home > Pastor’s Desk > 2023 > April 7th > “Like a lamb”

The surprising conclusion to the story of God’s plan of redemption and the climax of each of the four Gospels, is that “the Lamb has conquered” (Rev. 17:14) — not by military might — but being killed and then conquering death itself! The introduction of Christ to the world in John’s Gospel was delivered by John the Baptiser when he declared- 

¶ The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me,
because He was before me.’
John 1:29-30

In each of the Passover meals that are recorded in the Gospels (where the central elements were the pascal lamb, the unleavened bread, and the unfermented wine) not once is there any reference to the lamb. Even the bread and wine are given new and richer significance by the Very Lamb of God when He announced, “Take eat, this is My body”, and of the wine “This is My blood which is shed for you.” It was the presence of the True Lamb that made any reference to the shadowy sacrificed lamb  absolutely redundant. In each of the three Passovers that Jesus celebrated with His disciples, it was only the last one, on the night He was betrayed, that they celebrated it a day early. This significance of this is often overlooked by many who have not paused to consider just how odd yet profound this apparent wrong-datedness was. On the day that the Passover (“Pascal”) lamb was being roasted, Jerusalem and the houses that surrounded the holy city would have had the smell of thousands of households exuding its smoke from their roasting ovens giving the precinct a cloud with the distinct aroma of barbecued roast lamb. The night before this, Christ met with His disciples and instituted the New Covenant ordinance of the Lord’s Supper (1Cor. 11:20). Thus, the following day, just when each household fired up their roasting ovens, Christ was charged, tried, convicted, condemned, and crucified — as the True Passover Lamb. When Christ was beaten and bloodied and bruised and stripped naked and nailed to a Roman cross and left hanging while pinned with three nine-inch iron spikes to that tree, Jerusalem was progressively being filled with the aroma of thousands of emblematic lambs all pointing to the One True Lamb just outside the city walls (significantly) to the west of the once holy city.

In the eyes of the Jewish and Roman authorities, the “Jesus problem” was now dealt with. With Christ dead the Jewish leaders had dealt with the problem of the One who threatened their power over the people. With Christ dead the Roman authorities had dealt with the problem of the One that tens of thousands of Jews believed was the Messiah-Deliverer. How infinitely wrong they both were!

Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened.
For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
First Corinthians 5:7

The death of the Eternal Lamb of God which led to His victory over death and the powers of evil itself resulted in the greatest and most decisive military victory in the history of our cosmos! In the closing book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation, the One whom John the Baptiser had previously described as the amnos of God (John 1:29), is referred to twenty-eight times in its twenty-two chapters as the arnion (‘little lamb’).

¶ And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb [arnion] standing,
as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes,
which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
Revelation 5:6

The closing book of the Bible delivers a literary twist that not even the most creative writer could hav ever dreamt of. The mightiest military and combined religious forces of the then known world with all its might, power, and glory, was no match for a little lamb!!!!

They will make war on the Lamb,
and the Lamb will conquer them,
for He is Lord of lords and King of kings,
and those with Him are called and chosen and faithful.”
Revelation 17:14

The Almighty Eternal Omnipotent God and Creator of the Universe entered into space and time and became like a lamb and demonstrated that true power, true greatness, and true might, are not measured by the things that the rebellious world considers necessary! The first Easter established once and for all who was the True Lord, the One True God, and His claim to summon peoples from all lands and languages to lay their lives down in surrendered worship of Him. And this is what we do in constant memory and celebration of the One who is worthy of our adoration, devotion, and worship each Sunday and especially during Easter!

¶ And I saw no temple in the city,
for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.
And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it,
for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb…
But nothing unclean will ever enter it,
nor anyone who does what is detestable or false,
but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Revelation 21:22-23, 27

Your Pastor,


Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.


  1. Therese Stepanovic

    Thank you Ps Andrew for the reminder today of the extraordinary sacrifice of what Jesus has done for us. He is Lord of Lords. We need to reflect everyday not just Good Friday about how awesome our God is to send His only Son to die for us on that cross… WOW

  2. LYDIA



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For those unfamiliar with the story of the Bible who may be seeking to remedy that unfamiliarity, I would recommend that they start reading in the New Testament. It is there that they will be introduced immediately to Jesus who is the central character of the whole Bible. For many novice readers of the Bible who then attempt to read the Old Testament of the Bible (its first 39 books), it initially seems like they are reading a completely unrelated story which seems to describe a completely different God. But with a little patience and persistence the reader will begin to suspect that this is not a different story but is in fact the prequel to the New Testament. Then a strange supernatural thing happens as they continue to become acquainted with the lives of the patriarchs, judges, kings and prophets, as these characters interact with enemies, giants, angels, strange heavenly beings, and GOD Himself. The reader begins to see in a similar way to what a photographer could not previously see clearly until his camera’s focus was adjusted to make the picture clear — the GOD who created, acted, spoke and judged, frequently referred to Himself as ‘us’, ‘we’, ‘our’, and at times seemed to have conversations with divine characters identified as ‘the LORD’ and ‘Me’ and ‘His Spirit’ (Isa. 48:16). And this all begins to sound very reminiscent of the GOD described in the New Testament as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. With a growing knowledge of the Bible and hunger to understand it, the follower of Christ discovers that literally for thousands of years prior to this day there have been many many others who have also walked the journey of discovery through the mysterious pages of the Bible and have each made a startling discovery about the human Jesus’ pre-existence throughout the pages of the Old Testament.


The One who spoke the world into existence entered materially into His World and “split time in half”. He came to rescue the world because a great betrayal occurred. One of His chief agents was filled with self-deception and conceited envy and manipulated a serpent to his bidding in destroying the very last and highest of the Lord’s “very good” creation. Disappointingly she fell for it – and her husband who supposed to protect her failed in his most basic of responsibilities. Their fall from innocence and into grace plunged that was momentarily and formerly under their vice-regency. The world had now gone rogue. When the Eternal Son of God submitted to His co-LORD, the Holy Spirit placed Him into a virgin’s womb by uniting his consciousness and sinless essence with the ovum of this young virgin. In doing so, Immanuel relinquished none of His sovereign power or prerogatives but chose to lay aside His glory and become fully human. And for those who came to recognise who He actually was, it ever caused them to fall down at His feet in adoration, or shrink back from Him in terror. The side-effect of those who who adored him was a new ability to sleep. If you have trouble sleeping because of worries, you too can discover how an acquaintance with the Lordship of Jesus the Christ can also help you to sleep better. 


Today, “Jesus Christ is Lord” sounds like a bumper sticker or part of an ancient church liturgy but when Christianity was founded if someone uttered these words it could literally mean death! ’o christos ’o kurios “Christ is Lord” was a risky thing to declare when the only safe thing to declare was ’o kaiser ’o kurios “Caesar is Lord”! Yet it was upon these words that the earliest confession of the Church was founded. For the early Christians, this was not a glib, throw-away line uttered during a church service or something stuck on the backside of your donkey (or chariot if you were wealthy).  


I really dislike the expression ‘moving forward’. So many people say, ‘moving forward’ from the meeting, the experience, the…. whatever! Has anyone stopped to think that time continues. We can’t go back. Even if we are reflecting, or for that matter mulling, we are in the continuum of time, and unless we have a mythical time machine, we just can’t go backwards in time. Our only option is to ‘move forward’.


I have long said that my primary role as a shepherd-pastor is to help people to die well. To do this, as I have often said, requires that we learn how to live life well. Of all the normally uncomfortable subjects that Christians find it difficult to talk about, death should not be one of them. But it is. This is because, of all the world religions, only Christianity has a positive view of death. After all, we have a divine Saviour who confronted and conquered death. As a result the original apostles mocked death.
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
¶ The sting of death is sin,
and the power of sin is the law.”
(First Corinthians 15:55-56)
These apostles refused to be intimidated by death which was ultimately evidenced by their martyrdoms. The apostle Paul could look forward to his death with the obvious lament that he would no longer be available to help those he had led to the Lord (Phil. 1:23-25). But he could face his impending death with the assurance that it would mean that he would immediately be in the presence of his Lord — and so should we! And like Paul, we too should be be able to talk about death in a very different way to those who do not know what we know.


A suburban home in Australia is shrinking in land size even though the average house size is headed in the opposite direction. What hasn’t changed is fencing around the block of land in order to separate it from a neighbour’s property. Broken fences, overgrown hedges and pets jumping fences are a known source of conflicts. We value our privacy. Those fences are boundaries. To go over them without permission will be trespassing. Renting, owning or owned outright – our home is our safe haven. When we chat with neighbours across the fence, there is a sense of security that comes with standing on our own patch of land. A little piece of Australia over which we have custody, albeit temporal.


Each of these uncomfortable topics in this brief series of articles are uncomfortable because there they carry a sense of embarrassment or even shame attached to them. But this particular topic also carries a good deal of pain associated with it – in addition to any feelings of embarrassment or shame. This pain may involve a sense of failure, betrayal, rejection, and humiliation. Divorce rarely effects just the two people involved in ending a marriage. Divorce can scar people like little else can. It can scar socially, financially, emotionally, relationally, and even a person’s physical health – and sometimes do so permanently.


All of us feel sad at some point – even people who are usually happy most of the time. Usually though for most people there will be some understandable reason for it. This might include the loss of a loved one, a certain disappointment, an accident, or sympathy for someone. This kind of sadness is temporary. But there is a kindness of sadness that lingers which leaves a person drained, teary, thinking dark thoughts, and feeling desperately lonely. This is usually when we consider someone is experiencing ‘depression’ and it is one of those things that Christians find difficult to admit to or even talk about.


There are some things that Christians can’t and don’t talk about – but probably should. So, I would like to pastorally share some thoughts about this taboo topic of doubt in what will be part 1 in this short series of pastor’s desk articles of four taboo topics that Christians can’t talk about.


Resilience was one of the predominant character traits of the early Christians. They called it being steadfast. For these early Christians being ‘resilient’ meant being able to keep going despite set backs, discouragements, betrayals, unforeseen circumstances, lack of energy, motivation, and resources. Like a weary hiker looking down a long road that leads to the mountain range they must walk over, being resilient in life means putting one foot in front of the other, and then doing it again, and again, and again, and so on. God knows that today, in what many are describing as “Post-Christendom” (and the resilient among us prefer to think of as Pre-Christendom) to be resilient is to live with a purpose, to stay focused, to live for others, and to strive toward a good, honourable, goal. With so many reasons to lose sight of the true purpose of life the tendency is to be tricked into believing that life right now is too hard. But the truth be told – people need to know how to be more resilient. Leaders especially need to be resilient right now. Churches assuredly need to be resilient at this time. With the recent interference into churches by government through the measures they said was “to keep people safe” — it has actually depleted people’s ability and willingness to be resilient! Here’s what leaders, people, and churches can do about it.