Scripture Reading: John 1:19-34
“The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
As we come to the end of the week of Christmas, let’s be reminded why Jesus came to this earth, why He became incarnate and was born of the virgin Mary. Jesus came to accomplish salvation for His people. His mission was to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
John the baptist was called of God in his mother’s womb and was given a mission. When asked about his identity, he “replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, ‘I am the voice of one calling in the desert, make straight the way for the Lord'” (v.23). John’s mission was to prepare the way for the Lord. He was the messenger sent by God to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah.
God through the prophets had foretold of John’s mission. Isaiah announced it — “A voice of one calling: ‘In the desert prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the wilderness a highway for God'” (Isaiah 40:3). Malachi, the last of the Old Testament’s prophet, wrote these words — “See, I will send My messenger, who will prepare the way before Me” (Malachi 3:1).
John knew his place in redemptive history. He made it clear — “I baptize with water, but among you stands one who you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie” (vs. 26,27). When he saw Jesus, he recognized Him as the Messiah — “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (v. 29).
Standing before John and the people that day was the fulfillment of the entire sacrificial system of the Old Testament — THE LAMB OF GOD! Here was the true Passover Lamb. He alone could take away the sin of the world, because He alone was worthy and qualified to be the true substitute for the sins of His people.
Surely the shadow of the cross stood over the manger that day. Jesus was born to die. But the glorious news of the gospel is that He overcame the grave and reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords. Never loose sight of the purpose for Christ’s incarnation. Never forget the extent of His love for us — “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4,5).
Lord Jesus, we have celebrated Your birth this week. But now let us reflect on the reason You came to this earth — to be the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Thank You for loving us so much that You were willing to give up everything for us. But we rejoice that You were resurrected from the dead, ascended into heaven and now You are seated at the right hand of the Father. May You forever be praised!
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