Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God Who Took Away the Sins of the World
John 1:29 reads: “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents and politicians but disobedient pastors and preachers who have refused to obey God’s Great Commision and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to pray without ceasing for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. This is message number 10.
D.L. Moody said, “We learn to know Christ as our Savior, to meet Him on Mount Calvary, to look on Him as the bleeding Lamb of God, before we know Him as our Redeemer, Deliverer, and Shepherd.”
Our text describes Jesus as coming to John the “next day.” The “next day” would have been the day after the Pharisees and other religious leaders sent their representatives to question John the Baptist as to who he was and what his agenda was. From the verses we read on yesterday, we saw that John already knew that Jesus had come on the scene, but that He had not publicly began His ministry. Thus, scholars have concluded that John 1:29 takes place after Jesus’ baptism since John did not know who the Messiah was until after Jesus had come to him to be baptized.
John describes Jesus as “the Lamb of God.” This is the first time in all of the New Testament that Jesus is described as such. Gerald Borchert said, John “chose to start with a story in which Jesus is given a designation not used in any of the other Gospels. John The Baptist is here portrayed as gaining the attention of the people by announcing, ‘Look!’ (Behold! or See!) and pointedly identifying Jesus as ‘the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!'” In doing so, John the Baptist connects Jesus to many Old Testament images that describe exactly what Jesus came to do. The Jews would have immediately recognized the importance of Jesus being the Lamb. Let’s look at seven roles Jesus fulfills as the Lamb of God.
1. Jesus is the ‘gentle Lamb’ of Jeremiah 11:19. By calling Jesus “the Lamb of God,” John shows Jesus’ grace and humility. Jesus did not come to bring wrath and judgment this first time, but to bring peace and hope to a hurting world.
2. Jesus is the Passover Lamb. The Passover was a Jewish celebration that commemorated God’s deliverance of the Jews from the judgment brought by the Angel of Death in Egypt. Those Jews who smeared the blood of a lamb on their doorposts were “passed over” when the death angel came to kill the firstborn son of every Egyptian family. Jesus is our passover Lamb. Because of the shed blood of Christ, the judgment of God passes over us.
3. Jesus is the substitutionary Lamb of Genesis 22. In the Old Testament, God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac to prove his loyalty to Him. But, at the last minute, God provided a lamb as a substitute for Abraham’s son. This act of substitution is a picture of what Jesus did for us on the cross. He died in our place.
4. Jesus is the Guilt Offering of the Old Testament. The Jews brought guilt offerings before God for sins they committed unintentionally or through ignorance. Because ignorance is not an excuse before God, these sins still had to be paid for. Jesus is our once-for-all payment for such sins.
5. Jesus is the “Servant of the Lord” of Isaiah 53. Aramaic was the language that Jesus and His contemporaries spoke in day-to-day life. The word used for “lamb” in the Aramaic version of John’s Gospel can mean either ‘servant’ or ‘lamb’. It is believed that the writer who translated the Aramaic text deliberately used this word to identify Jesus as the Servant of the Lord famously described in Isaiah 53. As a Servant, Jesus is shown to be obedient to the Father in all things. Unlike us, Jesus lived a sinless perfect life before God.
6. Jesus is the Scapegoat. In Old Testament times, the Jews would symbolically place their sins on the head of a goat and banish it in the desert. Regarding John’s view of the Lamb of God also being a scapegoat, Marcus Dods writes in The Expositor’s Bible: ‘Impregnated as John’s mind was with the sacrificial ideas in which he had been nurtured, if Jesus was the scapegoat on whom our sins were laid, and who carried them all away, He certainly had the qualities which fitted Him for this work: He had a connection with us of an intimate kind, and He was stainlessly innocent.’ Jesus came to take away our sin and guilt. He became our Scapegoat, bearing our sins and punishment before God so we would not have to.
7. Jesus is the Lamb led to the slaughter. When lambs were gathered to be slaughtered for their meat or sheared for their wool, they did not protest or resist what was happening. Isaiah uses the word “dumb” to describe their nature. And he says that Jesus did not ‘open his mouth’ in protest. Jesus accepted God’s will for him as the Lamb of God sent to take away the sins of the world.
Of course, we may be more comfortable with a triumphant Jesus, victorious over death and Hell. But, the Gospels first present Him as a bloodied, beaten, bruised sacrificial Lamb, repulsive to God because our sins have been laid upon Him. It is by this Jesus that we are saved. It is by this Lamb of God that our sins are taken away. As Martin Luther said, “Either sin is with you, lying on your shoulders, or it is lying on Christ, the Lamb of God. Now if it is lying on your back, you are lost; but if it is resting on Christ, you are free, and you will be saved. Now choose what you want.”
Dear friend, choose what you want. You cannot be saved from sin without receiving the sacrifice of the Lamb of God. Will you receive Him today? If your answer is yes, allow me to share with you how you can do that today.
First, please understand that you are a sinner and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…” This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell.
But here is the good news. John 3:16 reads, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The phrase “For God so loved the world” means that if you are in this world, God loves you no matter what you have done.
The next phrase, “that He gave His only begotten Son” refers to Jesus Christ. He is God’s son who suffered, bled, and died on the cross for your sins and for mine, and He was buried and rose again.
Our next phrase is “that whosoever believeth in Him”. The word “whosoever” means anybody at anytime. The phrase “believeth in Him” means to trust in Him, to depend upon Him, to rely on Him, or to have faith in Him for your salvation.
Our next phrase, “should not perish”, refers to eternal punishment in a place called hell.
And, lastly, the phrase “but have everlasting life” means to live eternally in Heaven with God.
The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to GospelLightSociety.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.