Once upon a time, there was a Lamb. However, this was no ordinary Lamb. This was God’s Lamb, and God loved his Lamb with all of his Being. They were bound in Spirit. Every day the Lamb was the joy of God and God was the Smile of the Lamb. Being God’s Lamb meant that the Lamb was perfect, completely clean, blameless in every way. Even the mightiest angels trembled in the presence of God’s Lamb. The Lamb called God his “holy Abba.” The Lamb didn’t just try to act like God, he was God. God would hold this Lamb in his arms, and the Lamb would hold God in his heart. This Lamb was unlike every other lamb. God’s Lamb needed no shepherd because he was the Way. He needed no witnesses because he was the Truth. He needed and no protection because he was the Life. The Lamb’s food was simple: the words of His Abba was plenty – milk and honey.
God not only loved his Lamb in Heaven, but He also loved his people on earth too. However, the people were in danger. They had broken God’s heart through sin. They had broken friendship with each other. They had become so bad that they even broke their own selves. They didn’t know who they were anymore and were left hopelessly scrambling to make meaning out of life. They needed not only to change their minds, but they also needed brand new hearts to beat, fresh air to breathe, and new blood in their veins. They needed the Lamb, and so that’s what Holy Abba and His Lamb decided to do. Without conflict, they agreed that the Lamb would come and take away the sin of the world.
When God’s Lamb arrived amongst the people, everyone did not rejoice as we might expect. Some did. They were called the “ragamuffins.” They were the ones who had been too bad and couldn’t seem to get their act together no matter how hard they tried. Eventually, they just quit trying. But when the Lamb listened to them, they felt heard. And when the Lamb spoke to them, they felt loved. They loved God’s Lamb.
But not everyone loved the Lamb. There were wolves out in the country, in the city, in the synagogue, and in government. The wolves said that the Lamb was too puny, too kind, and too gentle. “If he’s really from God, shouldn’t be tougher than this? Shouldn’t He have more money, more fame, and come from a town better than Nazareth? He doesn’t look like he came from God. Besides, all his ‘truth-telling’ is getting really old.”
Finally, one night, the wolves came for the Lamb. They found him in a garden. They could tell he’d been crying, shaking, knowing they were coming for him. When they found him, he spoke, and the wolves fell back as though they’d come upon a Great Lion. But as the Lamb stepped into the torch and moonlight, they saw milk and honey in his beard, and they seized him.
That night, the Lamb didn’t sleep. Instead, the wolves abused him, and with a leash, they dragged him around, mocking him, hitting him, spitting on him, and calling him names. One wolf pulled the hair from the Lamb’s chin and cheeks. Yet, the Lamb had done nothing to deserve this.
The next morning the wolves kicked God’s Lamb down the streets of Jerusalem and outside of the city. One wolf kicked the Lamb so hard that he couldn’t walk up the hill anymore. So they dragged him up the dirty hill.
And at the top of that hill that morning, they nailed God’s Lamb to a tree.
The hungry wolves surrounded the Lamb with grumbling bellies and angry faces. Saliva dripped from their jagged teeth and gaping jaws. The bruised and bloody Lamb hung like a wind chime in the sunshine. Suddenly, fear ran through the wolves. Not because the Lamb was scary. The Lamb looked defeated. But what made the wolves afraid was the way the Lamb looked at them. He could see past the teeth, the growls, the fur, and scowls. He could see inside them and knew everything about them… and they knew He could see their hearts.
Then the Lamb rolled his head back and looked up into Heaven and bleated “Holy Abba, forgive them. If you will, they can become little lambs and our family will grow.”
And so God watched his only Lamb die.
Someone came and took his Lamb and buried him.
On Sunday morning, the Lamb was alive again!
And so, God’s Lamb took away all the sins of all the wolves.
And ever since that Good Friday when God gave His Lamb, every wolf can become God’s sheep.
This year I decided to write a short Good Friday story for Tovah and Jude.