Summary: When John the Baptist declared that Jesus was the Lamb of God, he was answering a question from Genesis: "Where is the Lamb?" Do you know the importance of that question, and of the idea that Jesus was the Lamb of God?
OPEN: Back in 1970’s, I read about a 78 year old King of a small country in South Africa.
What I found interesting was the titles this man had. He was called:
• Ngwenyama, or the Lion.
• He is also known as the Sun,
• the Milky Way,
• the Master in Weapons,
• the Obstacle to the Enemy,
• the Mouth that Speaks No Lies,
• the Miraculous Body That Grows Feathers in Winter While Others Are Without Plumage,
• and the Jaw That Cracks All Bones.
(Readers Digest 10/77 p. 106)
Now, why on earth would he have all those names?
Well, he was a king of a very small country (Swaziland, about the size of New Jersey that was virtually surrounded by much larger nations in the area of South Africa) and I suspect that he figured that the more names he had, the bigger and more important he would seem to others.
That’s why a lot of people try to have “titles” in front of their names, or letters behind their names - they want to be important, and they don’t think they can be important without the titles. That’s also one of the reasons God warned us about being too attached to titles for ourselves:
“… you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you will be your servant.” Matthew 23:8-11
But folks who think like that are right – the more important a person is, the more titles and descriptions people will use to for them.
That’s especially true of Jesus.
ILLUS: Billy Sunday, a famous evangelist of the last century said:
“There are 256 names in the Bible for the Lord Jesus Christ, and I suppose this was because He was infinitely beyond all that any one name could express.”
Now, what we’re looking this month are a few of the titles the Bible uses for Jesus. And the first title on our list is the “Lamb of God. Of all the titles Jesus has been given in Scripture this seems to be one of the most common.
In the book of Revelation (for example) Jesus is called the “Lamb” no less than 26 times.
But here in the gospel of John, we find John the Baptist being the first one to declare: “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” John 1:29
To understand how important this proclamation was it helps to realize just who John the Baptist was. John’s job was to “reveal” or introduce Jesus to the people of Israel. Isaiah tells us that John’s job was to “Prepare the way of the Lord...” Isaiah 40:3
So when John declared that Jesus was the Lamb of God…that meant something. But what exactly did it mean? It meant he was answering a question that was asked way back in the book of Genesis.
And the question was this: Where is the lamb?
And John the Baptist declared: Here he is! Here is the Lamb!!!
The question was asked in Genesis 22 where we’re told the story of a man of faith named Abraham. Most of you may know the story, but what happened was this:
God promised Abraham that he would have a son, and when he and his wife were nearly 100 years old, God gave them what He promised.
Now Abraham and Sarah were as happy and excited as they could be and they literally built their lives around this young boy they named Isaac. But THEN… one day, God comes to Abraham and says:
“Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” Genesis 22:2
Now, this is a bizarre story. The idea that God would ask a man to sacrifice his son as a burnt offering doesn’t square with anything else we know about God. But the outcome of this event was never really in question. God was never going to allow Abraham to go thru with the sacrifice. This was a test.
As God told Abraham later “… now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Genesis 22:12
This was a test to see if Abraham loved God MORE than he did his son.
This was a test, and God would never have allowed Abraham to sacrifice his son.
But the fact of the matter was – Abraham didn’t know that. Abraham was fully convinced that God intended him to place his son on the altar and sacrifice the boy to Him.