“The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, “After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me”’” (John 1:29–30).
On the day after he spoke to the delegation, John “saw Jesus coming to him.” In keeping with his role as a herald, John immediately called the crowd’s attention to Him, exclaiming “Behold, the Lamb of God.”
The concept of a sacrificial Lamb was a familiar one to the Jewish people. All through Israel’s history, God had revealed clearly that sin and separation from Him could be removed only by blood sacrifices (cf. Lev. 17:11). They were also aware that Isaiah’s prophecy likened Messiah to “a lamb that is led to slaughter” (Isa. 53:7). Though Israel sought a Messiah who would be a prophet, king, and conqueror, God had to send them a Lamb. And He did.
The title “Lamb of God” foreshadows Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice on the cross for “the sin of the world.” With that brief statement John made it clear that the Messiah had come to deal with sin. The Old Testament is filled with the reality that the problem is sin—a problem at the heart of every person (Jer. 17:9). All men are sinful and incapable of changing the future or the present, or of repaying God for the sins of the past.
So who is the Lamb of God? He is Jesus, the only One who has the remedy to your sin problem.
We know that our sin, though dealt with ultimately and eternally, continues to be a problem for us to face and address. Are you surprised at the strength and tenacity it still wields within you? How do you go about quieting its ferocious appetite and considering yourself dead to it (See Rom. 6:11)?
From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610