The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ I did not recognize him as the Messiah, but I have been baptizing with water so that he might be revealed to Israel.”
Then John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.
John 1:29-34 (NLT)
This is the second day of the week that the Apostle John recorded, and no doubt some of the same committee members were present to hear John the Baptist’s message. This time, he called Jesus “the Lamb of God,” a title he would repeat the next day (John 1:35-36). In one sense, the message of the Bible can be summed up in this title. The question in the Old Testament is,
“Where is the lamb?” (Gen. 22:7)
In the four Gospels, the emphasis is “Behold the Lamb of God!” Here He is! After you have trusted Him, you sing with the heavenly choir, “Worthy is the Lamb!” (Rev. 5:12)
The people of Israel were familiar with lambs for the sacrifices. At Passover, each family had to have a lamb; and during the year, two lambs a day were sacrificed at the temple altar, plus all the other lambs brought for personal sacrifices. Men brought those lambs to men, but here is God’s Lamb, given by God to men! Those lambs could not take away sin, but the Lamb of God can take away sin. Those lambs were for Israel alone, but this Lamb would shed His blood for the whole world!
What does John’s baptism have to do with Jesus as the Lamb of God?
It is generally agreed by scholars of all denominations that, in the New Testament, baptism was by immersion. It pictured death, burial, and resurrection. When John the Baptist baptized Jesus, Jesus and John were picturing the “baptism” Jesus, would endure on the cross when He would die as the sacrificial Lamb of God (Isa. 53:7; Luke 12:50). It would be through death, burial, and resurrection that the Lamb of God would “fulfill all righteousness” (Matt. 3:15).
Perhaps John was mistaken. Perhaps John was not sure that Jesus of Nazareth was the Lamb of God or the Son of God. But the Father made it clear to John just who Jesus is by sending the Spirit like a dove to light on Him. What a beautiful picture of the Trinity!
DECLARATION OF FAITH
Jesus is the Lamb of God who took away all of my sin.
I declare this declaration of faith in the name of Jesus Christ! Amen!
Bible Exposition Commentary – Be Alive