In one of the rhymes from our childhood we note a report that:
“Mary had a little Lamb,
whose fleece was what as snow.”
In John 1:29, John the Baptist, identifies another Mary who had a lamb. John calls out, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.” This is Mary’s lamb and God’s Lamb whose fleece was white as snow. He came and walked among his own without spot or blemish. No human, no other lamb in God’s flock could such a claim. We all had gone astray going our own way.
Unlike Mary’s lamb in the nursery rhyme or Mary’s lamb whom we meet in the Christmas story we have not followed God wherever he goes. We have romped in place where God has placed no trespassing signs. We have gorged ourselves on poisonous and noxious weeds when God would feed us on the enriching green pastures and the living water of his word.
Jesus, the Lamb of God, brings to mind a much different image than the cuddly, cozy, romping lamb of the nursery rhyme. The task of taking away the sins of the world is an enormous one. Jesus, Mary’s Lamb, will be the sacrifice for all our willfulness regarding God as he alone follows the will of God – even to the cross where he becomes the Lamb who is slain and rises again that we may be made white as wool.