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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday September 13: John 1.29-34

JOHN 1.29-34

29The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ 31I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”

Thoughts:  John calls Jesus the Lamb of God.  Agnus Dei in the Latin, Lamb of God has long been one of my favorite images of Christ.  This of course is a reference to both the lamb which was used during Passover--and thus the angel of death passed over the homes of the ancient Israelites.  It also is connected to the daily sin offering of a lamb that was offered in the Temple (Exodus 29).  Here John lets us know that there is no longer the need for any more lambs, no more sacrafices are required.  In Jesus once can behold the Lamb of God, that is the perfect sacrafice, all that is and ever will be needed to but humanity right with God.   Thus John proclaims that this Lamb takes away the sin of the world!   That is an amazing statement...think about it, not just my sin, your sin, sin in the past, sin in the present, but sin of the world.  Remember our last reading about Moses bringing the Law?  Here we can see that John shows Jesus putting an end, or perhaps better understood 'fulfilling' what the law had always tried to do.
Questions:  If Jesus is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world, then what is our role in salvation?   Do you think John really means the whole world?  What about folks who haven't confessed their sin or those who don't even know that they've sinned?  Does Jesus take away that sin as well?  

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