The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
With these words, the evangelist John has established the theme of his gospel. From this point on, John will not deviate from the theme that Jesus, the Christ, is the very Lamb of God, the Savior of the world. And on the banks of the Jordan, the true Lamb of God is identified. The whole force of the Good News in Jesus Christ is summed up in John the Baptizer’s statement.
The Law of God is terrible and terrifying. Its frightening “thou shalts” and “thou shalt nots” lead only to damnation, for they are incapable of being kept.
All the mental gymnastics, the psychological exercises we might engage in, do not remove our sins. All our good works do not remove our sins. We are left to hold them, left to carry that burden. We can keep holding it, or we can give that burden to God.
Jesus took upon Himself the sin of the world – yours, mine, everybody! This “sin” is the great mass of sin – the staggering sum total of all the sin of the world. As many people as there were, are, and will be in the world – each with his own accumulation of daily sins – sins of commission and omission; sins of mind, mouth, and hand – all that sin set together in a total super mass – these are the sins of the world! It is beyond comprehension!
In the judgment of God, even one of those sins is deadly, damning. Multiply those sins by millions, and then multiply it again and again, all have been laid upon the back of Jesus, our scapegoat.
God said to us, “Dear one, you cannot bear your own sin and guilt, the load is more than you can carry. You cannot free yourself from my judgment. Therefore, look, I lay your sin upon my Lamb and free you of it.”
Behold the Lamb of God – the Lamb misunderstood by His people, and so many today – betrayed by one of his own, crucified in the company of thieves, and buried. Behold the Lamb of God risen from the dead, ascended into glory, and sitting at the right hand of the Father – the hope of all the world!
O Lamb of God, we thank you for taking all our sins upon yourself. Freed from the burden, the guilt, and the condemnation of sin, we can live in grace and love as you have first loved us. Amen.