Mary’s Little Lamb Becomes the Lamb of God by Rick Burdette
THEN AND NOW – Mary’s Little Lamb Becomes the Lamb of God
Luke 2:41-52 (pg. 716) December 20, 2015
One of the very first verses I remember learning went like this…
“Mary had a little Lamb
His fleece was white as snow
And everywhere that Mary went
The Lamb was sure to go.”
Thankfully I grew up in a Christian home and one of the first songs I learned went…
“Jesus loves me
This I know
For the Bible
Tells me so.”
Little did I know back then, that I would understand the two verses sum up God’s amazing plan for our salvation.
Mary’s little lamb…would live a perfect sinless life. The virgin born child of God would become my sacrificial lamb. This I know…the Bible tells me so.
Marv and Marbeth Rosenthal wrote this version:
Mary had the little Lamb, who lived before His birth;
Self-existent Son of God, from Heaven He came to Earth. (Micah 5:2)
Mary had the little Lamb; see Him in yonder stall—
Virgin-born Son of God, to save man from the Fall. (Isaiah 7:14)
Mary had the little Lamb, obedient Son of God;
Everywhere the Father led, His feet were sure to trod. (John 6:38)
Mary had the little Lamb, crucified on the tree
The rejected Son of God, He died to set men free. (1 Peter 1:18)
Mary had the little Lamb—men placed Him in the grave,
Thinking they were done with Him; to death He was no slave! (Matthew 28:6)
Mary had the little Lamb, ascended now is He;
All work on Earth is ended, our Advocate to be. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
Mary had the little Lamb—mystery to behold!
From the Lamb of Calvary, a Lion will unfold. (Revelation 5:5,6)
When the Day Star comes again, of this be very sure:
It won’t be Lamb-like silence, but with the Lion’s roar. (Psalm 2:12; Revelation 19:11-16)
Marv & Marbeth Rosenthal
From Genesis to Revelation there is a cord that holds it all together…then and now…His name is Jesus….
Let’s start with Jesus’ life here on earth
I. FROM BIRTH TO ADOLESCENCE
Christmas is often referred to as “ADVENT” in many churches.
Advent is defined as “The arrival of a notable person thing or event.”
In my 55 years we’ve celebrated the “advent” of Rock & Roll, computers, smart phones, a new millennium…and dozens of other things.
Christmas at its basis is the celebration of God’s arrival here on earth…It’s wrapped up in Luke 2 verse 6 & 7. “While Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem…the time came for the baby to be born and she wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger.”
Isaiah prophesied 800 years before Jesus birth to be discovered, up until that time the most current manuscript we had from the Old Testament was copies 800 years after Jesus’ birth…In this discovery in 1946 was an entire manuscript of the book of Isaiah, written 135 years before Jesus’ birth…and it was almost an exact replica.
What did Isaiah prophesy?
ISAIAH 9:2; 6-7 (p. 479)
It’s why when Jesus is 8 days old according to Jewish law Joseph and Mary bring Him to the temple for dedication, they offer a sacrifice to God of two young doves or pigeons.
While there, something amazing happens. An elderly man named Simeon, an Israelite who is waiting for God’s promises to come about, had been impacted by the Holy Spirit to understand He wouldn’t die before He encountered the promised one.
LUKE 2:27-35 (p. 716)
Simeon lived in expectation of the Advent of the Savior…the light which would pierce the darkness…Mary’s little lamb.
There is also an 84 year old woman there…she’d been a widow for decades…she spent every day worshipping in God’s house…and as Simeon holds baby Jesus she comes the them and gives thanks to God. She speaks about the child to all who are looking forward to the redemption of Israel…Afterward God’s word says:
LUKE 2:39-40 (p. 716)
The odds of one child fulfilling just 8 of the prophecies we have recorded before His birth are 1 in 10 to the 17th power….Statisticians say that’s like covering the state of TX two feet deep in silver dollars…marking one of them and hiding it…then having someone randomly find it on their first try.
It takes faith to believe in the promised one…but it takes a lot of faith not to as well.
We know very little about Jesus’ childhood….Just that He grew and became strong, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on Him.
But we have one story about his adolescence….when He was 12…coincidentally about the time everything starts to change…about the time most of us start to try to “cut the apron strings in rebellion.”
Joseph and Mary are obedient Jews…every year they go to Jerusalem for Passover. (It’s the Jewish remembrance of Thanksgiving…where the blood of the Lamb protects each house it was applied to when they were slaves in Egypt.) But this year after everything is complete…and the whole clan heads home they discovered Jesus isn’t with them…He’s stayed behind…after a day of traveling they discover this fact…they head back…look for him for 3 days…(Can you imagine? Just think of when your child goes missing in the store…and you find him after 5 minutes and multiply it times 1,000).
After 4 days they find him sitting among the teachers in the temple…listening and asking questions…everyone there was amazed at His understanding…when Joseph and Mary see Him they are astonished.
Mary says, “Son…why’d you treat us this way? And cause us to be soooo worried?”
Jesus responds “why were you searching for me, didn’t you know I had to be in Dad’s house?”
But Mary and Joseph didn’t understand what He was talking about.
This isn’t sarcastic disobedience…it’s a revelation of priorities…even at 12.
He goes back to Nazareth…and we know nothing about Jesus from 12 to 30…except He was obedient to His parents…and this…
Mary treasured all these things…and Jesus grew up…in wisdom, He grew physically into a man…and He loved God and people.
Mark Lowry’s most famous song is “Mary did you know?”
The answer…she knew how special Jesus was…but she didn’t know all that it would involve for Jesus to be “Immanuel” God with us and to fulfill His name Jesus…Savior…she didn’t know “the sword that would pierce her own soul as well.”
II. FROM MINISTRY TO THE CROSS
The description Jesus uses more than any other to describe himself is “Son of Man.”
Jesus is referred to as the “Son of Man” 88 times in the New Testament. A first meaning of the phrase “Son of Man” is as a reference to the prophecy of Daniel 7:13-14, “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” The description “Son of Man” was a Messianic title. Jesus is the One who was given dominion and glory and a kingdom. When Jesus used this phrase, He was assigning the Son of Man prophecy to Himself. The Jews of that era would have been intimately familiar with the phrase and to whom it referred. Jesus was proclaiming Himself as the Messiah.
It’s exactly what John is referring to in His gospel… “The word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
Jesus’ earthly ministry began very shortly after His baptism…John the Baptist introduces Him…Listen:
JOHN 1:29-36 (p. 739)
Jesus…the prophesied Son of Man…given all glory, dominion and sovereign power…all authority in Heaven and on earth would accomplish the Ancient of Days plan as “The Lamb of God.”
Christmas is the celebration of the Incarnation…the Advent…the arrival of God…in the flesh.
But the wood of the manger always pointed toward the wood of the cross. Mary’s little lamb was always destined to be “the Lamb of God” who takes away the sin of the world.
The Son of Man would “be tempted in every way, just as we are”…but because He would sacrificially take my place on a cross… “He did not sin” when He encountered the temptations (Hebrews 4:15).
Peter would write after the resurrection…
1 PETER 1:18-21 (p. 850)
As I conclude this morning…come with me to the cross…Jesus, the perfect Lamb without blemish has the sword pierce His side and it pierces Mary’s heart.
JOHN 19:25-30 (p. 756)
Jesus’ mission was only finished here on earth at the cross…no one took His life…He gave it…and even in the midst of this pain He cared for His mom…He will always be my hero!
After the resurrection Jesus ascends to the right hand of God…even now to make intercession for us…and in the upper room Mary and her other children worship together with the disciples a risen Savior….now she understands…now she understands why it involved her little lamb becoming the Lamb that was slain. Her pierced heart has become filled with thankful worship.
[God’s plan…amazing then…and amazing now…and amazing forever! It’s no wonder in heaven they sing a new song.]
REVELATION 5:9-14 (p. 864)
It’s God’s gift…His plan for everyone to be part of this amazing choir…but like any gift, you have to receive it…open it…put it on and wear it without shame…today I ask you to do just that.