Behold, The Lamb Of God

W. Terry Varner
September 10, 2017

One day as he travelled with his disciples during his ministry, John the Baptist “saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:19, ESV).

John and His Message. John was the son of Zachariah and Elizabeth (Luke 1). John was a prophet of God and was assigned a unique and remarkable mission (Luke 3:2). He was the herald and forerunner of Jesus, the promised Messiah (Luke 3:1-6). With boldness, John preached God’s message to the Jews whose worship can be characterized as bound by tradition and a cold, barren formalism.

John’s message was clear, plain, and bold. He was not concerned with pleasing his fellow Jews nor compromising God’s message. His message of conviction was aimed at awakening the hearts of his people with the purpose of arousing within them a sense of sin and guilt. He was commissioned by Goa to preach “the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins” (Luke 3:2-3) and to prepare the way of the Lord (Luke 3:4-6). To state it another away, John was to introduce Jesus to the Jews as the long-awaited Messiah.

John’s message was built on divine revelation and authority, “the word of God came to John” (Luke 3:2). This was essential credentials in order to declare to the Jews that John’s message was from God, thereby divinely sanctioning his message as from Him and not from men.

John and Jesus. As a son of as priest, John was well acquainted with the many Old Testament promises and prophecies which foretold the coming of the Messiah. His message declared Jesus as “the Lamb of God” (John 1:29, 36). Jesus as “the Lamb of God” belonged to God in a very special way. He was ordained from all eternity to be the sacrificial Substitute, whose blood was to be shed for guilty and hell-worthy sinners. Inspiration could not have used a richer designation of the One who, in the counsels of eternity past, was chosen by Godhead to be the sin-bearer of His people. This is how Paul describes Jesus. For He [God] has made Him [Christ] to be sin for us [sin-bearer], who knew no sin [He was sinless]; that we [sinners] might be made the righteousness or God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21).

The sinless, spotless Lamb of God was the Godhead’s choice and delight. Isaiah prophesied of God’s delight in the Son. “Behold My servant, whom I uphold, My chosen in whom My soul delights; I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations” (Isa. 42:1). Isaiah’s prophecy means that only Jesus, and Jesus alone, coula accomplish man’s redemption in harmony with divine truth and righteousness. Jesus is qualified to do what neither angels or men could achieve, namely, to take away the sin of the world.

Dwell on the enormity of this task. Jesus, as God’s Lamb, was appointed to take away the sin of the world. The great mass of all sin of man, whether Jew or Gentile, is expressed in the singular phrase, “the sin of the world.” What Jesus as the Lamb of God accomplished can never be valued too highly. He took away the guilt of sin which brought men under God’s displeasure and wrath by being the perfect sacrifice God needed to make redemption available (cf. 1 John 2:1-2; 4:9). There is no sin too deep but what His blood can cleanse.

When inspiration used the word, “Behold,” it pointing away from John, and for that matter from any and all other men, and to Jesus. In John’s audience were those who in their self-righteousness and pride rejected his prophetic witness of Jesus. However, after John’s second statement (cf. John 1:36), two of his disciples left him and became followers of Jesus. How bless we are have looked to Jesus for pardon!