walk in the word
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 begins with an amazing announcement by John the Baptist. John intentionally used the picture of the Lamb of God, and it made a massive impact on his Jewish audience, because they all lived under the sacrificial system. They knew sin causes separation, and only blood sacrificed—only a substitutionary death—could wash it away and provide forgiveness.
Remember when Abraham took his only son Isaac up a mountain to be sacrificed, and Isaac asked, Where’s the sacrifice? Abraham responded, “God will provide for himself the lamb” (Genesis 22:8).
Later, when God established the Passover under Moses, Jewish people killed a lamb and put the blood on their doorposts. This was a sign so that the angel of the Lord would pass over their house, seeing a substitutionary death had taken place to provide forgiveness. Lambs are weak and vulnerable—a picture of innocence. They are pure and spotless—a symbol of their preparedness to bear our sin.
How great a river of blood flowed through the Old Testament as countless thousands of lambs were slaughtered, so their blood could be shed and sprinkled on the mercy seat as a pre-figurement of Christ’s atoning death.
When John said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” he was announcing the perfect Lamb, and the work Jesus would accomplish for us.
Do you have God’s pardon? Most people who pass you on the freeway do not. Most people where you work do not. Have your eyes been opened to the glorious Gospel? You don’t have to be a first-century Jew to understand you need a Savior.
Jesus Christ is “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
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 of Your Son—the Lamb of God who died in my place. My eternal thanks, Father, in Jesus’ name, amen.
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