Lamb of God

John 1:29-34

 

The Lamb of God

29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”
 
 

It is the first sentence I remember ever reading. I imagine that it may bring back similar memories for many of you. “Look. See Spot run. Run, Spot, run.” Sound familiar? Can anyone tell me who is running with Spot? Now turn to the youngster near you and explain just who Dick and Jane are.

 

Dick and Jane Readers were the first books for many of us who were educated in the American public school system. At the very core, the first written words many of us ever remember reading are these words – “Look. See!”

 

John the Baptist has been told to watch for one on whom the Spirit alights. Look, John, look. Here is Jesus coming up out of the water, and the Spirit of God descending on him like a dove.

 

So, John looks, and John sees, and John proclaims. LOOK, here is the one we have been waiting for. Look, come and see! He says, “Look, here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
 
 
Those gathered around John know what he means about the Lamb taking away one’s sins. In the Old Testament, we hear of the scapegoat, upon whom tokens of sins were placed before the scapegoat was driven out into the wilderness to atone for the people’s sins. You can read about that further in Leviticus 16.
 
 

And, of course, there is the Passover lamb, who was slaughtered and whose blood was spread on the doorposts and lintels of the homes of the Israelites in captivity in Egypt. The angel of death passed through the land, and when it came upon a house where the blood had been placed, it would pass over that home.

 

Jesus takes that Passover event and ties it directly to himself. “This is my body. This is my blood. A new covenant.” Jesus is the Passover Lamb sacrificed upon the cross. So that when you have been baptized into Jesus’ death and resurrection, you have the promise that Jesus has died for your sins. The blood of the Lamb has been poured out for you, and you are loved, forgiven and set free.

 

This is the one to whom John points our attention. Look, come and see!

 

Most of us grew up hearing that the three most important words in life are, “I love you,” and I believe they are. But when it comes to our lives of faith — and maybe even the future of the church — I suspect that the three second-most important words are, “Come and see.”

 

Come and see that God loves you. Come and hear that you are loved and forgiven. Come and taste the bread and wine, Jesus’ own body and blood, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. Come and hear the promise at the heart of the Gospel that God in Jesus is always both with us and for us, and there is nothing anyone can do to change that.

 

What do you seek?

 

In the words of St. Augustine – Our souls are restless Lord, until they rest in you.
 
 

Let Us Pray

Almighty God, we thank you for Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Open our eyes to look and see. Open our hearts to welcome. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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