Mary had a Little Lamb
In our childhood, most of us learned the little song entitled,
“Mary Had A Little Lamb.” It went something like this,
“Mary had a little lamb. Its fleece was white as snow.
And everywhere that Mary went. That lamb was sure to go.”
There’s more to the story, but those few lines are enough to remind us of that little childhood song. As we sang that song while we were children, we had no idea that something like that had actually happened. It never dawned on our childish minds that the Bible
told us the same story. That a young girl named Mary
did indeed have a little lamb.
Well, that’s what is happening in these verses in Matthew’s Gospel. It seems that Joseph is engaged to a young Jewish girl named Mary. They were betrothed, which means that they were promised to each other, engaged, but were not as yet living together. During this time, word comes to Joseph that Mary is pregnant. Joseph knows that he isn’t the father, but he is sure someone is! He believes that Mary has been unfaithful to him and he decides to end it. Yet, because he loves Mary, he wants to do this thing quietly because the penalty for Mary’s crime was death by stoning. However, before he can put his plan into action, God sends an angel to tell Joseph that things aren’t at all like he thinks they are. He tells Joseph that Mary is carrying a child that was miraculously fathered by the Holy Spirit of God. He is told that this child will be a special child with a special mission. That, in fact, this child is to be the Saviour.
Joseph’s reaction is, to take Mary into his home and wait with her until the day that the baby is born. What they didn’t realize is that this baby who was growing in Mary’s body was none other than the Lamb of God who would one day die for the sins of all men.
Matthew 1:25 tells us that Mary eventually delivered this child. When she did, the Lamb of God was born. In one of the greatest stories in all of Scripture, we learn this simple truth that
Mary Had A Little Lamb.
It is that Lamb, the Lord Jesus that I would like to speak about this Christmas Day. I would like to share with you three characteristics of Mary’s little Lamb with you and may the Lord help us to see why Jesus, and His birth, are so special, and so important.
MARY’S LAMB WAS A SPECIAL LAMB
First of all, His Conception Was Special – Jesus Christ had no human father! His Father is God Himself! What makes the conception of the Lord Jesus so fantastic is the fact that He was born to a virgin! Now, we all know the method by which babies are conceived and brought into this world; however, the conception of Jesus was different! His mother was a virgin, – Isaiah. 7:14; Matt. 1:23; & Luke 1:34-35 all tell us that.
This is an essential doctrine! Without a virgin birth, we do not have a sinless Saviour and we have no hope of salvation. It is impossible to be saved and to deny the truth of the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ! So His conception was Special!
Then we notice that His Conduct Was Special – From the day Jesus came into this world until the day He ascended back into Heaven, He was a Person of very special characteristics.
Think of his Miracles – He could feed multitudes, open blinded eyes, heal the sick and even raise the dead. Walking on water posed no problem for the Lord Jesus, neither did stilling a violent storm. Everything He did marked Him as being special. However, these activities were merely proof that He was indeed who He claimed to be, “full of the Holy Ghost”.
Think too of his Messages – When Jesus opened His mouth, people marvelled at the things He said. Even when He was only 12 years of age, the doctors of the Law were astonished at Him, (read about it in Luke 2:47) When He began His ministry, He continued to amaze the crowds that heard Him speak.
Then think of his Methods – Even the way Jesus carried Himself set Him apart from all the others around Him. Never did He stoop to the level of His enemies, but He always kept His Father’s will the centre of His focus. Nothing mattered to Jesus but pleasing the Heavenly Father. John 8:29 tells us that he always did what pleased his Father. My dear friends, there had never been another like Jesus and there never will be! He was and is one of a kind! Mary’s little Lamb was truly special!
His conduct was Special, and His Claim Was Special.
– Jesus was never shy about telling people Who He was. In fact, His claims were what caused the Jews to seek His death. What was the claim that Jesus made that was so offensive to these people? The answer to that question is two-fold. Firstly –
Jesus Claimed To Be The Son Of God – John 10:36. Jesus claimed that He was the Son of God in Heaven. All the people supposed Him to be the son of Joseph, however, Jesus claimed a special relationship with the Father in Heaven. Just as the doctrine of the virgin birth is essential to our salvation, so also is the doctrine that Jesus is the Son of God. Until a person comes to the place that they are willing to confess Jesus to be the Son of God,
they cannot be saved! But more than this …
Jesus Claimed To Be God – John 14:9; John 8:58; and John 10:30 all make this claim. – This claim was even more offensive to the Jews that the other one! By making this claim, Jesus was telling them that He was eternal, that He was their God, that they needed to bow before Him and acknowledge Him as their God. This, they were not willing to do! May I remind you that only those who accept the truth that Jesus is God can be saved! However, to believe that is simple, if you believe in the truth of the Bible.
So then we have seen that Mary’s Lamb Was A Special Lamb; … in the second place let us consider that …
MARY’S LAMB WAS A SACRIFICIAL LAMB
Mary’s little Lamb came into this world for one purpose. It was not to walk on water, it was not to heal sick folks, it was not to open blinded eyes, it was not to calm storms. Jesus came for the sole purpose of revealing the Kingdom and dying to open the door to it.
The Kingdom had been lost to humanity since the fall, and Jesus came to restore to us our place and peace with God! He was a special Lamb, but He came to be a sacrificial Lamb. You see, Jesus came to die for the sins of humanity. Luke tells us that His mission in this world was “to seek and to save that which was lost“; Luke 19:10.
If He was going to accomplish this, there was a price that had to be paid, and He paid that price when He went to the cross and died for our sins. Notice these three things about the sacrificial Lamb.
First of all, He Was a Spotless Lamb – Before any lamb could be offered as a sacrifice, it had to be examined thoroughly and be declared spotless. Numbers 28:v9 shows us that an animal that was impure or deformed could not be offered. In order for Jesus to be the sacrifice for our sins demanded that He be a perfect specimen. He had to be a man without spot or blemish.
Jesus filled this requirement perfectly.
Not only was He the Son of God, but He was the sinless Son of God. Paul the apostle says in 2 Cor. 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” When Jesus Christ died on the cross, He was shedding innocent blood. He was dying in the place of all the guilty sinners who had ever and would ever live. He was a pure Lamb dying for a wretched world.
Then consider that … He Was A Submissive Lamb – Jesus wasn’t forced into His role as a sacrifice. He willingly submitted to all that He endured. He did it all out of a heart of love for you and for me. Remember, Jesus was God in human flesh! Matthew 26:53 tells us that He could have called down 12 legions of angels had He wanted to. He could have spoken the word and His executioners and accusers would have vanished away into nothingness. He could have expressed the thought and everything would have been no more! But He didn’t! He endured the shame and the pain without uttering a word. He submitted to the Father’s will and paid the price
for sin. He was a submissive Lamb.
When He did speak, it was to pray for the forgiveness of His tormentors. Jesus was surrendered to the Father’s will. Even in the Garden of Gethsemane when the cross was still hours away Jesus could be found in prayer – calling for the Father’s will
to be done.
Consider too that He Was A Sacrificed Lamb – All the rest meant nothing unless this part was fulfilled. It wasn’t enough for Jesus to be sinless and surrendered – He had to suffer and die before sin could ever be done away with, for “without shedding of blood there is no remission” Heb. 9:22.
Thank God, on that cross, Jesus paid the price for our sins and literally became sin for you and for me that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him! That’s right, they took the Lord Jesus outside of the city of Jerusalem, nailed Him to a cross and there He died for your sins and mine! When that blood was pouring from His body and His life was ebbing away, it was as if a giant billboard advertising the awesome love of God had been erected in that place for all sinners to see. Can you see it? Can you see that Christmas is all about LOVE, Gods love for you?
So then …
Mary’s Lamb Was A Special Lamb
Mary’s Lamb Was A Sacrificial Lamb
then, let us consider that MARY’S LAMB IS A SAVING LAMB
If the story had ended here, with Jesus dead on a cross, this would be a sad story to tell. There would be no reason to celebrate Christmas and no need to go to church. There would be no salvation and no hope for our souls. No Gospel, no Good News. If He died and that was the end of Him, that would be the end of us as well. But, thank God, the story doesn’t end there! Three days after Jesus died on that cross, He came forth, alive, from the tomb, Matt. 28:1-6. Tell us, He is still alive today. “He ever lives” Heb. 7:25. Since all this is true,
I want to show you what the Lamb of God, Mary’s little Lamb
can still do today. First;
He Has The Power To Save Sinners –
Some of you imagine that that doesn’t apply to you, some of you have told me you have done nothing wrong, and cannot understand why God would want to “fry” you in hell? But you don’t have to have sinned to be a sinner! You see you were born a sinner, and you were born lost, a stranger to God.
Yet all those who are still lost in sin have hope this Christmas day, because of the first Christmas Day! They can turn to the Lamb, the Lord Jesus and He will save their souls today! There are three basic things that He will do in the heart and life of every sinner that will come to Him by faith.
He Can Cleanse Sin – His blood has the power to wash away sins forever! Psalm. 103:v12; tells us that he “will remove our sins from us as far as the east is from the west.” need we say more?
When you put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and accept His death and resurrection as the payment for your sin debt, He washes you in His blood and your sins are no longer an issue!
He can Cleanse Sin, … He Can Convert Souls –
The human soul is a wicked thing, Jeremiah 17:9. tells us that
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it”? It is lost and undone and cannot have fellowship with God. However, when a sinner trusts Jesus for salvation, Jesus takes that life that was so far away from God and brings it near to God. When Jesus does His saving work in your soul, He makes you pleasing in the sight of God and allows you to enter into a special relationship with God. Because when you are saved, you too become a child of God. No longer are you soiled, corrupt and doomed to Hell, but in Jesus you are saved and brought into a close,
meaningful and living relationship with the Father above!
He can Cleanse Sin, … He Can Convert Souls – and
He Can Change Sinners – When He saves someone, He also changes that person. Paul writing in 2 Corinthians. 5:17 says “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”. We have heard this verse quoted repeatedly in the Church until it seems
common to our hearing. However, the truth needs to be understood by everyone listening that if you are saved, you have been changed!
You may not look changed, or feel changed, or even act changed,
but in God sight you have been transferred and transformed into His Kingdom, and now you can experience this change in your everyday living. You cannot be like you were, any longer! Everything has changed and can never be the same again! Jesus takes the worst of sinners and turns them into the best of saints. Believe me I know?
Finally, Jesus Has The Power To Secure Saints – Those who come to Mary’s little Lamb need never fear losing what they have been given. When Jesus saves a soul, – He does it for all eternity!
If you are saved today, you will always be saved, John 10:28; says “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand”.
If you have been putting off your salvation because you are afraid that you cannot keep it, then let me encourage you to stop looking at yourself and what you can do. Salvation belongs to the Lord! If He can save you, then He can keep you saved! If He can’t keep you then He can’t save you to begin with. After all, that was His greatest miracle!
When you think about the Christ of Christmas this year, try to keep things in perspective. Christmas must not be allowed to continue its slide into paganism, commercialism and the world of fantasy. You and I who have been exposed to the truth of God’s Word need to remember that Christmas is about that special day when God sent His Son into the world to be the sacrifice for our sins. Christmas is about you coming to know God. After all, that is why God sent His Son into the world! Do you know Mary’s Little Lamb today?
If not, why not come to Him now? If you have come some time in the past, but things are not as they should be between you and the Lord, then I challenge you to bring yourself and your need to Jesus right now. He can fix what is broken in your life. Give Him the Christmas Present of your Love and your Life:
– because that’s the best and the only gift that he desires today.
Yes, Mary had a little Lamb, … do you?
God Bless you. Amen