Lamb of God
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
I’ve always wondered about this moment in the lives of John and Jesus. Did they know each other before this moment? Did John know that he was talking about his cousin? If he didn’t, how did he react when he found out? If he did, what was it like to think your cousin was the savior of Israel? In the end, we must remember that it was the Spirit working through John that made him say those words. Did he even know before this moment that his cousin was going to be the savior? These answers I think will only truly be known when we ask them in heaven.
But it’s a big moment. This is the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. This is the beginning of a mission created at the very beginning of the world. Jesus would begin his journey to the cross. It is here that he would take his first steps as the Lamb of God.
To truly understand the text you must know the Old Testament. For thousands of years Jews had brought a lamb to the temple to get their sins forgiven. Every year, for hundreds of years, they brought a lamb to forgive Israel in the Day of Atonement. All of that death was pointing to this one man.
Some people point even before the creation of the Jews. Some go to the very beginning when sin entered the world. God, seeing the nakedness of fallen man created garments of skin to cover them. Those skins must have come from a sacrificed animal- very likely a lamb. It was the first sign of a sacrifice to cover the sins of humanity.
Everything pointed to this start and John was there. What an experience that must have been. We know that John’s faith wavered as he was in jail sometime after. He sent messengers to confirm whether Jesus truly was the promised Messiah. Jesus simply responded with his actions and work.
Today, we are like John. We are the witnesses of the end time. We don’t have a date and we don’t know if we ourselves will see Jesus in the sky as he returns but that doesn’t negate our place in history. Revelation spoke about this very time right now.
How does that make you feel? Are you afraid? Are you confused? Are you happy? Do you perhaps waver in your own faith as John did? Whatever you might be feeling, I pray that you can seek out Jesus and stay close to him. What we all are experiencing is our moment in this story. May we live it in a way that makes God proud.
Pr. Steven Couto