At the Riggan Ranch we have ten baby lambs right now, all just a few weeks old. It’s always entertaining watching them scamper around the pasture – never getting far from their mothers, of course.
Throughout the Old Testament, God’s people made sacrifices to God. They continually offered bulls, goats, lambs, birds, grains – all to “pay” for their sins. If you sinned – even unintentionally – you had to make a sacrifice. It was a very straightforward (if bloody) system.
Can you imagine what it would be like if we still offered sacrifices today? You tell a lie, or maybe covet your neighbor’s new Volvo . . . and now you have to go out to your herd and pick out your best (spotless) lamb or goat and take it to the priests to sacrifice.
At what point would it occur to you that maybe you should try to stop lying or coveting? The tenth lamb? The hundredth?
The point of all of this was so that God’s people would really understand one thing: sin costs.
Our sins still come at a high price, but God Himself has provided a lamb (Genesis 22:8) – the One John the Baptist referred to as “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
I know that I can be too casual about my sin – and I’m sure I’m not alone in that. May we begin to grasp the cost of our sins – and the great value of what Christ Jesus did for us on the cross.
“You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” (1 Peter 1:18-19 ESV)