November 05, 2013

"Like a Lamb to the Slaughter"

John 1:6-8, 19-31; Isaiah 53:4-7

“Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
—John 1:29


In today’s verses, John the disciple writes about John the Baptist and his encounter with Jesus as the promised Messiah. What John the Baptist says goes to the center of Jesus’ mission and reveals the astounding depth of Jesus’ love. He is “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”

John the Baptist likely had the ancient prophecy of Isaiah in mind as he described Jesus as the Lamb of God. About 650 years earlier, the prophet Isaiah had written about a special Servant of the Lord, a promised deliverer who would establish justice and peace for all people (see Isaiah 42:1-9; 49:1-13; 50:4-9; 52:13-53:12). But this servant would also suffer. Isaiah wrote, “The LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all… He was led like a lamb to the slaughter,” making “his life an offering for sin.”

John the Baptist saw that Jesus, the Word, the Son of God, would be that lamb of sacrifice. The Word, so full of life, would die like a helpless lamb. Why? So that he could take sin and death away from us and give us new freedom and abundant life.

Be amazed again—and thankful—for all that the Word who became flesh has done for us!

Jesus, your sacrifice to take away our sin is an expression of a love far greater than we can understand. But we know how much we need your love, and we gratefully receive it. Thank you for being the Lamb of God! We pray in your name. Amen.

About the author — Harvey Stob

Rev. Harvey Stob and his wife, Audrey, served as missionaries in Argentina for eleven years. They then served churches in Cincinnati, Ohio; Ridgewood, New Jersey; and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Harvey retired from full-time pastoral work in 2009. He and Audrey have three children and seven grandchildren.

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