“We are not called upon to produce the fruit, but simply to bear it.”
I love the above quote so much because it emphasizes what chapter 4 focused on about the simplicity of Christ! Our walk with God is simply a moment by moment yielding to His Spirit all throughout the day. As we say “yes” to Him, we bear fruit.
“Nothing is more important, then, than that we should be continuously filled with the Holy Spirit.” For the Holy Spirit to fill us, He must find in us the disposition of the Lamb. Shortly after John declares that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29), he says in verse 32, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him.” This incident is a picture of the heart of God. “The lamb and the dove are surely the gentlest of all God’s creatures. The lamb speaks of meekness and submissiveness and the dove speaks of peace.”
I love the idea from the chapter that a dove will only rest on an animal like a lamb. Jesus was meek and lowly of heart (Matthew 11:29). As believers, when we die to self and yield to the Spirit, the Lamb’s disposition is manifested in and through us. There is beautiful imagery here of the dove resting on us when we are walking in the Spirit. The Dove never leaves us when we trip and stumble into sin, but He loses His rightful place in our hearts. Roy uses the example of the dove taking flight when we lose our peace. He goes on to clarify that He is not withdrawing His presence, but His peace and blessing. There is a stark contrast between the disposition of the Lamb and our fleshly disposition. Philippians 2:5-8 shows us the humble Lamb of God.
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death on the cross” (Philippians 2:5-8 NKJV).
He is the Simple Lamb.
“A lamb is the simplest of God’s creatures. It has no schemes or plans for helping itself – it exists in helplessness and simplicity.” Jesus says in John 5:19, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner” (NKJV).
He is the Shorn Lamb.
He was “willing to be shorn of His rights, His reputation and every human liberty that was due Him, just as a lamb is shorn of its wool.” This one hit close to home for me. Whenever our reputation gets trashed, our fleshly reaction is to do everything possible to fight back and clear our good name. I can’t imagine what Jesus must have gone through in His trial and subsequent execution on a cross with criminals! But even there He identified with us and was willing to be “shorn” because of His great love for us.
He is the Silent Lamb.
Isaiah 53:7 says, “Like a lamb being led to the slaughter, He did not open His mouth.” This quote really resonated with me. “We have been anything but silent when others have said unkind or untrue things about us. Our voices have been loud in self-defense and self-vindication, and there has been anger in our voices.” Again we see the stark contrast between our disposition and that of the silent Lamb.
He is the Spotless Lamb.
This truth is one of my favorite qualities of Jesus. He was perfectly sinless and spotless! This is what qualified Him to be our Savior! If He had merely been a better version of us, who would have been His Savior? This is absurd but shows that He is the ONLY One able to defeat sin and death because He was completely separate from it. Praise God for the spotless Lamb!
He is the Substitute Lamb.
He died in our place. Isaiah 53:5 says, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed” (NKJV). Since Jesus did so much for us in bearing our sin and shame, it must grieve Him deeply when we choose not to humble ourselves before Him. He is not grieved for Himself, but for us that we would choose the bondage of walking in the flesh over the abundant life that He so readily offers.
The disposition of the Lamb can only be manifested in us when we are ruled by the Dove! When we have the “bent C” attitude of brokenness and surrender, “the Dove will be once again in His rightful place in our hearts, and peace with God will be ours. In this way, we shall know that continuous abiding of the Spirit’s presence, which is open even to fallen men, through the immediate and constant application of the precious blood of Jesus.”
“The only victory that is worth anything is the conquest of self.” Let us humble ourselves before Him today and experience afresh the simple, shorn, silent, spotless and substitute Lamb of God!
“Lord, break me, then cleanse me and fill me; and keep me abiding in Thee, that fellowship may be unbroken, and Thy Name be hallowed in me.”
Chapter 5: Homework
Day 1: The Simple Lamb of God
- Read John 1:19-34. Record everything John the Baptist says about Jesus, the Lamb of God. Now read Isaiah 40:1-5. (This is the prophecy John was referring to in John 1:23). What was the comfort to be provided to Jerusalem? List all the ways Jerusalem will be comforted in that time.
- Read Isaiah 53:1-2. How is Jesus described?
- Read Luke 9:47-48 and Luke 18:15-17. Why do you think the little children were drawn to Jesus? In Matthew 18:2-5, who did Jesus say would be the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven? How does Matthew 11:28-30 illustrate the disposition of the Lamb?
- Read John 5:19, John 8:28, John 14:10, John 12:49 and John 6:38. What do these verses teach you about Jesus’ dependency on the Father? Jesus role modeled dependence on the Father. Read 2 Corinthians 1:8-9 and Psalm 50:15. How do these verses speak of dependence on Him?
- Read John 15:4-5. How does abiding in the Vine illustrate our dependence on God? What happens as a result of abiding?
Day 2: The Shorn Lamb of God
- Jesus was “willing to be shorn of His rights, His reputation, and every human liberty that was due Him, just as a lamb is shorn of its wool.” Read the following verses and list how you see Jesus as the “shorn” Lamb of God: Psalm 22:6-8, Isaiah 50:6, Luke 16:14, Luke 8:53, Mark 15:19, Matthew 27:39-44 and Isaiah 53:3.
- What do you see in John 1:10-11 and Matthew 8:20 that speaks to you about how the world treated Jesus?
- Read Matthew 5:10-12. What does Jesus promise to the persecuted? How does this encourage your heart when you suffer for Christ’s sake?
- Read Luke 9:23-25. What reminder do these verses give and how does this show the disposition of the Lamb in us?
- How does Hebrews 12:2-3 encourage your heart to not grow weary?
Day 3: The Silent Lamb of God
- Read Isaiah 53:7 and record what Jesus is compared to.
- Read 1 Peter 2:18-25. What are we called to as followers of Christ (v 21)?
- From the passage above, list everything Jesus did and did not do while suffering. How does 1 Peter 2:24-25 encourage your heart?
- Read James 1:19-20. What do you learn about being silent? How does this reveal the disposition of the Lamb?
- Silence before God and man denotes humility. It doesn’t mean we won’t speak in boldness when God leads, but that our hearts are resting quietly in Him. Read Psalm 131:1-3 and Psalm 62:5-8. How do these psalms encourage you to have a quiet trust in the Lord?
Day 4: The Spotless Lamb of God
- Read Isaiah 53:8-9. What do you see about the spotless Lamb of God?
- Read 1 Peter 1:17-21. What do these verses say about the blood of Christ and our redemption in Him?
- Read Hebrews 9:12-14. How do these verses speak about the blood of the Lamb?
- What do 1 Peter 2:22 and 1 John 3:5 tell you about Jesus?
- Read Isaiah 1:18 and Psalm 51:7. What does the blood of the Lamb do for us?
- Read Ephesians 5:27. What is Jesus’ desire for His church? How does this compare with Revelation 19:6-8?
Day 5: The Substitute Lamb of God
- Read Isaiah 53:4-6. How does this show that Christ was our substitute?
- The book also refers to Jesus as our scapegoat. Read Leviticus 16:5-10 and list everything you learn about the scapegoat (hint: click on verse link for the New Living Translation). What was the result of the scapegoat being sent into the wilderness? (verse 10). How do you see Christ as our scapegoat?
- Read 2 Corinthians 5:21 and record it in your journal. How does this show Christ as our substitute?
- Read Jeremiah 23:6 and 33:16. How do these verses relate to 2 Corinthians 5:21 and Christ as our substitute? How do you see Christ’s continual substitution for us on a daily basis by giving us His righteousness?
- Read Isaiah 53:10-12. It pleased God to crush Jesus because He knew what would happen as a result! What result do you see in these verses? Now read 2 Corinthians 4:8.
- Meditate on this quote as we close for the day. “God has taken our gravest affliction – death – and has overcome it in Christ, so that we would never be overcome by it. The Father crushed His Son so that we would never be crushed by sin and death, so that we would spend an eternity of joy in His presence” (Hope When it Hurts by Kristen Wetherell & Sarah Walton).
Please note that unless stated otherwise, all italicized quotes that are not directly cited from an author or Scripture are direct quotes from the book, The Calvary Road, by Roy Hession.