The Lamb of God
Who Takes Away the Sin of the World
It seems apparent from John's account in his gospel that he writes from a different perspective than the other gospel writers. Matthew, Mark, and Luke have one thing in common though in regard to John the Baptist being the forerunner of Jesus: all three gospels quote Isaiah 40 from the Old Testament: "Prepare the way of the Lord..." It is only John the gospel writer who includes the identification of Jesus by John the Baptist as the Lamb of God.
"Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" is the phrase from the New International Version of the Bible. Another version, the King James Version, reads: "Behold, the Lamb of God..." Both of the words "Look" and "Behold" accentuate the importance of "taking notice." Jesus' appearance at that particular time is emphasized by John the Baptist to make sure that positive identification is being made.
Other Biblical references made to Jesus as the Lamb of God are found in:
- Isaiah 53:7 "...he was led like a lamb to the slaughter.."
- Peter1:19 "..but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without
blemish or defect."
- Revelation 5:6 "Then I saw a lamb, looking as if it had been slain..."
Jesus - the Son of God. Jesus - the Lamb of God.
Jesus - the exact representation of God.
Jesus = God.
Jesus is God.
The Biblical verse of John 1:29 shows that the gospel writer John has listened intently as John the Baptist correctly identifies Jesus as the Lamb of God. Not once did John record this mark of identification, but he did so twice. The second time occurred the next day as Jesus was passing by: "Look, the Lamb of God." (John 1:36). What effect does this have? Does it add evidence that eliminates all doubt as to who Jesus really is? Does it have something to do with Jesus' mission in some way?
"Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."
From those thirteen words of John the Baptist it seems appropriate that at least two important questions need to be asked...and answered!
1. What is "the sin of the world?"
2. How does Jesus as the Lamb "take it away?"
The Sin of the World.
Where would be a good place to identify what this sin is? Would it be appropriate to start at 'the very beginning,' and by 'the very beginning' I mean before planet Earth was formed? Was sin even around then, and if so, who would be the sinners?
For those readers of this book who have been taught and informed by others what sin really is, that you have your own answer to the question: "What is sin?," would it be possible for you to set that description of sin aside, and allow yourself to consider the following?
The sin of the world:
1. Satan's misrepresentation of God's character.
2. People believe Satan's lies about God.
3. People don't know God.
Result: People refuse to believe what Jesus reveals about God.
Before "In the beginning..." as we know it to be from the Genesis record, before that time in the history of this vast Universe, the Creator of the Universe formed brilliant heavenly angels, all of which were perfect in every way. Beauty, splendor, intelligence. All were magnificent beings who possessed the ultimate gift from a loving God - the freedom of choice. There were no boundaries, no restrictions, and no strings attached to this freedom either. God could not have given anything of more value to his created beings...than freedom.
These created beings (these heavenly angels) must have undoubtedly sensed their own ability to think for themselves and make decisions and choices on their own. This independence graduated to more serious inclinations because it wasn't long until their intelligence told them: "We should have the same creative powers as the One who created us!" And so, jealousy crept into the minds of Lucifer, the foremost brilliant angel, as well as many others who believed as Lucifer did. Because of Lucifer's persuasive mannerism, the ugly head of rebellion was about to rise on the horizon.
"God has not given us total freedom," they cried, "other wise he would have shared his creative powers with us! God has short-changed us!" And so began the defamation of God's character, long before creation of planet Earth took place. Lucifer, the archangel of Heaven, wasted no time misrepresenting God with erroneous claims and accusations. Rumors, Gossip, Untruths, Lies. It's a steady progression from one to the next. This defamation of God's character continued forward as the creation of planet Earth took place, and it continues on even today.
Jesus told the descendants of Abraham in John 8:44 these words: "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." When people believe Satan's statements and lies about God, they really don't know God. The result of not knowing God as he really is leads people to do strange things. They even want to silence the One who is the exact representative of God. Death is the inevitable result.
The sin of the world is buying into Satan's lies about God!
How Jesus takes the sin away!
Jesus' mission was to correctly represent the character of God. A demonstration needed to be presented to the entire Universe, angels as well as men, that would clearly define God's attributes. So, the Son became the One who would provide that demonstration. The sin of unbelief was the problem that Jesus came to say something about. As a result, the people to whom Jesus came to witness rejected him. "You can't be God," they said. And when the people could stand it no longer, they insisted that Jesus be put away. "Crucify him!" they shouted.
The Cross reveals that Jesus doesn't want to put us to death.
The Cross reveals that we want to put God to death.
People killed God!
The solution to the problem of sin was the evidence that Jesus revealed for all to see: "The Father is just like me!" John the gospel writer records these words of Jesus: "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father."(John 14:9). Jesus could make that statement because he was equal with the Father; they are mirror images of each other.
Jesus "takes away the sin of the world" by revealing the truth about God.
But it was not without consequences that Jesus revealed his heavenly Father. Rejection, denial, and betrayal by those closest to him were his to endure alone. And lastly it could be said of Jesus: Tell the truth about God, and it's going to kill you!
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