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
When John the Baptist called Jesus “the Lamb of God,” he was saying something really incredible, even if those hearing didn’t fully grasp the significance of what he said.
As Jews, his audience would have understood the significance of a lamb, an animal required by God for sacrifice to atone for sins. Throughout the Old Testament, lambs were slain, and their blood poured on the altar to cleanse the people of their wrongdoing.
But without fail, another lamb was eventually needed. So, the people continued to bring them as an offering year after year.
When Jesus came, God was sending His own Lamb – a perfect sacrifice that would satisfy once and for all time the penalty of sin upon the world. That’s what made John’s statement so significant.
John was saying, “Look! God has sent us His perfect Lamb.”
Even more, Jesus didn’t just cover the sins, He “takes away the sin of the world!’
No more do we need to offer animal sacrifices to atone. Jesus has done that work for us, for good!
That’s why Christmas is such a celebration, because we know that when Mary gave birth to that baby 2,000 years ago, she was bringing God’s perfect Lamb into the world.
Thank God today for the promise of salvation you have through His perfect Lamb, Jesus.
Questions for thought
Why is it important that Jesus takes away rather than just covering our sins?
How can you be like John and point others to the Lamb of God?