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“The Good Shepherd” by Darrel Tank

The Lamb of God


by Patrick McCoy
Art by Darrel Tank

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    I had an experience this morning I shall never forget. The sun was waking our valley as I got into my truck. It was a chilly morning in April. I was thankful it was spring and winter was over. I was not in a rush, but had some things to do and decided to start early.
    Driving down Montana Avenue out of Caldwell, Idaho, gave me a fresh new feeling. Everything was green. Wild flowers were starting to bloom along the road. This was farmland and everywhere I looked was pleasant to rest the eye. I passed a dairy farm and naked fields that would soon begin to spring to life with sugar beets, wheat and corn.
    Ahead on the right was a beautiful farm. Judging from the size of the cottonwood trees in the yard, it must have been established as a sheep farm many years ago. As I went past the peaceful setting, my eye went to the sheep in the field. The lambs, —look at the lambs! There were many this year and they were so little.
    I could not help myself. My foot went to the brake, I pulled to the side of the road and got out. As I walked over to the fence a few of the sheep with their babies came close. The lambs were so beautiful, —they were so clean and white! I was so strangely drawn to these sheep and their babies that before I knew it I found myself at the front door of the house, knocking. An older man came to the door, said hello, and asked how he could help. With a bit of stammering, I finally got out that I was so interested in his sheep I would like to walk in the field with them. He looked me in the eye as if to search my intent, and just when I thought he was going to say no, he started to laugh. Laughing was not the response I expected. My face must have said so, because he stopped. His eyes were on fire with the sun’s reflection, and with a big smile that I shall never forget, he said, “Yes, use the green gate across the driveway.”
    A sense of peace came over me as I entered the field. I had never been around sheep before. I had never walked among them or touched them. This was quite a new experience for me and I felt my face light up with a big smile. The sheep were not afraid! Was it because the owner spent a lot of time with them?
    As I walked out to the middle of the field the sheep came closer and followed. I put my hand down into the thick wool, —it was so soft. As I slowly bent down on my knees, I stroked the head of one of the ewes. She like it, so I continued. Her baby walked over, sniffed me and then put its front feet on my leg. Emotions rushed through me. I had never felt this way before, —I was so drawn to this lamb! He climbed onto my lap so I picked him up in my arms. He was not afraid of me and let me hold him. His expression was one of perfect peace and contentment. I looked closer at his wool. It was so soft and clean, even whiter than its mother. I noticed that it smelled very much like a human baby.
    The warmth of the rising sun caught my attention, so I looked to the eastern sky. It was orange —no, it was white, —yes, whiter than the lamb I was holding! Something was happening. Wait! What is this? Do I see something? Yes, there in the light of the sun and in a different time and place I found myself dressed in a darkly colored robe at the door of a tent with the lamb still in my arms. I seemed to know that this was my home. There were many, many other tents all around, arranged in perfect order. At first I wondered why I was here, but soon realized where I was to go.
    I walked down the road between the tents and soon saw a vast opening where there were no tents. Was this the end of the tents? No, —it was the beginning! I looked further into the barren area and there was a large tent surrounded by a linen wall. I understood the meaning of the linen wall as it reflected purest white light in the bright morning sun. People were around me, but I did not care, for my attention was set on the Sanctuary of Jehovah before me. The sun was warm on my back as I started the walk that only I alone could make.
    Yes, there was a bit of some unexplainable fear as I took that first step, but the need overcame the fear. At first I felt the people watching me, and then it seemed I heard some of them talking about me. The closer I got to the wall entrance, the more I found myself in total concentration of what I was about to do. I saw that there was not even so much as a small rock in this area that might make me stumble.
    Four beautiful golden pillars made the entrance. Their beauty in the reflected sunlight could not be described. I stopped dead in my tracks at the entrance, for the sight I saw and the heartbeat of the lamb in my arms called on all my emotions! A little distance before me and before the tent was the large golden Altar of Sacrifice. It stood tall, yet even higher reached the great and mighty golden Horns of Strength—one on each corner. The engravings on the Altar passed before me in a very visual and real story, —it told the Story of Redemption and all was becoming clear to me. I was beginning to understand the Love of Jehovah!
    As I waited there at the Golden Entrance, I knew what was happening to me. The Spirit of Jehovah was preparing me for what was to come. Tears rolled down my cheeks and I felt the warmth of the Son of Jehovah enter my being and search in the deepest recesses of my heart. What sin would He find? Yes, I knew. I knew what He saw! And it was not pretty. —I was so sorry! —so sorry!
    The High Priest acknowledged my presence and with a nod of his head motioned me to come forward. I walked the remaining short distance in what seemed to be an eternity, for the thoughts that raced through my mind were very heavy. It was impossible to look the Priest in the eye and as I drew closer he reached into his belt and pulled out a knife and a green cord. With his right hand he place the knife and cord into my hand which I could hardly get open. With his left hand on my shoulder, he asked me to kneel.
    Kneeling, I looked at the perfect white Lamb in my arms and held him tight, cheeks wet with sorrow. He was so peaceful, —so perfect, —so innocent! O why has it come to this? Wasn’t there another way of atonement? I knew the answer—sin demanded the death of the sinner—and only by death, the death of this innocent Lamb, would I have life. I laid the Lamb down on its side and bound His feet with the green cord of faith. I then forced my hand to take the knife and noticed my sin in the reflection of its blade, —sin kills!
    Kneeling at my side, the priest placed his hand on the Lamb’s head and raising his face toward Heaven prayed as I shall never forget. His thoughts were my thoughts and he prayed before the Throne of Jehovah all that I thought and felt. It was as though he felt my very deep anguish!
    When He was through, I took the knife and putting the blade close to the neck of my Lamb, I pulled the knife quickly. The life of the Lamb left and drained onto the ground and into a bowl which the Priest gave to me. With the blood of the Lamb on my hands, I held the bowl as the Priest took the Lamb and laid Him upon the Altar of Sacrifice. It was then that I grabbed hold of one of the golden Horns of Strength! This was truly the hardest moment of my life. It was clear to me that it was my sin that had done this! O how great is sin! —how great is sin!
    The Priest took the bowl and went into the Tabernacle of Jehovah. Placing his fingertips in the blood of the Lamb, he sprinkled my sacrifice before the curtain and the Light coming from this Most Holy Place became the Peace of my soul. The Light from the golden candlestick shown into my eyes, helping me to discern spiritual things. The Bread and Wine from the table fed my starving heart and quenched my thirst for Jehovah’s Love. I was full, —and running over! O, My God, My God, —I Love Thee So!
    My attention was turned to the Priest. He shone with the Light of Heaven as he came out of the Holy Place of Jehovah. His face was radiant, brighter than the sun. He asked me to come to the Laver of Cleansing and wash my hands. My heart also was washed clean, —clean as the white wool of my Lamb, —as white as snow, —cleaner than the purest light. When I backed away from the washing place he asked me to look into the specially placed mirrors of the Laver. I was astounded! I saw my reflection and I did not have on the same clothes! I was now wearing a white robe! I beamed with joy and a smile spread across my face until there was no room left for anything else. I was clean and white—inside and out—by the life-giving blood of the Lamb! Yes, it can be described, —but yet it can not! No longer were there heavy, troubling thoughts! I was not carrying a burden of guilt! I could now jump into the air and shout for joy!
    My Priest turned to me and looked into my eyes, —and I into His! His robe had changed also, —to the whitest light I had ever seen. All I could see was His face, His hands, and His feet. He held out His hands and as I took them in mine, I felt the scars. I looked into the scars that were meant for me, but He paid the price. I fell to my knees with bowed head and through the tears saw the scars in His feet for the salvation of my soul. The tears flowed down in torrents, but they were not tears of sorrow! O no! These were tears of joy, thanksgiving and praise!
    “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” Rev 5:12-13.
    I felt His hand upon my head. A Peace filled my soul and there was not a particle in my body that did not sing out in praise. His healing hand had healed things I was not even aware of. For the first time in my life I felt whole and complete and I had singleness of purpose in life. He placed His hand under my chin and raised me to my feet. Looking into my eyes He said, “I Love You, Pat. You are my precious son. Come, follow me. I shall always be with you.” Placing His arm around my shoulder, we walked out past the linen wall. We continued across the barren area toward the tents, and He told me things I always wanted to know. Together we walked back to the door of my tent, and then it was that I found myself still kneeling in the field looking at the Son with the Lamb still in my arms. I held the Lamb tight and the moment even closer, and I still see His smile and feel His arm around my shoulder.

    Isn’t it wonderful that we live under the New Covenant and not the Old! Could it be that we in this age become complacent toward the Sacrifice made for us and take it for granted? This state of mind can be very dangerous for it shows us that there is no living personal experience with the Lamb of God. Do you know Jesus as your personal Saviour? He wants to be your best friend! Will you choose Him wholehearted and, with me, look into His loving eyes and say, "I love you Jesus! Speak, for thy servant hears!"

    This story is the result of a middle of the night experience with Jesus. It is not the result of a vision or a dream. But, in my mind and heart, this story really happened to me and it is my prayer that you will place yourself in this story and that Jesus, the Lamb of God, will become a reality in your life.

Sincerely in Christ,
Patrick McCoy

12/10/94

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