The Lamb Of God Who Takes Away The Sin Of The World
2nd Sunday of Epiphany
Readings: Isaiah 49:1-7
1 Corinthians 1:1-9
Our God is a great God. His love and compassion are beyond our human comprehension. We rebelled against Him yet He has not condemned us. Christ is the center of our lives. He is the only source who can save us. No church can do this. No other person can do this. It is only through Christ. He is the Son of God who would set aside His divinity to die for us.
We see Jesus finishing His Baptism. In this event, we know that God supplied all the gifts of the Holy Spirit upon Him and upon us. To say we are lacking in anything is a lie from the devil. God is our source. Christ is the center of all things. He was tempted in the wilderness. He was without food or drink for 40 days, yet His commitment to God never wavered. He kept His thoughts upon God. He may have been trained in the Jewish ways and all the laws of the Jews. But God was showing us that Christ came for everyone- Jews and Gentiles alike. After having overcome all the temptations, He left the wilderness when John saw Him. And John said, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” Why Lamb? This points back to the Old Testament where Abraham was about to sacrifice his own son Isaac. When he was almost done in his preparations, Isaac asks his father, “but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?” In faith, Abraham answered, “God will provide.” The Lamb is a symbol of Christ.
1 Corinthians 5:7 “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed for us.”
Romans 3:25 “God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished.”
Christ bore the sins of the whole world. Our salvation is in Christ. Salvation is available for all. The gift has been given to all mankind. This is the love, power and compassion of God. Man can either reject it or accept it. Not only has He redeemed us, He has given us all the gifts. We have been blessed with everything that we’ll ever need. John the Baptist knew that Christ was the Lamb by revelation. He did not know Christ per se because he lived and grew up in the wilderness. Jesus was born in Bethlehem and grew up in Nazareth. They had not met each other personally. John only met Jesus at His baptism. John witnessed the dove descending upon Jesus and He also heard a voice from heaven declaring that Jesus was the Son of God. He may not have understood this fully at first but he realized it was his mission to prepare the way of the Lord. Hebrews 9:14 “But Christ offered himself to God without any flaw. He did this through the power of the eternal Holy Spirit. So how much cleaner will the blood of Christ make us! It washes away our feelings of guilt for committing sin. Sin always leads to death. But now we can serve the living God.” There is nothing that anyone or any church can do. It is only from Christ that we can receive redemption and life. We need to elevate our respect for Him, that He did this for the whole world. We find ourselves in fear and uncertainties, but we should not because Christ has set us free. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit has empowered us.
Several of John’s disciples decided to follow Christ. John was not jealous nor was he intimidated. Jesus saw two of them and asked them, “what do you want?” They said, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” Jesus did not reject them and was ready to receive them. Our sins were placed upon Christ and He paid for our sins. We cannot earn salvation. It is not what we have done but what He has done for us. Our responsibility in receiving this gift is to live it out. We do not just preach about Him, we are to bring a witness through our lives so that others can see the goodness and love of God. If the world can see that we do not hate but that we forgive, they will want to have what we have. The bitterness and unforgiveness will kill us. But forgiveness will bring us peace. If the church does not live out her Christianity, then we have failed. We should not withhold the provisions given to us by God but share these to those in need. If there is anything we need to learn in our lives, it is that Christ should be the Center. We need to possess the love of God. We have much to be thankful for. Hold back nothing. He has given us so much.