Mary Had a Little Lamb
By Toby Crowder
Luke 2:16-17 “And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.”
In Luke’s account of the Christmas story, the Bible tells us that the shepherds journeyed to Bethlehem to see this thing “which the Lord hath made known unto us.” (2:15) Also, we read that the angels announced joy to all people including the shepherds, who were social and religious outcasts in that day. How fitting it is that the first ones to hear about the birth of the Savior were these Shepherds who were probably watching over sheep that would eventually become temple sacrifices! While we remember the baby that came to Bethlehem’s manger, we must also remember that this child was the promised Messiah, who was later (John 1:29) proclaimed as the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world. In all the business and activity of the Christmas season, do we remember the Lamb of God that came as the greatest gift of all?
This Lamb was the PROMISED one. He was promised to Mary by an angel and had been prophesied about in the Old Testament. Truly, this Lamb was the promised Messiah…the anointed one. This promised Lamb was the hope of an entire nation, yet he was not born in a palace or a mansion, but in a manger in Bethlehem. This miracle in the stable was unexpected to these shepherds, yet they believed and rejoiced at His birth. The place and details of his birth were miraculous, but also that He was born of a virgin mother and conceived by the Holy Spirit. Matt 1:23 tells us “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Truly God is with us, and He came into this world as the promised Lamb of God! Are we looking to the PROMISED Lamb?
Not only was He the PROMISED Lamb, but His miraculous birth was PROCLAIMED to the world. The Shepherds were the first to proclaim Christ’s child. In Luke 2:10-11, the angels gave the joyful greeting “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” This promised Lamb of Mary would deliver His people from their sins and be their Savior! These shepherds knew and believed that this was the Christ, the Messiah of God, and they wasted no time in proclaiming the message of this Promised Lamb! May we each remember that there will be a day when every knee shall bow and confess that He is Lord. All the important figures of time and history, rich or poor, famous or unknown, saved or lost… will declare His Lordship. He is the PROCLAIMED Lamb of God now and forever more!
Finally, our hearts must turn to the PREVAILING Lamb. In Revelation, the word lamb is used to refer to Christ at least twenty-four times. It is so easy for us as Christians, to remember Mary’s baby, and even to make the transition to Him being the Lamb of God who came to die for the sins of man, but we forget that this Lamb has prevailed over death and sin and is worthy of all our praise! Revelation 5:12-13 gives us a beautiful image as the angels exalt this prevailing Lamb:
“Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”
Many times, we only remember Jesus as Mary’s Lamb at Christmas, but may our hearts turn to Him as we worship the promised, proclaimed, and prevailing Lamb of God!
Toby Crowder serves as Pastor of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Spruce Pine. He and his wife Leslie have been married for 26 years and have two daughters, Emilee, and Katy. He can be contacted via the church’s website MCfamilyforChrist.org or email@example.com
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