Jesus is called “The Lamb of God.” A lamb is gentle and meek. It has a docile spirit and a silent demeanor. That’s an amazing picture of the One who is also called “The Lion of the Tribe of Judah”!
Using the force of an analogy, Isaiah describes the death of Messiah as though it were the sacrifice of a lamb – and the shearing of a sheep. In Isaiah 53:7, he says, “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth.”
The first picture is that of a young lamb: innocent, defenseless, and harmless – led away by the priest, following without a struggle – with innocent eyes and a quiet spirit – waiting to be killed – quietly anticipating the moment of slaughter. And all of this takes place because someone else had sinned. Through no fault of its own, the lamb is laid upon the altar of sacrifice. His blood is drained and the fires of perdition consume his body. The emphasis is upon innocence. In the second picture, Isaiah speaks of a female sheep.
The word here for “sheep” is the Hebrew word rachel – the word for a female sheep – a ewe.
A ewe is gentle, and quiet, and meek. Lying still as the workman applies the shears to strip her of her coat of wool – waiting motionless, letting them do their work – not making a sound – passively complying as they exercise their will over her body. It is a picture of compliance and non-resistance. This is our Lord letting mankind do their nefarious work – stripping Him of His dignity – robbing Him of His glory – applying the shears of affliction to His frame. Yet “He opened not His mouth.”
Say – Jesus was a lamb and a sheep for you! He died in your place – for your sin.