The Word for today:
mark this: Matthew 27:22-23 --
Pilate said to them, "What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?" They all said to him, "Let Him be crucified!" Then the governor said, "Why, what evil has He done?"
In order to atone for sin, the lamb had to be flawless:
You must present a male without defect from the sheep in order that it may be accepted on your behalf. Do not bring anything with a defect, because it will not be accepted on your behalf. (1)
The Old Testament lamb was a picture of the Savior to come. In order to save us, then, Jesus had to be wholly holy. Was he?
Jesus was under examination throughout his life. The hearings and trials before Herod, Pilate, and the religious authorities were only the final inspections.
Family, friend, and foe were called as "witnesses" to this life-long trial:
John the Baptist, Jesus' close cousin and the strictest moral authority in scripture, found him worthy:
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (2)
Jesus' brother James, who lived under the same roof with Jesus for most of their lives, never even mentioned their natural relationship in the epistle he later wrote, because he had come to see himself as "a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory." (3)
The Pharisees, Jesus' implacable enemies, testified by their silence. Jesus asked them, "Which of you convicts Me of sin?" There wasn't a sound to be heard. (4)
The disciples lived with him moment by moment, day by day, under the most trying circumstances. To a man, they would give their lives testifying of their sinless Savior.
Pontius Pilate, washing his hands, declared himself "innocent of the blood of this just person." (5)
Judas Iscariot testified:
Seeing that Jesus had been condemned, he was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood." Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself. (6)
A thief, on the cross next to Jesus, testified:
"This man has done nothing wrong." (7)
The centurion who directed the crucifixion testified:
Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last. The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, "Surely this was a righteous man." (8)
Before Jesus was born, John the Baptist leaped in his mother's womb (9) upon hearing the voice of Mary. Upon hearing Jesus' last breath, a Roman soldier was moved by his virtue. From womb to tomb, and every step in between, the Lamb had been under scrutiny.
The verdict: Worthy is the Lamb. (10)
(1) Leviticus 22:19-20; (2) John 1:29; (3) James 1:1; 2:1; (4) John 8:46; (5) Matthew 27:24; (6) Matthew 27:3-5; (7) Luke 23:41; (8) Luke 23:46-47; (9) Luke 1:41; (10) Revelation 5:12