In John chapter 1 we read several wonderful titles given to the Lord Jesus or to taken by Him. He is ‘the Word’, He is ‘the true Light’, He ‘the Christ’, he is ‘the Son of God’ and He is ‘the Son of man’. We also read that he is ‘the Lamb of God’.
It was John the Baptist who called Jesus, “the Lamb of God.” In verses 35-37 we read the following:
“Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God. And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.”
Here is a Person we must consider. That Person is the Jesus. We read that it was when looking upon Jesus as he walked that John said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” It was a bold declaration. John was deeply impressed by the Lord Jesus. He was the forerunner of Christ and the friend of the Bridegroom who could not but rejoice in the Bridegroom.
There are many important figures set forth in the Bible that we are to consider. We are to consider Adam. His place and position as the first man, his fall, and God’s dealings with him. We are to consider Abraham, God’s sovereign mercy towards him, God’s covenant dealings with him and his faith in God’s promise. We are to consider David, the sweet psalmist of Israel, the great things he did but also his faults and failings. But above all we must consider Jesus. Even John the Baptist himself, godly man though he was, was not the Christ, for as Paul writes in 1 Timothy 2:5 ‘…there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;’
Here is a work we must contemplate. The work of the atonement. The language John uses is instructive. It is the language of sacrifice and substitution. The disciples of John would be well enough versed with the Old Testament history. Perhaps you are too?
In Genesis 3 we read of God clothing Adam and Eve with skins. The skins were provided by the death of the animals whose they were. A covering was provided by God. In Genesis 4 we read of Abel and his offering. His offering was accepted whilst Cain’s was rejected. Abel offered by faith and his a offering was of blood, Cain’s was bloodless. The Passover in Egypt teaches us that, without shedding of blood there was no safety for the firstborn from the destroying angel. The whole system of Tabernacle and Temple worship was sacrificial. Isaiah 53 presents two major themes that point to Jesus as the suffering Saviour and the substitute who died in the room of others. ‘…and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for He shall save his people from their sins’ (Matthew 1:21). Take away the sin-atoning sacrifice of Jesus and there is no gospel of salvation from sin.
Here is an example we must follow. The two disciples of John, who heard him speak, followed Jesus. They followed Him on the ground of this witness. We too can hear John testify, for we can read these words, “Behold the Lamb of God.” We, as New Testament readers and hearers, know that this same Jesus, died on the cross and rose again. Our response should be that of faith in Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God. If you read this message and you are not a believer in Christ, what are you trusting in to get to heaven? Will your own works save you? Do you not have need of Jesus? May you be enabled to cry to Jesus as another did, “Lord I believe, help thou mine unbelief.”
G B Macdonald