BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD!

John 1: 35-37 "Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; and looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus."

This is possibly one of the shortest gospel messages ever recorded—Behold the Lamb of God. The writer intends here to show four ways in which the Lord Jesus Christ was and is the Lamb of God. The Lord Jesus Christ was the Lamb of God before the world was made. He was the Lamb of God pictured in the Old Testament sacrifices. When He walked this earth He was the Lamb of God dwelling among us. And right now He is the Lamb of God seated on high with the Father.

First, Christ Jesus is the Lamb of God from the foundation of the world. John said in Revelation that Christ is "…the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world." According to the eternal promise, which could not be broken, according to what God had determined before to be done, as for as the purpose of God was concerned Christ was slain from the foundation of the world. Paul wrote to the Ephesians "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world."

What were His people in need of? "…that we should be holy and without blame before him in love" God demands that His people have His righteousness. He demands that His people have no sin. IF we need Christ to be holy THEN apart from Christ we are unholy. IF we need Christ to be without blame THEN outside of Christ we are guilty. By Christ suffering unto death in place of God's elect, the believer has redemption. "We have redemption through HIS BLOOD, the forgiveness of sin." "Christ loved the church and gave himself for it…that it should be holy and without blemish." So then we see that Christ became that Lamb slain when He entered into the eternal covenant with God before the foundation of the world.

Secondly, Christ is the Lamb of God typified in the sacrifices from Adam till the death of Christ. Since Adam disobeyed God and died spiritually, there has been no approaching God outside of the shed blood of a sacrifice. Only in the shedding of blood is their remission of sins. The innocent must take the place of the guilty. We read of the first account of this in Genesis when God slew an animal to make coats out of the skins to cover fallen Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:21). We read of the last account of this when Christ hung on the cross and cried out, "It is finished."

What did the sacrifice of blood mean to the Old Testament believer?

One, it always brought to remembrance the sinners depravity before God. And two, it always reminded them of Christ, the true Lamb of God. Never did the shed blood of these offerings and sacrifices save a man. Men have always been saved by faith in Christ alone. These offering were a mere shadow of Christ, the true sacrifice. Hebrews 10:1 "For the law having a shadow of good things to come, not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they have ceased to be offered?…but in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins." So we see Christ, the Lamb, a picture in the blood sacrifice.

Thirdly, Christ Jesus was the Lamb of God when He walked this earth among us. Romans 3:21 "…now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested" After all the years of shadows and types Christ was born of a woman. Manifest, "set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood." The word of the prophets stands as witness to Christ for every prophecy of Him is fulfilled. The law says this is that Messiah I have been picturing all along for in Christ all the types are fulfilled.

He is the Lamb without spot or blemish, taken from among the sheepfold, a Lamb of the first year. Here is the one who on the cross is roasted with fire whole. It is His blood on the doorpost before the Lord. Eat all of this Lamb with unleavened bread and leave nothing. Eat of this Lamb dressed and ready to move out for God is delivering His elect out of this land of bondage. "…ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from you fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you," Now there is no more shedding of blood, for the true Lamb has come.

Lastly, He is now the Lamb of God seated in glory and majesty with the Father. Read Revelation chapter 5. He is the Lamb of whom the whole host honors. He is the Lamb worthy to open the seals of His book of life."…Every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified." Christ Jesus, the resurrected Lord of hosts, promised to make the elect of God holy and without blame. By the fact that He is seated with God we have a sure hope. Promise fulfilled.

Clay Curtis