The Lamb of God
next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, 'Behold!
The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!' "
(John 1:29, NKJV).
of Jesus as the Lamb of God occurs twenty-seven times in the
writings of John in the New Testament. In John 1:29, Jesus
is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. In
Revelation 13:8, He is the Lamb slain from the foundation
of the world.
announcement, "Behold! The Lamb of God," was a recognition
that the man coming toward him was in fact the fulfillment
of the symbolic sacrificial lamb of the Old Testament.
Jesus, the Lamb of God: What examples of a sacrificial
lamb are there in the Old Testament?
reference to a sacrificial lamb is in Genesis 4:1-7: The story
of Cain and Abel: Cain brought an offering of the fruit of
the ground to the Lord. Abel brought a lamb, the firstborn
of one of his flock of sheep. The Lord accepted Abel's offering
but not Cain's. Cain was angry. The Lord said to Cain, "Why
are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you
do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well,
sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should
rule over it" (Genesis 4:??).
rather than to provide the offering called for by the Lord,
decided to bring the fruits of his own labor. Our salvation
is not dependent on what we do. It is dependent on what God
has done for us and our acceptance of the sacrifice He has
made for us. A sacrificed lamb represented the sacrifice that
God's own Son would make to take away the sins of the world.
Abel was obedient to the Lord by providing a lamb for his
sacrifice, the prescribed offering which pointed forward to
the sacrifice that God would provide, Jesus Christ, the lamb
22:6-8, 13-14: Abraham to Isaac: "My son, God will provide
for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering." There are many
references in the life of Abraham where he built an alter
to the Lord beside his encampment. Every time he moved, he
built an altar to the Lord.
12:21-28: Moses told the elders of Israel, "Pick out and take
lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill
the Passover lamb. And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip
it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel
and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin.
--- For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians;
and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts,
the Lord will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer
to come into your houses to strike you. And you shall observe
this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever.
--- When your children say to you, 'What do you mean by this
service?' that you shall say, 'It is the Passover sacrifice
of the Lord, who passed over the houses of the children of
Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered
4:32-33: "If he brings a lamb as his sin offering, he shall
bring a female without blemish. Then he shall lay his hand
on the head of the sin offering, and kill it as a sin offering
at the place where they kill the burnt offering." In the temple
service established after Israel left Egypt, lambs were sacrificed
as sin offerings before the Lord. That tradition carried forward
in the temple service on a daily basis until the temple was
destroyed some thirty years after the death of Christ.
is what the Bible says happened in the temple at the time
that Jesus died on the cross: Matthew 27:50, 51; Mark 15:38;
Luke 23:45: The veil in the temple between the holy and most
holy places was rent from top to bottom signifying that the
sacrificial service had been fulfilled. The symbol had met
its reality. It was finished.
of lambs for the sins of God's people is recorded in the Bible
from the time of Adam forward till the time of Christ. Throughout
the Old Testament the Lambs slain represented "The Lamb slain
from the foundation of the world" a reference in Revelation
13:8 of the promise of Jehovah concerning the One toward whom
all the sacrifices pointed.
prophesied, Isaiah 53:7: "He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
yet He opened not His mouth. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened
not His mouth." Jesus allowed Himself to be led away and crucified,
He did not resist. As a lamb, Christ submitted to all kinds
of abuse and indignities and was nailed to a cross without
resistance. He did struggle against the forthcoming humiliation
in prayer with His Father, however, He was submissive, "Not
My will but thine be done." Matthew 26:36-46.
of the lambs that were slain in the Old Testament represented
the future crucifixion of Jesus Christ. His death on the cross
paid the penalty for the sins of all mankind, including our
sins. The penalty for sin is death. Ezekiel 18:4, 20, 21 "The
soul who sins shall die. --If a wicked man turns from all
his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and
does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall
not die." Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but
the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Our salvation is not dependent on our works or our offerings.
is dependent on our accepting and appreciating what God has
done for us to rescue us from the dominion of Satan. Here
on earth, we live on a hostile planet. The God of Heaven is
not a hostile person. He is a God of love and compassion.
He has the power to overcome the evil of this world and wipe
it out. However, if God wiped out evil by destroying the world,
He would then be feared by all His creation. God's government
is not based on the principles of force, it is based on the
principles of love and He has a better way to overcome the
wickedness and rebellion of this world.
who will take the time to get to know Him and His ways, He
has provided a way of escape. And Jesus Christ is God's rescue
Agent. Jesus Christ was in the beginning the Creator of the
human race. Lucifer deceived our first parents and usurped
the authority of Adam over this race. Jesus came down and
lived as a man, and was loyal and faithful to all the commands
of God, the very principles of God's government, in order
to rescue those who would be loyal to God and to reclaim ownership
of this world. Not only must Christ fulfill the commandments
of God and be faithful and loyal to them, He must also make
the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of mankind in order to
save them. Christ lifted the curse of sin from us by His death
on the cross.
of God and what He has done for us and our heart felt appreciation
for Him will lead us to want to be loyal to Him and to be
obedient to His commandments which are the principles of His
not appreciate God and did not accept God's prescription for
his sins, the offering of a lamb. Instead, Cain substituted
the fruit of his own labor. He offered his garden produce,
in place of taking the life of a lamb. The life of that lamb
represented the life of Jesus Christ who would someday be
slain to lift the curse of Cain's sins from his life. Cain
did not accept God's offer for him. Instead he became jealous
and angry and killed his own brother rather than to obey God
and confess his sins over a slain lamb.
are often disobedient and rebellious because we do not understand
what God has done for us. In Jesus Christ we come to understand
that God loves us, and when He asks us to do something, it
is truly for our own benefit. God's salvation is the same
for us today as it was for Cain and Abel in their day. The
only difference is that today, we confess are sins to God
and the blood of Jesus cleanses us of our sins. For Cain and
Abel, they were to confess their sins to God, and the blood
of the lamb representing the blood of Jesus cleansed them
of their sins.
Jesus, the Lamb of God, takes away the sin of the world:
38:17: Behold, --You have cast all my sins behind Your back.
7:19: He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue
our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths
of the sea.
1:21: He will save His people from their sins.
1:9: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive
us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
do you take a bath? What happens if you don't take a bath?
The same thing happens to us morally and spiritually, we become
filthy if we are not cleansed by our sin pardoning Savior.
8:1-6: There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ
Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according
to the Spirit. ---He condemned sin in the flesh, that the
righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us
who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the
Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their
minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according
to the Spirit, (set their minds on) the things of the Spirit.
For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually
minded is life and peace.
accept Jesus to come into our life as our Savior and friend,
He begins the process of cleaning up our lives. He separates
us from our sins and subdues our iniquities. In Him, we become
a new creation.
In Jesus, we become a new creation:
5:17: If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things
have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
2 Corinthians 5:20, 21: "We implore you on Christ's behalf,
be reconciled to God. For He (God) made Him (Jesus Christ)
who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the
righteousness of God in Him (Jesus)." God the Father placed
our sins upon Jesus at the cross so that through Christ's
obedience, even unto death, on our behalf we may receive Christ
into our lives and by receiving Him, we are cleansed and we
receive His righteousness. In Jesus, we are made the right
with God. We are reconciled to God in Jesus Christ.
2:9, 12: Jesus came to restore in us the image of the Father.
He came so that we might receive His Spirit. By receiving
His Spirit, we are lifted into a new plain of existence. In
Jesus we receive the Spirit of God.
God is a Spirit and we worship God in the Spirit.
5:19-25: Read about the works of the flesh and the fruit of
Christ's promise to us. If we are willing and obedient, He
will come to us and share His Spirit with us. God's provision
for us is the same as it was for Cain and Able. "If you do
well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well,
sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should
rule over it." Genesis 4:7.
to be with us and to teach us. Psalms 32:8-10: I will instruct
you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you
with My eye. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which
have no understanding. Which must be harnessed with bit and
bridle, else they will not come near you. Many sorrows shall
be to the wicked; but he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall
12:2, 9: "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed
by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that
good and acceptable and perfect will of God. ---- Abhor what
is evil, Cling to what is good."
what we think about. We are changed by what we focus our minds
on. As a man thingketh in his heart, so is he. God challenges
us to be transformed by the truth that He shares with us in
His Holy Word. We are transformed by the renewing of our minds
in the Word of God and by receiving His Holy Spirit.
10:5 tells us, "Bring- every thought into captivity to the
obedience of Christ."
1:18-20: Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord:
though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as
snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
If you be willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of
the land: But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured.
to live by. In Christ Jesus we are a new creation, and with
Him we have a new life and a new hope.
A new life, a new hope and a future with Christ:
29:11-13: For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,
says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give
you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go
and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek
Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
the meaning of John the Baptist's statement when he first
saw Jesus? "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin
of the world!" John 1:29. Jesus is our sin bearer. He, who
knew no sin was made to be sin for us on the cross, so that
we may be cleansed of our sins and learn of Him and His ways
that we may follow Him and learn to do what is right and be
successful. He has saved us from the condemnation of the sins
of this world brought on us by the deceptions of Satan and
the polluted cultures in which we live.
Christ is God! He took upon Himself in human form the
penalty for our sins so that we may receive His life and His
inheritance. This is His gift to us, freely offered to everyone
who will accept Him for who He is, our Savior, Redeemer and
Friend. It is not a gift that we can buy or pay for by our
own good works. It is only a gift that we can receive by accepting
Jesus into our lives. When we accept Jesus into our lives,
He cleanses us from the defilement of sin and makes us right
the Father's intent and purpose that everyone in the universe
be brought into unity with His Son, Jesus Christ (see Ephesians
1:9, 10). Outside of Jesus Christ, we are hopeless, helpless
and lost. In Him there is unity, harmony, love, peace and
joy, kindness, gentleness and self-control. In Jesus Christ,
we are adopted into the family of the Creator of the universe.
In Jesus Christ, there is unity and dignity and we become
royalty. "Behold, what manner of love the Father has
bestowed upon us that we should be called the children of
God" (1 John ?:??). What a blessing!
told Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance
fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you
do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for
you, but you should rule over it" (Genesis 4:??). We can only
overcome sin by accepting God's prescription for us. And God's
prescription for us is to accept His Son, the One He sent
to rescue us, Jesus Christ. When we confess our sins to Him,
he gets rid of them for us and shares His Spirit with us so
that we may overcome the temptations of this world and receive
the fruits of His Spirit, His love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness and His inheritance, everlasting life with our Creator,
our God and our best Friend. In Him, we are a new creation.
have not known Jesus, or have not accepted Him into your life,
I invite you right now to let Jesus come into your life. You
will receive a peace that passes all understanding. You will
receive a Spirit that is foreign to the spirits of this world.
You will receive a Spirit that accepts you as you are, but
who will not leave you in a state of sin and degradation.
You will be changed into a new person. You will become like
the One whom you admire, Jesus Christ. He will lead you and
teach you His ways. And He will walk with you right into His
kingdom of grace. He loves you and is calling you to repent
of your sinful ways and to accept His gift, His salvation.
The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world"
(John 1:29, NKJV).
Father, thank you for your love and for your Lamb who takes
away our sins and who walks with us throughout life and teaches
us Your ways. Amen.