What Did ‘Lamb of God’ Mean To The Audience?

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! He is the one I was talking about.  John 1:29-30

The entire Old Testament asks the question, “Where is the lamb?”  At the beginning of Jewish history, the people put lamb’s blood on the doorposts of their homes.  They believed God’s promise that this blood sign would cause the death angel to pass them by.  And it did. 

At another pivotal point in history, Abraham was told to take Isaac up to the top of Mt. Moriah and sacrifice him.   Isaac asked his father, ‘But where is the lamb?’  Abraham answered that God would provide one.  He did then and He did – in Jesus – once and for all. 

The priests in the temple in Jerusalem sacrificed a lamb every morning and every night for centuries.  For hundreds of years, God’s people brought lambs to the temple to sacrifice.  Just one trip, or one lamb, would not suffice.  They had to keep coming back year after year because no lamb could take away all their sin.  

People were used to people providing lambs.  The announcement from John that God’s Lamb was approaching was the most shocking thing they could hear.  God provided a Lamb?  The best news of all was that this Lamb could take sins away forever.  They wouldn’t be covered over until the next sacrifice.  

No wonder John was breathless.  The question of the ages was being answered in the person coming up over the knoll of the hillside.  Jesus authenticated, in that moment, the Torah and all the writings of the prophets.  John’s audience had heard the stories and felt the thrill of being God’s children but never would they think that someone sent by God, to be their Lamb, would approach them. In person.  

And to think that you went back to Your Father and sent back Your Spirit.  You were sent by God, came to me personally, and moved in my spirit to one day take me home.  Amazing, Jesus.

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