Once there was a bloke called John who ran a riverside conference centre. Standing by the entrance one day with a couple of stewards he saw a man called Jesus walking by and commented to those with him "Look, the Lamb of God" (John 1:35-36).

About thirty years earlier a recently married teenager had given birth to this Jesus in a place and circumstances which were not of her choosing. Taking whatever resources to hand the baby was wrapped in cloths and placed in a manger. I guess any connection with the care given to a newly born lamb destined for the annual sin sacrifice (Hebrews 9:7) was not considered at the time, unlike later in life when Jesus deliberately found a young donkey (John 12:14-15) in order to fulfill prophecy and set his face toward Jerusalem (Luke 13:33).

Meanwhile some shepherds on the night shift with the sheep were visited by an angel to announce that the awaited Saviour, Messiah (Isaiah 9:6-7), had arrived nearby and that if they went into town they were to look for the sign of a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manager (Luke 2:12). After a brief discussion about what mushrooms they (all) might have eaten earlier they hurried into town to search for this baby. Eventually they found this baby lying in a manager just as the angel had told them and they returned to work glorifying and praising God.

The day before the event mentioned at the beginning of this article John had also seen Jesus approaching and had declared in more detail "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). This Lamb of God was not to be just for the nation of Israel, like the sacrifices of the temple priests, but was to bring salvation to the ends of the earth (Isaiah 49:5-6).

Christ has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that face judgement, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him (Hebrews 9:26-28).

Are your eyes on Jesus?