Bible Reading: John 1:19-34
“The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
John the Baptist made one of the most remarkable statements about Jesus ever. It was succinct and prophetic, outlining the purpose and reason behind Jesus’ incarnation. John the Baptist made clear that Jesus was the Lamb of God, and He came to take away the sins of the whole world.
In the Old Testament, lambs were brought to be sacrificed. They had to be without blemish, and they would be slaughtered. Some of the lamb’s blood would then be smeared on the horns of the altar while the rest would be poured out on the base of the altar (see Leviticus 4:32-35). Only after these things would the priest be able to make atonement for sins, and there would be forgiveness.
However, sacrificed lambs could not atone for sins in reality. They pointed towards someone, a perfect Lamb who was blameless and was to die. This Lamb is Jesus. Jesus came to earth to die. That was His primary business on earth. He was blameless, holy, and without blemish. He was the perfect Son of God. Yet, He took on the flesh of man so that He could die as the atoning sacrifice for humanity. The whole Old Testament had pointed to this Lamb of God, and John the Baptist prepares the way by proclaiming Christ as the Lamb of God.
But, the Lamb of God is not only a sacrifice for the Jews. John proclaims that the sacrifice of Christ would take away the sins of all peoples with no discrimination of ethnicity or background. Jesus did not only come for Jews, but He came for Gentiles as well.
This is the love of God made known to us. Jesus died for the sins of the world. It doesn’t matter where you come from or who you are. If you believe in Jesus and believe in Him alone, you will be saved. There is forgiveness for anyone who will believe. Not only is there forgiveness, but there is reconciliation with God and a new eternal life.
All of us need Jesus. Have we believed in Him? How much of a priority is Jesus in our lives? Have we spread the good news of Jesus to those around us? The gospel was relevant, and it is still relevant today.
Lord, thank You that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Thank You that You love us. Please teach us to love You and to love others by spreading this message to those around us. Teach us also to grow in knowing You, who has already loved us so much. Forgive us when we stray away from You and forget what You have done for us. Hinder us from continuing to ignore Your love. In Jesus’ name, amen.