Never Alone

This past week, I had the pleasure of spending an entire week alone in my house, minus the company of my dog, Chance, and Grandma who I asked to come over often. Needless to say, that “pleasure” quickly turned to sorrow as the longer the days grew and the darker the nights, the lonelier I became.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love quiet. I love a well-lived-in home full of life, but quiet at night. However, when it really comes down to it, once you’ve heard every creak, crack, and bump in the night, many of us don’t like being alone as much as we thought (myself included).

Walking out to the porch one evening that week, even poor Chance wailed his loneliness of humanity through the hollowest howl of horrifying sorrow I’d ever heard. Perhaps it was a lingering revelation that his fellow brother Buddy (who had to be put to sleep a week earlier) was really never coming back, or maybe it was a simple longing for me to come back in the house, even for just a few moments because he couldn’t stand the thought, the feeling, the presence of being alone…even when I was just outside the door he couldn’t see through.

And in some odd parallel of a lonely dog singing opera and a twenty-something girl full of anxiety and fear of being isolated in her bedroom, I tend to wonder if God at the beginning of time felt this way about His creation.

Creation of Community

In the Scriptures of Genesis chapter 2, we learn that just a few short days after God created the Universe and His creation of Adam, left this one human longing for something that even God knew needed provided. And did this mean that God wasn’t good? Of course not! Did it mean that He had made a mistake? Certainly not. But, it did mean that He recognized a need for His people even before they asked for anything, and in His goodness, He gifted us with something no other could: community.

Breathing His own life into dust to form the lungs of Adam, our Word records that Adam was created with a purpose. He was given a mission to care for the land, avoid the tree of Good and Evil, and live in the presence of our Heavenly Father. What a joy that sounds! Yet, even with this purpose and calling, Adam had no other human interaction. And before he knew it, I’m sure he felt much like me this week when the Word reflects:

It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him – Genesis 2:18, NLT

God, who recognized a NEED in His people, even before they would beg, cry out, and ask for it on their own. A need not just romantically, but relationally.

So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still, there was no helper just right for him. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. “At last,” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man”- Genesis 2:19-23

And you know what I love about that Scripture? That, as much as I want caring for things to be enough. As much as I want my dog, Chance, to be enough. Even as much as I want God in solitude to be enough, He wants a community for us, and without that, we will utterly be alone. But look! This Scripture not only tells us that God doesn’t want us to be alone, but it also reveals that God will always provide for our every need. In friendship, in a relationship, in family, even before we ever speak a word.

Psalm 139:4 declares with eloquence, “even before a word is on my tongue, You know all about it, O Lord.” Nothing proves this more than the Creator of the Universe providing for the first man on the planet, not because he asked for something, but because God knew that a lack of humanity would never be enough for Adam.

Never Alone with Christ

On Thursday this week, I finally saw my parents, and as eager as a child in a candy store, I couldn’t resist the urge to tell them how much I missed them this week. And in that short span of five seconds, I realized something profound: even in their lack of physical appearance this week, I was reassured every night by the voice of my parents that they cared for and loved me the same, even when I couldn’t presently see them. I couldn’t help but think that the same principle applies to our Father in Heaven who profoundly longs to hear, speak, talk to, and remind us that we’re never alone.

Even when we can’t see Him behind the door.

Even when we can’t hear Him and we scream at the top of our lungs with a wailing sorrow.

Even when we can’t speak because we’re so full of tears that all that comes out is a blubbering mess of emotion.

Even when it’s just a week and you know your parents will be back again (as silly as that sounds), but you miss their presence and community, know this:

He’s still there. He still cares. And regardless of if we can physically see, hear, or experience Him; He doesn’t want us to be alone.

Jesus the Passover Lamb: A Study in Biblical Theology

lamb of god

“For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” – 1 Corinthians 5:7

Travel back in time with me for a moment. We’re likely in Bethany by the Jordan River the day after John the Baptist baptized hundreds of people (likely Jewish), who had placed their trust in the coming Messiah (John 1:28). All of a sudden, John the Baptist sees this man walking by and proclaims, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

As Gentiles, the phrase would’ve seemed confusing to us. We probably would’ve asked why John identifies a man as being the Lamb of God. But for Jews, this bold statement would’ve turned heads and shocked many. We often forget the context behind certain phrases in Scripture, but what John the Baptist proclaims is profound. John likely identified Christ as the “Lamb of God” [Passover Lamb] because he knew that he is the fulfillment of Exodus 12 and Isaiah 53. Not only does John the Baptist see this fulfillment, but also the Apostles. In fact, Paul clearly identifies Jesus as the “Passover Lamb” (1 Cor. 5:7). I will present to you the three most important blessings we see in Scripture of Christ being our Passover Lamb.


The Lamb Delivers His People from the Bondage of Sin (Exodus 12)

The first blessing is that Jesus delivers his people from the bondage of sin. Associate Professor of Biblical Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary James M. Hamilton Jr. describes typology as when “the biblical authors [draw] attention to people, events, and institutions where the divine author [God] has caused actual resemblance. To examine biblical typology is to examine the orchestration of the sovereign God.”

The physical Passover Lamb in Exodus 12 points to Christ as the Lamb of God, the physical sacrifice in our place. The requirement that the lamb must be unblemished points to Christ being perfect in every way. Ultimately, the result of Israel being delivered from slavery to Egypt points to the day when Christ delivered his people from the bondage of sin for all eternity on the cross.


The Lamb Atones for Sin (Isaiah 53)

The next blessing is that as our perfect sacrifice, Jesus atones for sin. Some of the most powerful verses in the Bible come from Isaiah 53, which describes the Deliverer as the Suffering Servant, the one who would take on sin and impute his righteousness to his people. 

Consider Isaiah 53:4-5:

Surely he has borne our griefs

and carried our sorrows;

yet we esteemed him stricken,

smitten by God, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions;

he was crushed for our iniquities;

upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,

and with his wounds we are healed.

Christ was brought to death like a lamb brought to the slaughter, yet he didn’t resist (Isaiah 53:7). All of this he did to atone for our sin. For those of you that may not understand what atonement means, I’ll give you a helpful way of understanding the term. Basically, atonement means “at-one”ment with God. This means Jesus reconciles us to God by shedding his blood on the cross. Isaiah 53:12c, which says, “Yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors,” portrays this image of Christ bearing our sins as the sacrifice in our place, and the one who reconciles us to God.


The Lamb Blesses His People with Worship (Revelation 5)

The final blessing is that in his sacrificial death on the cross, his resurrection and exaltation, he blesses his people with worship for all eternity. I would imagine that there were a few Jews who wept tears of joy in hearing the Baptizer announce Jesus as the Lamb of God; they personally and intimately knew what that meant. They knew that John just announced their Deliverer has come. He heralded that the One who would be the sacrifice in our place has entered into the story of redemption. Our hope in redemption, however, would’ve all been lost if Christ is not risen.

If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. – 1 Cor. 15:19

The glorious plan of redemption finds its rest in the resurrected and exalted Lamb, whom Revelation 5 describes as the One who receives all “power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing” (Rev. 5:12). By his blood he has ransomed a people for himself “from every tribe and language and people and nation,” and this beautiful people he has made “kingdom and priests to our God” to reign with him and worship him for all eternity (Rev. 5:9-10). Ransomed people of the Lamb of God, let us worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).