John the baptizer identified Jesus as the Lamb of God, “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’” God had revealed His Son to John as the one who was to come, the one who was before John. The Father called Jesus His Lamb. Jesus learned and knew His identity and purpose from the Father. You also learn and know your identity from the Son, the Lamb of God.
As the Lamb of God, Jesus knew His life would be sacrificial; His life would be for others, fulfilling the purpose of the Father. Another term for this is the word humility. Paul wrote to the Philippian church using this word, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name…” Philippians 2:5 – 9.
As the Lamb of God, Jesus humbled Himself to the Father, and in humble obedience carried out the will of the Father, giving Himself for the sin of the world. God exalted Him by giving Him the Name of names. The sacrifice of Jesus was made in light of the promise of the Father. The same is true for you. You are also a lamb of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. As His lamb, your life is also to be lived in humble obedience to Christ. And like Jesus, the life of sacrifice is lived in light of the promise of the Father to be exalted. But your exaltation is not to a place of being worshiped, but rather as a light on a hill, as a witness of Jesus Christ. What an honor it is to be a witness of Jesus Christ.
Peter wrote to the church in 1 Peter and said it this way, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that at the proper time he may exalt you…And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:6 – 10. The four words that Peter used to describe what God gives to those who humble themselves are instructive.
The first word he used is the word “restore.” This is the Greek word katartridzo, which means to mend, to heal, to restore to health. It is used in Mark 1:19 to describe what James and John were doing when Jesus called them; they were mending their nets. As fishermen worked, the nets would get torn constant use. Each day they would katartridzotheir nets. This word is also used in the great blessing of Hebrews 13:20 – 21. In that passage it is translated “equip you.” God equips you by healing and restoring you.
As you live a life of humble obedience to Christ, as His lamb, a life of sacrifice, your life will get torn and tattered by abuse, by persecution, by suffering. But God has promised to heal your wounds, to mend the areas of brokenness, to restore you, so that you can continue being a fisherman of men, a blessing of God for the world. Tomorrow, the word “confirm” will be studied.
For today, humble yourself as the lamb of the Good Shepherd by casting all you burdens upon the Lord, for He cares and loves you deeply. Take one of the phrases from the Scriptures above and memorize it to pray it back to God today.