Loving Lord, I need courage and grace to listen, to answer, to care, and to rejoice.
Read John 1:19-34
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
We cannot grow in Christian wisdom without first knowing Christ as the Lamb of God who takes away our sin.
After the cosmic point of view in yesterday’s reading, John turns to the view from first-century Palestine where there was a fervor of messianic expectation. News of John the Baptist’s activities had spread and the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem had to find out exactly what was going on. There were Old Testament prophecies about Elijah returning (Mal. 4:5) and about God sending another prophet like Moses (Deut. 18:15-18). So they asked John directly, but he pointed them instead to Isaiah (Isa. 40:3). He was clear about his identity and his place in God’s plan. He understood himself as the one whose calling it was to prepare the way for the Messiah. To those with ears to hear, there was the whole of Isaiah 40-66 to ponder.
John assumed that his readers had heard the story of Jesus’ baptism and did not retell it. Instead, he gave his testimony to what he heard on that occasion. And then, the next day, he made it explicit. This is the only place in the Gospels where Jesus is referred to as the “Lamb,” a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It is all there in Isaiah (Isa. 52:13–53:12) for those whose eyes God opens.
None of us can understand until we have understood the truth about ourselves. We have all, like sheep, gone astray and turned to our own way (Isa. 53:6). No amount of outward religiosity can cleanse us, but when we face up to this truth and confess our sins, our eyes are opened and we see Jesus as the Lamb.” Any other longing we have will be but a shadow of our desire for the greatest and truest love available, the love to which the Lamb’s shed blood stands as an eternal testimony” (Craig Keener).
Of the titles given for Jesus so far–the Word, the Light, the Christ, the Lamb of God, the Son of God–which means the most to you? Why?
Lamb of God, I bow before You in thankfulness and praise. Your life was given so that I could be, “ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven.”