Racheal

Each time I see your name,
I’m fascinated by the visual message
in the way your mother chose to spell your name.
Does it become visible to you as well?

In reading and observing gift items with names upon them,
I’ve known for awhile that your name means “lamb.”
As I looked at your name and broke it down,
two images came forth.

“Rac” could be close to “rack,”
which has been attributed many uses and definitions.
Its root associations relate meanings of “thorn” or “stubble.”
As a noun, it can mean “a cause of anguish or pain; acute suffering.”
As a verb, it conveys the meaning of
“to stretch or strain violently; to become forced out of shape.”
Much like the ancient torture tool,
“rack” is a word which simply conveys “pain.”

Then, comes the second part of your name, “heal.” What a splendor!
The definitions pour forth serenity:
“whole; to make sound or whole; to restore to health; mend; to patch up;
to restore to original purity or integrity.”
The “thorn,” the “cause of anguish…,” the forceful stretching—
ALL are taken away, as healing comes!

All that, packaged simply into your name!
No wonder your name itself has been given the meaning of “lamb.”!
Jesus…called the “Lamb of God” and “the Lamb who was slain”—
through His anguish and violently straining death,
brought about the healing available to us all!

You have a name which summarizes our Daddy’s entire plan
in coming to us as His Son, Jesus…
an innocent lamb, born to become a spotless sacrifice
for you and I…and the whole world!

May the pains of your own life find their healing
in this One who loves you so immensely.
May His comfort and restoration to you
spill over to those with whom you contact…
that they, by being acquainted with His lamb, Racheal,
might also come to know “the Lamb who was slain” for them!

©1995 Kat Kreations/Kathi Isbell

This was written for a friend I met during a summer week at a church camp.ShepherdLamb

Luke 2:8-20

Father, thank You for Jesus and the life I have in Him!

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“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.” (v 8 NIV)

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!'” (John 1:29 NIV)

“I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep … I know My sheep and My sheep know Me … and I lay down My life for the sheep” (John 10:11, 14-15 NIV).

“Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne … ‘Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!'” (Rev 5:6, 12 NIV)

“We all like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.  He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth, He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth.” (Isaiah 53:6-7 NIV)

People had been waiting for centuries for the coming of the Messiah.  When, finally, You brought this highly acclaimed deliverer, You chose to reveal the news to some ordinary shepherds.  Everything about Jesus was not always what people expected, but always what You had promised.

How fitting for shepherds to be the first to hear this wondrous news!  For Your Son, Jesus, would Himself be both the Good Shepherd and the Lamb of God.  You were sending Him into this world to lead, guard, and care for us as a shepherd would each sheep (Psalm 23).  He also came to become the sacrificial lamb, which would be slaughtered once for all the sins of all people for all time (Heb 9:26-28; 10:10).

If Your purpose had been different, Lord, You might have announced this birth night to someone else.  If Your intention would’ve been to send Jesus merely to over throw Roman rule, You might have startled soldiers not shepherds.  If Your aim would’ve been to send Him to heal all our physical ailments, You might have aroused a bunch of doctors.  Yet You had different plans.

You knew our deeper need and had been planning since creation for meeting that need.  Through the Levitical priesthood, You established the practice of sacrificing a lamb as a means of atoning for sin.  You knew that our deepest need was not political freedom, physical healing, or the like.  Rather, You knew that we most needed to be freed from the clutches of sin, forgiven for our wrongs against You, and found to belong to You.

Thank You, Jesus, for being my Shepherd and for being that Lamb who died for me.  Amen.