Were they surprised when John pointed to Jesus and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29)? They were Jews, familiar with these Passover Scriptures about lambs: Isaac’s question, “Where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” (Gen. 22:7); Moses’ Passover command, “Every man shall take for himself a lamb ... without blemish” (Ex. 12:3-5); and Isaiah’s prophecy that “a Man of sorrows ... led as a lamb to the slaughter ... shall bear their iniquities” (Isa. 53:3-7). How startled these Jews must have been to hear John identify Jesus as the Lamb that could meet their deepest need.
Did the phrase, “the Lamb of God” surprise these Jews? Was Jesus really the Lamb provided by God? For centuries they had to provide their own lambs for temple sacrifices. Now John was telling them that God has provided the Lamb – not just for a person, a family, or a nation, but for the whole world! And that Lamb is Jesus! The fact that He would take away all the sin of all the world for all time set Him apart from allofferings put together!
How could any one man make atonement for all sin? Psalm 49:7 says that “none can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him.” If this is so, how could any man bear the guilt of the whole world and pay the price required to satisfy a righteous God?
Jesus answered this question when He told them that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” to be that Lamb. And God Himself – speaking from heaven shortly after John introduced Jesus as “the Lamb of God” – said of Him, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Jn. 3:16; Mt. 3:17). Jesus is God’s Lamb given to meet our deepest need. We hope that this article will help you fathom the depth of this truth.
By Larry Ondrejack
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org