The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29 KJV)
After God revealed Jesus to John the Baptist as the Christ, John uses the phrase “behold the Lamb of God” twice in the Gospel of John to describe Jesus( John 1:29, 36). This devotional will examine the beauty of the words “behold” and “Lamb”.
The term “behold” in John 1:29 is a prompter of attention to indicate someone. It could be paraphrased as “look, here is…”. Since showing the Messiah to Israel was John’s destiny, we can only imagine the excitement in his voice as he went about telling everyone whenever Jesus passed by, “look, here is the One I told you about, the Lamb of God!”. John called the attention of the Jews to recognize that the One they were seeing was the Lamb of God their scriptures had predicted would come. So John told them, “pay attention; the prophecy you cherish is right before your eyes!”
The Jews understood what John meant by “Lamb of God.” They knew the scriptures that Isaiah prophesied: “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, Yet he opened not his mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep, before her shearers are dumb, So he openeth not his mouth” (Isaiah 53:7 KJV). Besides, the Jews knew about the offering of Isaac by Abraham(the Akedah, Gen. 22:8) and that all the lamb sacrifices of the Law were a memorial of the Akedah “with its effects of deliverance, the forgiveness of sin and messianic salvation.” So when John said the “Lamb of God,” he was speaking a language the Jews understood.
John explains the meaning of Lamb of God in the same verse—” which taketh away the sin of the world.”Jesus, as the Lamb of God, would die as the lambs in the Old Testament sacrifices to take away the sins of the world. Furthermore, as a sheep, He appeared powerless before His enemies; He did not open His mouth. Had He opened His mouth, He would have roared like a Lion, and the Word that created the universe would have come forth to consume His enemies. But had Jesus opened His mouth, the sins of the world would not have been taken away. Therefore He died as a sacrificial lamb in weakness so we will be delivered from sin, Satan, and death.
Today, life up those eyes of understanding and faith and behold the Lamb of God!
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Did the Jews reconcile the prophecy they held with the reality before their eyes?
Apply the Word
John the Baptist is still speaking to the lost world “behold the Lamb of God! Why would you die in your sins?”. To the believer in Christ, John also has a symbolic message—continue to behold Him as an in a mirror as you grow in your knowledge of Him and accept what He did.
Bless the Father for the Lamb of God!
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