Posted by God's Favourite House
John 1:29 “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (NRSV, emphasis added)
The way [term] John the Baptist used to describe Jesus is very different from that of the Pharisees and the Sanhedrin [the body of spiritual leadership in Jerusalem]. Whereas the spiritual leaders used the terminology of the Prophets, that is, the Messiah, the Christos, the Prophet that Moses spoke about in Deuteronomy. When John was referring to Jesus, he said, the Lamb of God. John saw Jesus, he did not say, “Behold, the Messiah.” Of course, Jesus is the Messiah; but John the Baptist chose to describe Him as the Lamb of God. Amazing! Why did John the Baptist refer to Jesus as the Lamb of God? What is that important? John the Baptist used the term ‘Lamb of God’ because he knew that it will resonate with his Jewish audience.
He knew that describing Jesus as the Lamb of God will make sense to the Jews, his audience on three levels. Firstly, they understood the Old Testament Passover Lamb [Exodus12, please read]. The Passover is a consistent feast for the Jews from the time that they were set free from Egypt. So, when John the Baptist said, “the Lamb of God”, it resonated. The second way it resonated is that, there is a Messianic Prophecy in Isa.53:7 “He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth.” The Jews were deep in scriptures, so they understood that from a prophetic standpoint, a Lamb of God that was being expected. When John the Baptist said, “Behold the Lamb of God”, Isaiah hit them, and they were amazed.
Thirdly, according to John 2:13, the Passover was actually a few days away. John 2:13 “It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration, so Jesus went to Jerusalem.” If all the ‘next days’ are counted based on the way John, the son of Salome narrated it, by the time we arrive at John 2 the marriage in Cana of Galilee took place on Tuesday. When you count back, this happened on the Sabbath [a Sunday]. Meaning, the week before Jesus shows up, the Jewish community was getting ready for the feast of the Passover where they kill a lamb symbolizing what happened in Egypt and what they are expecting from Jehovah. So, when John shouted, “Behold the Lamb of God that will take away the sin of the world…”, it resonated big time. They wondered, is this the Lamb of God, the atoning sacrifice? The way they saw Jesus was totally different. The Jews that believed realized that this young man is our Messiah, our Passover, He is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.
Note that the scripture says, ‘the Lamb of God’. It is the Lamb of God, not the lamb of the high priest, not the lamb of the head of the family, not the lamb provided by our earthly father. It is the Lamb provided by God as seen in Gen. 22:8 “Abraham said, “God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together.” (NRSV)
Prayer: Father, give me the right words to reveal Jesus to my world, in Jesus Name. Amen!