The Apostle John used the phrase “Behold the Lamb” in his gospel as the words of John the Baptist when he pointed out Jesus to the crowds and twice in Revelation 7:9 and 14:1. Beholding Jesus is what is keeping me hopeful this year. It has been a strange Advent season for me. An unexpected travel plan got me out of my regular schedule and away from my advent candles and devotion. I found myself without my regular tools to focus on Advent, but I never found myself without the need to behold the Lamb.
On this Christmas day I have beheld the Lamb in deeper ways because He is all I have. The Lamb is the reason for my life this Christmas. In a way I had a unique experience as I ended up in Mexico by the week before Christmas. I love that they do not put the baby in the manger until Christmas Eve. I was excited to join with the believers who would have a little parade to put the baby in the manger scene. However, I found out that the believers come to Midnight Mass then have a parade to bring the baby to the manger around 2 a.m. then go home and have a big dinner and sleep all Christmas day. That schedule didn’t go along with my previous plans to have our neighbor over for an American Christmas dinner at noon. I did not get to be a part of the church ceremony, but I did go on Christmas day to behold the baby in the manger just as the shepherds did that night He was born. Those shepherds do teach us how to behold the Lamb. They heard from the angels that: And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people (Luke 2:10).” The angels direct us to behold the Lamb. Thirty years later John the Baptist told the crowds, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29).
And what is there to Behold? John 1:16 describes the grace that is revealed in the Lamb! “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” Beholding the Lamb is the most hopeful and helpful way to look at the world and all that is happening in our lives. Can you imagine that beholding the Lamb will mean digging into layers of grace upon grace upon grace? Will there ever be an end to His grace? How can I escape His grace if I behold Him? What an amazing way to live, beholding the Lamb!
For the Twelve Days of Christmas, I will behold the Lamb and the grace that He has lavished into my life. John the Baptist was right when he told the crowds to behold the Lamb, I will continue beholding Him all year long.