Summary: Behold the Lamb of God, which comes to take away the sin of the Word. God sent is only son to come and take away the one problem that we all have that separates us from God. SIN.
Behold the Lamb of God
For many centuries the people of Israel had been longing and looking for the promised Messiah who was to redeem them from the curse of evil and from the inevitable consequences of sin.
There appeared on the scene a man, chosen and endowed by God, to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah, and he was to do this by gathering about himself a group of people who by disposition would be prepared to become followers of and coworkers with the Messiah.
The piety of this man, John the Baptist, was so eminent that many people took him to be the Messiah. Again and again they came and asked him if he was the Promised One, the Anointed One, the one about whom the prophets had spoken. Again and again John the Baptist denied that he was the Promised One. He introduced himself simply as a voice crying in the wilderness, “Prepare the way for the coming of the Lord.” He challenged people to turn away from the love of evil and turn to the way of personal faith and righteousness. Those who heeded his message were thus prepared for the appearance of the Messiah.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, after living the first thirty years of his life in the city of Nazareth, went to John for baptism. Immediately following his baptism, he was led by the Spirit of God into the wilderness to be tested and to be tempted by the Evil one. After our Savior overcame these temptations and demonstrated his superiority to the power of Satan, we find him coning to John the Baptist again. When John the Baptist saw Jesus approaching, he said to his disciples who were gathered around him, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29)
This descriptive phrase by which our Lord was introduced came straight from the heart of the Old Testament prophets. From the book of Gensis through the Psalms and the Prophets, the Messiah is frequently spoken of as the Lamb of God. The lamb was the animal of sacrifice by which atonement was made form sin. The ceremonial death of the lamb was a picture in which people’s sins would be covered and removed and they would be forgiven through the blood of Christ. To the hearts of John’s disciples, this phrase, “the Lamb of God,” had a significance that it would not have for the modern-day man on the street if someone were to appear and say, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” The announcement of John contained eternal, timeless truth. In one sentence he stated the need of man and the provision of God. Even for this modern day the imperative of John the Baptist rings down through the corridors of time, and there is nothing that we need more today than to “behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
I. The Lamb of God came because of sin.
a. We assemble from Sunday to Sunday in classroom and sanctuary in order that with the eye of our soul we might “behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
i. This is a sight of which the eyes never grow tired.
ii. This is a sight that can always bless the heart, challenge the mind, sway the will, and deepen the faith.
iii. So today, it is my prayer that somehow during this service you might be able to “behold the Lamb of God.”
iv. In this statement, “the sin of the world,” John the Baptist was speaking about the world’s greatest problem.
b. There are many superficial diagnoses of what ails the world.
i. Some people believe that through education the ills of humanity can be eliminated.
1. Certainly the value of good education is not to be underestimated.
ii. Others believe that the solution to our problem here in America is to eliminate the slums and by means of an extensive urban renewal program eliminate the ghettos that are a constant breeding place for crime and delinquency.
1. Definitely something needs to be done about this.
iii. Others would say that the greatest problem in the world today is the threat of terrorism.
1. Somehow we need to recognize that these issues of problems are but the outcroppings of something that is deeper.
iv. The heart of our problem is SIN.
c. When many of us think in terms of sin, we think of this little thing or that little thing or a particular act or attitude.
i. We fail to recognize that these are but the fruit of the heart condition called sin.
ii. John the Baptist did not say, “Behold the Lamb of god, which taketh away the sins of the world.”