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Centuries before the time of Christ, God made a promise to His people:
‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’, which means, ‘God with us’. That promise was fulfilled in the birth of Jesus.
Because of the placement in the painting as well as the colours used, if you look at the picture, the first thing that you see is the baby and His mother. Let’s consider two things when we look at the painting: the Lamb of God and Joseph, the ‘stand in father’.
Joseph, the Earthly Father
God, the Heavenly Father, chose Joseph and entrusted him to be Jesus’s earthly father. Wow! What a privilege to raise God’s only Son, to be ‘hand-picked’ by God Himself.
But why Joseph?
- Joseph genealogy begins with Abraham and traces through to David… (Matt. 1:16)
- He was not rich (Luke 2:24 and Leviticus 12:8).
- Joseph was a carpenter. (Matt. 13:55) He taught Jesus the art of carpentry, but also spiritual things. The stamp of Joseph’s life on Jesus must not be ignored (Luke 2: 41 – 52).
Let’s look at the character of Joseph:
- Righteous (Matt. 1:19)
- Obedience (Matt.1:24-25)
- Sensitive (Matt. 1:19)
- Hardworking (Matt. 13:55)
- Protector and Reliable (Matt. 2:13-15, 19-23)
- Recognition (Luke 2 :18-24)–Joseph recognized God’s rule in Jesus life.
- Man of character: although Joseph had legal grounds to divorce Mary, he stood up against Pharisaic legalism. (Jesus did the same many times in Matt. 9:14, 12: 1-2; Luke 6:1-5, 6-11, etc.)
Joseph proved worthy to raise God’s only begotten Son.
The Lamb of God
In the painting, the colours of the baby and the lamb are the same; it’s almost like a connection between the two.
Why was it important for Jesus to become the Lamb of God? There are many secondary reasons: to represent God on earth, to teach the truth, to fulfil the law, to reveal love, etc. But there is only one primary reason: the harsh reality that Jesus was born to die in order to be the perfect sacrifice provided by God (Roman 8:1-3).
- Jesus came to earth not to stay in a manger; Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15; Luke 5:32).
- Jesus is the Lamb of God; He is the one that takes away the sin of the world, who saves the world (John 1:29, 36; John 12:44-50).
Jesus accepted all His names: Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14), Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), Yahweh Saves (Matt.1:21), Light of the world (John 12:46), Lord and Saviour (2 Peter 1:11, 3:18), Son of the Most High (Luke 1:32), and more. Most of all, Jesus is the perfect ‘Sacrifice’–the only sacrifice–for us to live (Revelation 5:9); Christ is the ‘Mediator’ between God and His people (John 1:51).
Take time today to praise God for Jesus! He was the perfect sacrifice and born to die on the cross for our salvation (Jeremiah 11:19; Isaiah 53:7-8). Jesus, the Lamb of God and chosen before the creation of the world (1Peter 1:18-21).
This perfect gift to the world is a baby in a manger, the Lamb of God.