The Lamb of God
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”
32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”
In our text, John tells about a meeting between John the Baptist and Jesus. John the Baptist was the forerunner of Christ. He announced that Jesus was the Lamb of God, the Savior of the world. The Spirit of God descended upon Jesus and remained on Him. John the Baptist explained that his baptism was in water, but Christ would baptize in the Holy Spirit.
In this short presentation, we will focus on what we can learn from the meeting between John the Baptist and Jesus. How does this fascinating story apply to us? It has meaning for both believers and people who have not yet accepted Christ. Let us examine the following key points.
1. Believe in the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
John the Baptist says that Jesus is the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world. In His death Jesus was the sacrificial Lamb who atoned for us. He paid the penalty for our sins.
No doubt many of you already have believed in Christ as the Savior of the world. If not, the first step in becoming a Christian is to repent of sins and believe in the Lord as Savior. Jesus is the atoning Savior. He will forgive you, take away your sins, and help you live an abundant life.
2. Accept God’s call and work with a whole heart in His kingdom.
John the Baptist knew that He was not the Christ; he simply was the forerunner of Christ. His role was to prepare the people for the Messiah. He did this with great zest as he preached repentance and salvation.
Each of us has a role in the kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 12:7) enables everyone to have a part in the work of God. We should recognize the gift or gifts that God has given us, accept our role, and fulfill that role with all our hearts and minds.
3. Be baptized by Jesus in the Holy Spirit.
John the Baptist tells us that he baptized people in water “so that He [Christ] might be manifested to Israel.” Then, he tells us that Christ will baptize us in the Holy Spirit. We probably do not know all that John the Baptist meant by this. However, we do know that Jesus poured out the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost to empower the disciples to witness to the world.
Thus, the Baptist baptized in water to make Christ known to Israel; Jesus baptizes in the Spirit to enable us to make Christ known to the world. It should be the desire of our hearts to be empowered by the Spirit for this task.
4. Present the Lamb of God to the world.
Many voices call for the allegiance of people throughout the world. Many gods and religions are presented. Millions of people find them attractive, but there is salvation in none other but Jesus Christ.
Our Lord has commissioned us to present Christ to the world. As we present the Lamb of God, we must tell about His death, burial, and resurrection. The saving work of Christ was accomplished through these events. Thus, this was the primary message of Paul (I Corinthians 15:3-4) and the other apostles.
Christ, the Lamb of God, takes away our sins and makes it possible for us to work in the kingdom of God. The Spirit came upon Him, and He baptizes us in the Spirit. Our task is to present the Lamb of God to the world.