The Lamb of God takes away our sins
"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
John, who went out into the wilderness to save people through their repentance and baptism, saw Jesus approaching him and in, as I would imagine, an excited declaration of who Jesus is as the Messiah and the mission that Jesus came to do.
John's description of Jesus as a Lamb speaks to the character of Jesus as He takes on the sins of the world.
Isaiah 53:7 "He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth. He was oppressed and did not speak."
I do not know about you, but when I feel like I am oppressed or afflicted, I probably am not very silent. I believe the phrasing for what I would be doing is complaining, grouchy, cantankerous and irritable.
I have wondered if John knew of the manor or great lengths Jesus came to save us (the world) from our sins. Even though I have understood most of my life that Jesus had to die to save me of my sin, I at times, do not fully appreciate the depth and understanding of what that looks like. Someone willing to sacrifice their life to save mine. What an amazing feat of selflessness and giving.
Wrapping my head around this is a little more than I can comprehend. What is also mind-blowing for me is the cruelty and suffering that was afflicted on him to accomplish this. Jesus certainly was no stranger to crucifixions. They most likely in the Roman culture happened often. I would imagine growing up and seeing suffering like that would leave a fearful impression in my mind for not wanting that to happen to me.
And here we are, Jesus, willing, volunteering, silently accepting the punishment I deserved. What love, what sacrifice. This thinking does and should challenge me every day.
How am I treating others that I encounter? Am I really doing things without agendas, or expectations, or only thinking of myself. Can I live my life thinking of others before I consider my desires?
As Easter approaches and we contemplate what Jesus went through and His resurrection, it becomes important to understand the gravity of God's sacrificial gift. Taking on our sin and freeing us from the bondage that encases us.
This freedom is what gives us the pure joy for celebrating the resurrection through the exciting declaration, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" "He is Risen!"