The Calvary Road #9 – The Dove and the Lamb
Two intriguing images of Jesus are provided through the ministry of John the Baptist.
John saw Jesus approaching him one day and declared, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).
As John then baptized Jesus, he gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him” (John 1:32).
The Dove descending and remaining on the Lamb! The Lamb a picture of submission and sacrifice. The Dove a picture of power and peace. The Holy Spirit as the Dove could only come upon and remain upon the Lord Jesus because he was the Lamb.
So too with us. The dove of the Holy Spirit rests upon us as are surrendered to God like a lamb.
Like a simple Lamb, Jesus “made himself nothing” (Philippians 2:7) and could “do nothing by himself”, only what he saw his Father doing (John 5:19). He had no strength or wisdom of his own. No schemes to get himself out of difficulties.
He lived in dependence upon the Father. In contrast, with sound and fury, we may think we’re really somebody, can solve our own problems and do things in our own strength.
Like a lamb willing to be shorn, Jesus was willing to be shorn of his rights and reputation. “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats” (1 Peter 2:23).
He never said, “You cannot treat me like that. Don’t you know that I am the Son of God?” In contrast, we may demand our rights and insist that people treat us with respect.
In his trial, Jesus was also the silent Lamb. “As a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth” (Isaiah 53:7). “When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer” (Matthew 27:12).
He didn’t defend or explain himself. In contrast, when people say unkind or untrue things about us, we may loudly defend ourselves and try to vindicate ourselves.
Jesus was furthermore the spotless Lamb. For those who sent him to the Cross, nothing was in his heart except love. No resentment, no grudges, no bitterness. He forgave those who crucified him, and he asked his Father to forgive them too.
In contrast, we may build up resentments in our hearts. Yet the dove only descends and remains on those who are surrendered to God like a lamb.
Where is God calling you to surrender as a lamb so the dove of God’s Spirit may rest upon you?
~ Pastor Dave