With our reading today in John, I was struck once again by verse 29 of John 1. Israel was under the thumb of Roman occupation and they were praying for deliverance. They wanted and envisioned a military type leader who would build and lead an army to overthrow the Roman garrison in Jerusalem as a start of the all out rebellion.
But instead, “Behold, The Lamb of God” enters the scene. He came as a lamb, not a lion! What could God be thinking? Surely the subjection of His people was uppermost in God’s mind, right?
But it seems that God was more concerned with the condition of man’s heart and soul. God was more concerned with the eternal instead of the temporal earthly circumstances.
He sent a lamb to take away sin. If you know the Old Testament sacrificial system,you get a clear picture of what Jesus’ earthly mission would consist of – it would involve sacrificial blood! The lamb became the bearer of sin transferred to it so that its blood could wipe the sin slate clean for the human worshiper.
Yes, it is a bloody religious system because only the blood of a perfect (sinless) one – bearing the very blood of God could settle the sin question for mankind. Isaiah 53:7b “He was led as a lamb to the slaughter and as a sheep before its shearers is silent”. Jesus understood that His mission and work was the fulfillment of Isaiah’s Suffering Servant. He would be exalted, disfigured by suffering, make a blood atonement, be rejected, bear our sins and sorrows, be our substitute, voluntarily accept our guilt and punishment, be buried in a rich man’s tomb, save us who believe in Him, die on behalf of transgressors.
It was the greatest injustice of all time. It was the greatest self sacrifice of all time, the giving of Himself to save all who believed in Him!