In John 1:29, John the Baptist, forerunner to the Messiah, declared Jesus to be the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” This declaration is echoed throughout Scripture as Jesus is the perfect and permanent sacrificial substitute that satisfies the just wrath of a holy God. Jesus’ life and death are a fulfilment of divine prophecy. The Passover Lamb referenced in Exodus 12:13 points to our ultimate salvation in Christ. God intended to exercise His divine wrath in the land of Egypt; the Israelites were instructed to apply blood from sacrificial lambs to their door posts. The blood of the lamb displayed on the door was a sign that the Israelites were faithful and that they were to be passed over and delivered from the consequences of sin that fell upon the Egyptians. In the same way, the sacrificial blood of Jesus—the Lamb of God—makes it possible for people to be passed over or delivered from divine wrath against sin that exists.
Jesus, the Lamb of God, provides substitutionary atonement for sin. The purpose of the Lamb of God and His sacrificial death on the cross is to provide the opportunity for all men in all places to have salvation, that is, deliverance from sin and its consequences. God’s plan for righteousness comes through Jesus’ sacrifice of death on our behalf. This righteousness is given freely to those who accept the substitute and with that acceptance comes justification (being righteous in God’s sight), redemption (being saved from sin), propitiation (satisfying God’s standard), and sanctification (being set apart). The Lamb of God reconciles us to God and makes us “right” with God, through himself, because of His righteousness. Gratitude for this gift should motivate believers who serve Him out of appreciation for His sacrifice.
The Lamb of God is worthy of praise! Revelation 5:6 proclaims the Lamb who was slain to be worthy of all power, riches, wisdom, might, honor, glory, and blessing. All of life—both in time and eternity—is to be offered as worship to the substitutionary Lamb who gave Himself for mankind. The gift of salvation is free and available to all. However, those who reject the Lamb of God must know that they will die in their sins and be judged, experiencing the full wrath of God in eternity (John 8:24; 12:48; Rom 2:5-9). Not only is the Lamb of God to be praised and accepted, He is to be followed (John 1:37). The life of the believer doesn’t begin and end with the acceptance of the Lamb of God; recognition and appreciation of the Lamb should lead to a life committed to following His ways.
- Take some time to think about the Passover story from Exodus 12:1-13. Why was God exercising judgment in Egypt? How does this story relate to our current need for salvation through Jesus, our sacrificial Lamb of God?
- Review the words justification, redemption, propitiation, and sanctification. Although these terms are frequently used within the church, outside of the church people may struggle to understand what they mean. How would you explain these terms to an unbeliever?
Let’s Get Personal
- Many people struggle to understand their need for a Savior simply because they think they are “good people.” Why do we need Jesus the Lamb of God? Why is it so important that the blood of Jesus Christ was shed on our behalf (Psalm 14:1-3; 53:1-3; Rom 3:10)?
- Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. After hearing today’s sermon, how does this truth increase your love and appreciation for the Lamb of God who takes away your sin?
Take the Next Step
- The magnitude of the sacrifice the Lamb of God made on your behalf should result in motivation, appreciation, and service. In what practical way will this week’s message change your actionable service to the Savior?
- Want to go deeper? Take a look at the following passages: Gen 22:7-8; Ex 12:1-13; Isa 53:1-12; John 3:16; 1 Cor 5:7; 2 Cor 5:20-21; Heb 2:17-18; 10:1-14; 1 Pet 1:17-21; 2:21-25; 1 John 2:2; Rev 5:11-14; 6:15-17; 13:8
Renew Your Mind
“Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” – John 1:29