6:13-20, DARBY).


Today, two thousand years later, Jesus’ shed blood is as powerful as the day it poured out of His body. Hebrews tells us that Jesus our High Priest went in with His own blood once and for all. By His blood, sin has no dominion over us. By His blood, all penalty and death has been removed. By His blood, we can now boldly enter into the Holy of Holies.


So often, we view the cross in relationship to sin and forgiveness, and rightfully so. Yet it is also the place where Jesus cried out, “It is finished!” By that, He declared Satan and his kingdom destroyed and man judicially restored back in full relationship with the Father.


On that day, as men ignorantly went about their own affairs, the course of mankind was altered, as God covenanted with Himself to give mankind access into His very heart. Jesus’ death on the cross did not just redeem us out of judgment; it also restored us back into right relationship with our Father. The cross, that horrible instrument of death, became the very place that the love of God was shed abroad for us all.


Let us not lose sight of God’s revelation of Himself and His love for mankind, displayed on that day two thousand years ago. Let us apply the whole of Jesus’ sacrifice to our lives. Just as Jesus came and laid down everything to bring everything to us, let us also give Him all He requires of us to bring honor to Him.


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