Summary: As we look at the Lamb and see Him taking sin away, as we see Him dying in our place, we ought not to hold on to that which He came to take away.
Look at The Lamb: John 1:29-36
Let’s open our Bibles to John chapter 1:
Today, there are lots of people claiming to be “awakened.” There are lots of gurus claiming to be “enlightened”, that is to be spiritually aware, to be spiritually illuminated. One man claims that he has had a revelation of his own inner goodness. Another claims to be alive spiritually because he finally understands, not the Godhead, but rather his own godhood, as if he were the fourth member of the trinity.
But there is one thing that happens to every single person who becomes truly enlightened. One thing tells us when we become spiritually aware. Oh, it is not that I become aware of all the goodness within me, it is not that I realize the light within, or come to understand my own godhood; no, in fact it is quite the opposite. I become aware that I am sinful, deceptive, and wicked. We become enlightened to our true condition before God; we see that we have broken His law, rebelled against Him, and that we are now under guilt and condemnation. That is what it is like when someone truly becomes enlightened.
And the person who is made aware of their condition knows they must rid their hearts of this sin, that they must get rid of their guilt before God, yet we discover that we are not able to do this. And so there comes a desperation, and a deep cry rises within us, “Oh where can I go to be clean, how can I get rid of my guilt?” This is a truly enlightened person. And today’s message answers the question, how can I be rid of sin, what can wash away my guilt and remove my shame? Let’s look at our next passage in John chapter 1:
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ’A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel." 32 Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ’The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God." 35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God!" John 1:29-36 (NIV)
We have just completed the section of Scripture that shows John the Baptist preparing the way for the Messiah. He did this by calling people to repent. And now John introduces Jesus by saying “look the Lamb or God, who takes away the sin of the world”. So verses 19-28 introduce John the Baptist and his ministry of repentance, and verses 29-36 introduce Jesus Christ and His ministry of forgiveness. John is the voice crying “repent”, and to those who do, Jesus is the Lamb crying “forgiven!”
So today’s message is called “look at the Lamb”, then next week is “live with the Lamb” from verses 38-39, the following week is “lead others to the Lamb” from verses 41-42 and finally we come to “a life transformed by the Lamb” (verse 42).
Now if we look at these verses, verses 29-36 we see that Jesus Christ does two very specific things: He takes away the sin of the world, you can see that in verses 29, and He baptizes with the Holy Spirit, you can see that in verses 32-33, so that you might say that the work of Jesus Christ is to take those who are immersed in sin and removes their sin from them, and then He immerses us in His Holy Spirit instead, so that this is a most wonderful exchange where our sin is taken away from us and the Holy Spirit is given to us. The animals used to symbolize these two works are a lamb and a dove.
Please turn in your Bibles to Leviticus chapter 16. God gave us an amazing illustration of exactly how sin is removed. In the Day of Atonement God shows us a picture of what Jesus came to do as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. You will notice that sin is both paid for and removed. Notice verses 5-10: