The Lamb of God
"The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, 'Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!'" (John 1:29).
There are many things to which Jesus is compared. But surely none so fitting as that of a lamb. Like a lamb, He is---loveable, gentle, and innocent. However, because of these characteristics, let us never think He is weak or powerless. Let us observe the following about Jesus:
He is the saving Lamb. John the Baptist realized that fact when he referred to Him as the "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." The law of Moses required animal sacrifices for sin. When a lamb was brought to be offered as a "sin offering" it was to be "without blemish" (Lev. 4:32-35). But the blood of animals, though offered repeatedly, could never take away sins (Heb. 10:1-11). But Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God, offered Himself as "one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God" (Heb. 10:12). Thus, as the Lamb of God, He qualifies perfectly as the one to save us, for He lived a sinless life. He is now our perfect High Priest who "was in all points tempted as we are yet without sin" (Heb. 4:15).
He is the sacrificial Lamb. The Prophet Isaiah spoke of the Messiah as a lamb being led to the slaughter, "And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So he opened not His mouth" (Isa. 53:7). The innocent, pure Lamb of God had to be sacrificed as PART OF GOD'S PLAN FOR MAN TO have the opportunity to be saved from his lost condition. Jesus suffered and died to take away our sins, "who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously" (1 Pet. 2:23).
He is the triumphant Lamb. We read of the Lamb of God in Revelation, chapter five, as the one who could open the scroll that no man could open. A strong angel asked in a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and loose its seals?" One of the elders said to the Apostle John that "the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and loose its seven seals." But as John looked for the lion, instead he saw "a Lamb as though it had been slain" (Rev. 5:6). The Lamb of God received the praise and worship from the living creatures and elders as they sang a new song saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain And have redeemed us to God by Your blood" (Rev. 5:8-9).. This was because He had overcome---had been sacrificed and shed His blood for the sins of the whole world (1 Jn. 2:2). He alone was worthy to open the scroll.
We ask, "What if there had been no Lamb?" For this to have happened is too horrible to even contemplate. Yet, those who do not submit to the Lamb of God, are in the same condition as if He had never come! When His judgment comes, they will have to face the "wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?" (Rev. 6:16-17). Let us never lose sight or fail to consider the "wrath of the Lamb".
We come in contact with the saving power of the blood of the Lamb of God when we are "baptized into His death" (Rom. 6:3). For it was in His death that He shed His blood, and it is by our obedience to His gospel, having been "baptized into His death" that our sins are forgiven. Consider this very carefully, as stated by the inspired Apostle Paul: "Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just has Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Rom. 6:4). Paul described his own conversion, which was in exact accord with what he is here teaching the Romans. He told the Jerusalem mob that Ananias came to him with a question and a command: "And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16). When Paul was baptized, his sins were washed away (cleansed, forgiven) by the blood of the Lamb. This is true of every person who ever became a Christian in the New Testament (see each conversion recorded in the book of Acts); it is still true today.
"Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?"