Reading: John 1:29-34
Verse 29: “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
Turning to John’s gospel today and tomorrow, we begin with Jesus coming toward John the Baptist. As he approaches John says, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” These are unique words to apply at this time in Jesus’ ministry. Usually we call Jesus the Good Shepherd when referring to sheep and shepherds. For most of his ministry, Jesus is not the lamb. At the end, yes, Jesus goes to the cross as our perfect sacrifice. We get the lamb references then.
Yet in today’s passage, as Jesus’ ministry is about to begin, John the Baptist identifies Jesus as the Lamb of God. Since the days of Passover a perfect and spotless lamb (or goat) was the offering made to God as the people of God remembered how they were freed from slavery in Egypt. Each and every year the rescue story is celebrated and remembered. To see Jesus in this role immediately identifies him as the one who rescues, redeems, restores, and saves. It is a powerful image to be placed in the minds of the Jews.
Continuing on, John the Baptist offers proof that Jesus is indeed the Messiah, the one who comes to save. John recounts the Spirit coming down and remaining on Jesus after he was baptized. This fulfills what God said would happen. Jesus is the son of God. Not only will he take away the sins of the world, one day the Christ will defeat all evil, claiming final victory as he establishes the new heaven and earth. For the salvation Christ offers and for the final victory yet to come, we say thanks be to God.
Prayer: Lord God, today we are reminded of such great news. You came in the flesh to take away our sins, to rescue us from captivity to self. One day you will come again to banish all evil as you create heaven here on earth. Day by day, lead and guide us to make this vision more and more of a reality here and now as we await your final return in victory. Amen.