The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29).
When our Lord was thus set forth by John, it is well to note the special character under which he was declared. John knew much of the Lord Jesus, and could have pictured him in many lights and characters. He might have especially pointed him out as the great moral Example, the Founder of a higher form of life, the great Teacher of holiness and love. Yet this did not strike the Baptist as the head and front of our Lord’s character, but he proclaimed him as One who had come into the world to be the great Sacrifice for Sin.
The principle office of Christ is briefly but clearly stated: that he takes away the sins of the world by the sacrifice of his death, and reconciles men to God. There are other favours, indeed, which Christ bestows upon us, but this is the chief favour, and the rest depend on it; that, by appeasing the wrath of God, he makes us to be reckoned holy and righteous. For from this source flow all the streams of blessings, that, by not imputing our sins, he receives us into favour. Accordingly, John in order to conduct us to Christ, commences with the gratuitous forgiveness of sins which we obtain through Him.
Lamb Of God
The article denotes the appointed Lamb of God, which, according to the prophetic utterance presupposed as well known, was expected in the person of the Messiah. This characteristic form of Messianic expectation is based upon Isa. 53. Comp. Matt. 8:17; Luke 22:37; Acts 8:32; 1 Pet. 2:22 ff.; and the Lamb in the Apocalypse.
H. A. W. MEYER
As the lamb was sacrificed upon the altar, as a symbolical atonement for the sins of the people, this epithet is applied figuratively ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more