While we were in the Andes, making plans to build greenhouses for the tribe that lived there, to teach them how to grow food inside during cold months and thus provide more adequately for their families, one of the men in the group got a craving for lamb. Fresh lamb. The people in the mountains are shepherds, leaving their young children alone during the day, while the adults and older children take the flock to pasture in the high hills of the beautiful terrain. This man wanted to taste lamb from the mountains in Peru, and asked, through a translator, if he could purchase one. The arrangement was made, and a lamb was sold for $50 American money, a fortune to these people. The lamb was separated from its mother, the two of them bleating their agonizing goodbyes, but once away, he became quiet. He was laid on his side, and his four legs were tied together with rope. And there he stayed throughout the day, until dinner time approached. He never made a sound. He laid perfectly still, eyes open, mouth quiet.
When the time came, and work was done for the day, this man, seeing only dinner, came to the lamb and prepared to slaughter it. It was a difficult scene for someone like me, raised by animal activists and vegetarians, and loving the creatures as I do. The lamb kept its eyes open, looked into the man's eyes, and never made a sound as his throat was slit, and his blood was spilt. He gave his life freely, without struggle or complaint, with perfect submission. I wept. It was a stunning object lesson. It has haunted my mind since that day, so much so that I have refrained from speaking of it for fear that it might desecrate the sacredness of the experience."He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb so he opened not his mouth." Isaiah 53:7
Today, this Sabbath day, I am filled with gratitude for another sacrifice, the Supreme sacrifice, of One who went like a lamb to the slaughter.