29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! — John 1:29
Where is the Lamb?
by Brad Hicks
In our secularistic world, most people will rush through the holiday season, do some expected social activities, spend for meaningless gifts, and give very little thought to the One whose birth will be casually mentioned in Christian churches as a baby born. On the day after, most people will return to their busy lives without realizing who Christ is, what He came to do, what He is doing today, and what He will do after He returns to the earth. We need to discover that Jesus was not just another baby born, but that He was God in human flesh who came to redeem us from our sins.
John the Baptist was chosen of God to be the forerunner of the Promised Messiah. In John 1:29 he said, “Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” Abraham’s son asked his father, when he was going with him to offer a sacrifice to God, “Where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” (Genesis 22:7). Abraham replied, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son” (Genesis 22:8). The people of the Old Testament offered sacrifices, lambs whose blood represented the One whose blood would become the only acceptable sacrifice for our sins. In the New Testament, John was proclaiming a baptism of repentance. In it there was no idea of redemption.
It is only through the blood of God’s Lamb that we are able to receive forgiveness for our sins and be redeemed to live purposeful lives after God’s plan for us. Christmas should remind us that Jesus came for a purpose. It was to live a perfect life, offer that life on the cross, and make a perfect sacrifice that would allow God to accept us as forgiven and able to fulfill the purpose for which He created us. The Old Testament question, “Where is the lamb?” has been answered.
But that is not the end of the story. The holidays call to our minds some who lived among us yet are no longer with us. That is a stark reminder that our lives on the earth are temporary. We are taught that the Lamb’s work is not finished. He is still applying His blood to the accounts of those who trust in Him and receive Him as their Savior and Lord. He is also coming again at the end of the age.
Many people wonder what it will be like when life here ends. As believers in the Lamb, we know we have a place in heaven, and one day the Lamb will return to earth. The apostle John was privileged to be given a glimpse into the future in the book of Revelation. “I also saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?’ But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or even to look in it” (Revelation 5:2-3). They looked in heaven at all of the great men and women of faith, but they could not find one worthy. They looked on earth. Not one of the great minds of science, philosophy, politics or technology, nor anyone else, was worthy.
But then John heard more. “One of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep. Look, the Lion from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered so that he is able to open the scroll and its seven seals’” (Revelation 5:5). The baby of Christmas was the Lamb who was born, the Lamb who was crucified for our sins, and He will be the Lion who is worthy to open the scroll. He will be there to declare us redeemed from our sin, so we can share a living relationship with Him through the eternal ages.
- If you are worried about facing the Judgment Seat of Christ, let this message give you assurance that the Lamb of God has made you right with Him through faith.
- Pray that God will give you peace and strength through what Jesus has already done, is doing, and will do in your life.
- Make a list of those you know who do not have the assurance of their relationship with God through their faith in Christ, and invite them to attend your Life Group or worship experience.
- Pray for God to open a door for you to share your assurance in Jesus with one who is struggling with guilt and doubt.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.