Lamb of God
29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” —John 1:29-31
Our reading today begins with an amazing announcement by John the Baptist. I think you understand John intentionally used the picture of the Lamb of God, and it made a massive impact on his audience because they all lived under the sacrificial system. They knew sin causes separation and only blood sacrificed—only a substitutionary death—could wash away sin; could provide forgiveness; could restore a relationship.
Do you remember Abraham when he was taking Isaac up to be sacrificed? Isaac asked, Where’s the sacrifice?
What did Abraham say? “God will provide for himself the lamb” (Genesis 22:8).
Later, when God established the Passover under Moses, Jewish people would kill a lamb and put the blood on their doorposts so when the angel of the Lord came over, he would see a death had taken place to provide forgiveness. Lambs are weak and vulnerable—a picture of innocence. They are pure and spotless—a picture of their preparedness to bear our sin.
How great a river of blood flowed through the Old Testament as the lambs— countless thousands—were slaughtered so their blood could be shed and sprinkled on the mercy seat as a pre-figurement of Christ’s atoning death for you and me!
So when John says, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” he is announcing the perfect lamb-work Jesus would do for us.Because Jesus is the Lamb of God we can say, I am under His forgiveness!
Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, brings forgiveness.
Do you have that? Most of the people who pass you on the freeway do not. Most of the people where you work do not. Have your eyes been opened? Does your heart have eyes to see the glorious truth found in the forgiveness of Jesus Christ?
Have you embraced Him by faith for your forgiveness? You don’t have to be a first-century Jew to understand you need a Savior. Jesus is the Lamb of God; is He your Lamb? —James MacDonald
How would I explain to someone what it means to say Jesus is the Lamb of God who died in my place?
What are the main points I would want to make?
Father, Your plan has always been amazing and almost impossible for us to see without the eye-opening help of Your Spirit! Thank You that once I was blind, but now I can see, and once I was so very lost, but now You have found me. Thank You for paying the ultimate price in my place that I might have the ultimate gift freely because Your Son isthe Lamb of God who died in my place. My eternal thanks, Father, in Jesus’ name, Amen.