Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Patience (08/21/08)
TITLE: Wooly and the Sacrificial Lamb
By Gerald Shuler
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“Have you heard?” Wooly asked any bypassing lamb. “Have you heard that I’m gonna be Lead Sheep. Shepherd says I’m the best in the flock.”
The lambs didn’t even try to respond. They just walked away shaking their tails at him in disgust. After all, who said Shepherd was looking for a Lead Sheep? Maybe he was just scouting out his next mutton chop dinner.
Wooly didn’t mind being snubbed, though. He could patiently wait for Shepherd to finally put Old Cranky, the current Lead Sheep, to pasture. Then they would see. He just knew his destiny was to be Lead Sheep.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t Shepherd’s plans at all. Late that night Wooly was hiding behind a grapevine at Shepherd’s camp fire. He heard Shepherd and his wife talking, and, oh what a thrill… it was about Wooly.
“Thank God we have a lamb like Wooly.” Shepherd said to his wife.
“Yes, he is perfect. He’ll make a wonderful sacrificial lamb for the Passover.”
Perfect? That’s what Wooly liked to hear. Perfect enough to be Lead Sheep. But what was a sacrificial lamb and what was Passover?
Suddenly a bright light filled the sky and angels started singing. Boy, Wooly thought, he must really be special to rate that kind of attention. Then one of the angels separated himself from the others and began to speak to Shepherd and his wife.
“Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy. A child it born in the City of David who is your Savior, Christ the Lord. You will find him laying in a manger.”
Shepherd leaped for joy. “Wife, Wife, do you know what this means? God’s promise is fulfilled this night. The Messiah, God’s perfect Lamb, is born.”
Now that got Wooly’s attention. Perfect Lamb? Wooly had been chosen as the best lamb in the flock. How could any lamb be better than him? He decided he must follow Shepherd to the manger to see for himself how this Lamb could be so perfect.
As they neared the manger they heard a woman singing softly as she held a baby in swaddling clothes. She saw them coming and seemed to know why they were there. Lovingly, she held the child for them to see.
Could this be who the angel was talking about? It was just a baby. A human baby… not even a lamb at all. He looked around just to make sure. Nope. He was definitely the only lamb at the manger.
Wooly jerked around, shaken by the voice. Beside him stood the angel that had been at Shepherd’s campfire.
“Wooly, you seem confused. God is not the author of confusion so let me show you about this Lamb of God.”
“You mean the baby?”
“Yes, the baby.”
“But Shepherd said I was the best lamb. He is making me a sacrificial lamb. I guess that’s another name for Lead Sheep.”
“It means you must die to cover the sins of Shepherd and his family.”
“Die? I don’t want to die!” Wooly gulped and followed the angel’s gaze to the baby.
“Neither does this child.” The angel looked like he could cry. “But that is what He came to do.” The angel put his hand on Wooly’s head. “Wooly, God has been patient with mankind’s sinful ways. He has accepted man’s imperfect sacrifices, but your blood can only cover sins for one year and then another lamb will need to be sacrificed. This child will live a perfect, spotless life and then die a cruel death so that any who believe on this Lamb’s sacrifice will be forever forgiven of their sins and healed of their disease.”
“The baby is going to do that?”
“For whosoever will believe.”
Wooly looked closely at the child. His eyes were tender. His little hands seemed to be reaching out to Wooly in love. Somehow, something in the cocky little lamb changed. He looked up at the angel.
“Can I be Whosoever Will?”
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