I was talking one morning,a few days ago, with our beloved 4 year old son, Reuben and was telling him about Jesus Christ being the Lamb of God (Agnus Dei), but then as I started to explain to him what it meant to be The Sacrificial Lamb, he quickly stopped me and inquisitively questioned, but isn’t Jesus also the Shepherd? If so how can He be the Lamb and the Shepherd? My loving wife, Sangeetha and I both felt that this was an interesting observation and certainly a good question that warranted some further investigation. Throughout the day I researched, pondered and studied the Holy Bible to see what the Bible has to say about what would seem as a literary incongruity.
Upon research, I learned that Jesus Christ personally claimed to be the Good Shepherd that would lay down His life for His sheep (his people – you and me) (John 10:11). He is also the Chief Shepherd as stated through Apostle Peter (1 Peter 5:4). Jesus Christ was identified as being the Lamb of God by John the Baptist and then we see references in the Bible to Him as the Lamb, but He never personally claimed to be a Lamb. So how can Jesus Christ be the Shepherd and also the Lamb?
It is the responsibility of the shepherd to pick a lamb without blemish for sacrifice, but when God searched through the entire world, to and fro (2 Chronicles 16:9) He found none that was righteous (Romans 3:10) and so He had to look at Himself. Having found none other than Himself, He had to forsake Himself (Matthew 27:46) for the sake of His people and was identified to be the Lamb of God. He lay down His life on his own accord, as the Good Shepherd is expected to, so that you and I could walk through the valley of the shadow of death and not fear its power.
Behold the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29) and for the taking away (remission) of sins, there needs to be a shedding of blood (a sacrifice) (Hebrews 9:22) and the Good Shepherd willingly shed his blood on the Cross of Calvary and laid down His life for His sheep (John 10:17). Though our finite minds may find it hard to understand, suffice it to say that Jesus Christ is not only the one who chose the Sacrifice (Shepherd God) but He is also THE SACRIFICE (Lamb of God), because there is no other sacrifice that can atone and satisfy a God of Justice and Love. Jesus Christ is The Shepherd and The Lamb.
John 10:11 (KJV)
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
John 1:29 (KJV)
29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.