"The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." (John 1:29)
As Jesus came to John to be baptized of him, John made two very important statements about Him. The first testified of the deity and sonship of the Saviour. It showed the people that this was the one that John had been preaching about and for whom he was preparing the way. "This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost." (John 1:30-33).
John had been given the mission of preparing the way for Jesus. He was to show the Jews of that day that the Messiah was coming and that they had to make a change in their lives and be ready to accept the change from the old law to the new. He was to baptize them unto repentance. Without this change of heart and mind they would never he ready to accept the teachings of the Christ.
The significance of the second statement is immense in its scope. It not only was relevant in that day but also for all time. Sin had entered the world in the garden, and, until Christ came and shed His blood, there was no forgiveness of sin. Even though the old law required animal sacrifice, it was not sufficient to take away the sins of the people. "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins." (Heb. 10:4)
The animal sacrifice had to be made yearly and then it merely rolled the sins ahead. When Jesus shed His blood he became the satisfaction for the sins of the whole world.
"And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." (l Jo 2:2).
The fact that we have a Saviour who can and does take away the sin of the world is crucial, considering the condition of our world today. We know that sin has been in the world since Adam and Eve's transgression. Very few today will admit that anything is sinful or wrong. What the Bible calls sin has been given new names, thus making it more palatable. Homosexuality is called an "alternate lifestyle." Abortion is called a "choice" or a "decision to terminate an unwanted pregnancy." The killing of those whom some consider too old or too sick to have value is called "euthanasia," "mercy-killing," or "assisted suicide." Teen-age promiscuity is called "sowing your wild oats." Living together without marriage is known as "making sure you are compatible." God calls these things an abomination, murder, fornication, adultery, and SIN.
Children of God need to be thankful every day for the great sacrifice that Christ made for the whole world. We can be grateful that even though sin is rampant in our world there is a way of escape. Knowing that, we must be diligent in teaching others that the only way out of sin is to be obedient to the plan of salvation, to put on Christ, and to live our lives as God has outlined in the New Testament. If we do not take the message of Christ's saving power and his ability to take away the sin of the world, then, who will?
It is our responsibility to bring others to Christ so that they can take advantage of His soul-saving forgiveness of sins. May each and every one of us do our part, and may we never forget the great sacrifice made for us by our Lord Jesus Christ.
"But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins." (2 Pet. 1:9) -16150 Saint Clair Ave., East Liverpool, OH 43920-9449.
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