December 24, 2012
The Wait is Finally Over
Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.
It began as all the other days had begun. John’s short period of ministry was not marked by the spectacular or sensational (John 10:41). Preaching and baptism were what occupied John. Slowly, a band of disciples had gathered around him. He was preparing them for someone Whom he claimed he did not as yet know. But each time someone came to him to be baptized, he would breathlessly await the sign from heaven.
While the Apostle John writing the Gospel of John years later does not actually record the baptism (as do the other synoptics), he does tell us what they in turn do not. Perhaps John’s greatest day was that day when, as he baptized the Lord Jesus, he saw the Spirit descending as a dove. Suddenly the ordinary day took on extraordinary meaning. The air was suddenly electrified as the purpose of his ministry was realized and his joy was multiplied. He had finally reached the apex of his ministry.
Later, perhaps the Lord Jesus was returning from the wilderness and His encounter with Satan, John saw Him approaching and announced: “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” For centuries, pious Jews had brought their lambs to God. Now, God was bringing His Lamb to men. Here was the Lamb of God’s approval and providing. He was the “sin bearer for the world,” not just for Israel. The wait was over; God had indeed visited His people. The Lamb of God had come.
For centuries, Israel had been waiting for a deliverer. Their concept was a mighty hero to deliver them from the oppression of their enemies. But God’s deliverer came in the character of a Lamb. Do a survey of the kingdoms of this world. Each has as its animal motif, one which is aggressive, strong, and invincible: the American eagle, the Russian bear, the tiger of China. Yet heaven has chosen to represent itself by a Lamb. And yet, the Lamb has conquered all by being conquered.
By weakness and defeat
He won the meed and crown
Trod all His foes beneath His feet
By being trodden down
S. W. Gandy
1. In John’s announcement, there are echoes of events in Genesis 22, Exodus 12, Leviticus 16, and Numbers 21. Trace them.
2. John’s Gospel has more references to the world than any other. To a narrow minded Jewish company, grace and salvation for the world must have caused tremendous bewilderment.
3. The Apostle John mentions the Lamb both here and in Revelation. His Gospel is built around three Passover feasts as well. Notice how the Lord Jesus is presented at each of the three Passover feasts in Jerusalem.