“Behold, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” No any other statement ever made carried as much hope or promise as does John the Baptist’s reference to Jesus Christ. Immediately following Jesus’ baptism and temptation, He made His way back to the region of the Jordan River where John makes it official. You see, John was the forerunner of the Christ (Luke 1:17) and one of his final responsibilities was to declare to Israel Who the Messiah was. How surprised they must have been to hear Him described as the “Lamb of God” rather than the great and powerful king they fully expected, restoring Israel to her former power and glory.
What was John’s message? The lamb was known to God’s people as an element of sacrifice, therefore it would have been clear to them that they had misunderstood what to expect. It was representative of the lamb offered at the Passover memorial, a reminder of God’s protection and deliverance from bondage and slavery in Egypt. The offering of twice daily lambs (Exodus 29:38ff) allowed for God to meet with Israel at the doorway of the tent of meeting. Individual’s sins were forgiven at the offering of a year old, female lamb.
The lamb spoken of by John was “of God”, indicates the source. God has always provided for His own what they need. When we pray we are told that He knows ahead of time what we need. We are also told that He provides for the birds of the air and the lilies of the field. Certainly, He provides for us!! Lastly, John tells those who would listen, this Lamb will take away the sins of the world. We are all sinners. We all need atonement for those sins. Jesus will provide this for those who accept His offer. If He can atone for the sins of the world, don’t you know He can cover your sin? His death has the power to cancel out the “sins of the world! Our handfuls of sin are no match for the grace of God!! How comforting is that? Thank you John, for your message of hope…
Copyright © 2007, Nolan P. Rutter