Joh 1:29-34 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (30) This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ (31) I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” (32) And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. (33) I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ (34) And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”
John had already baptized Jesus. Jesus had gone for forty days into the wilderness and now has returned. John declares him to be the one. He would acknowledge that Jesus is the one to whom he was referring that was greater than he and whom he was unworthy of. John had faced down his own temptation to make much of himself. Many of us want Jesus to increase as long as we can increase along with him. But John had sought to see Jesus increase and himself decrease. Christ humbled himself as he came and we must meet him in our own humility.
The most remarkable claim John makes about Jesus is this “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
Here is Jesus, the ram caught in the thicket as Abraham’s hand stayed, and a substitute was given for Isaac. Here is Jesus, the lamb who was slain and shelter given for all who took refuge under his blood as the wrath of God on the firstborn passed over. Here is Jesus, a better sacrifice, whose blood actually carried away our sin and restored us to a relationship with the Father.
He became our substitute. He became our salvation. He became our refuge and only hope. He is our Justification and redemption and life.
I hope you will stop today and behold the lamb who takes away the sin of the world. There is nothing more urgent and nothing more important for your eyes to fall upon today. Jesus!