“Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” – John 1:29
It is not enough to have a theoretical understanding of God’s redemption through Jesus and how He came to fulfill the Old Testament system of sacrifices as the Paschal Lamb – as important as that information may be.
No, it is of greatest importance that we behold Him.
Some translate the word, “Look,” but the meaning is the same. We must linger over the vision of Jesus and stare into His eyes.
We must be captivated by His presence so that to even blink we would disrupt the flow of His radiance into our souls.
We must drink deeply of His beauty that transcends human comeliness. We must experience Him in all His glory and behold Him.
In Jesus Christ, the Living Word, we have beheld the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. God has allowed us to glimpse Himself and touch His own incarnate flesh.
Why wouldn’t we stop everything else we might be doing and bathe in the wonder of a moment of Lamb of God?
Oh, Lamb of God
Upon whose sinless shoulders
All sin has pressed down its awful weight,
We pause amidst the frivolous trivialities of our lives
To behold You
In a manger, on the cross, ascending to Your throne
Coming once again in glory
“And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. … And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God … And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! “ John 1:32, 34, 36
Against the backdrop of the Christmas story, we meditate upon John’s testimony to the significance of the Incarnate Word of God. The Spirit descends, the record is borne, and the Lamb of God is revealed.
It is a transitional moment of transformational power. The formative years of Jesus’ life are complete and the babe we left in the manger is now a man who knows who He is and what his mission is on earth is to be. It is the conclusion of the Christmas story and the beginning of a ministry that will culminate in His passion.
Jesus comes to John to be baptized and His baptism is a celebration of new life and new possibilities.
He stands with sinners though He has never sinned. He enters into the symbol of repentance for the sins that we have committed. He identifies intimately with humanity and in that act of identification, God sends forth His own Spirit to visibly and dramatically identify with Him.
It is a new day. In much the same way that we mark a new year with noise and celebration, God marks the ministry of Christ with John’s declaration, “This is the Son of God,” followed by “Look everyone! This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the World!”
The old is passing away. The new has come. From now on baptism will mean something entirely different and no one will need to be imprisoned in their despair of sin. New years had come and gone for centuries with their twin commemoration of the Day of Atonement. This was no mere new year. This announcement was of new life!
Happy New Life!