"Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" As Jesus approached, John who was preaching repentance and baptizing the crowds, enthusiastically announced His arrival. "He is the One who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie...I have seen and born witness that this is the Son of God!" What a grand entrance!
John did not know the significance of his words when he called Jesus the Lamb of God. Yet, God gave us the story of the lamb throughout Scripture. In Genesis, God provided a lamb as a substitutional sacrifice for Abraham as he was about to obediently sacrifice his son, Isaac. In Exodus, God spared the Israelites from His wrath by telling them to cover their doorways with the blood of a spotless lamb, redeeming them from the penalty of their sin. Isaiah prophesied about the Lamb of God,
7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
8By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
9And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
11Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
We rebelled against God from the very beginning. He taught us His commandments and we would not keep them, proving that we are a sinful people. We repented and offered sacrifices to Him and then we sinned again, over and over. God broke this cycle when in His great mercy and love, He sent His beloved Son Jesus to us to become the perfect, spotless lamb; the final sacrifice. His goodness offered up to God covered how bad we were. Jesus bore our sins as if they were His own and took our punishment.
Admitting how sinful we are takes humility, and it takes honesty to ponder the dreadfulness of God's Son having to die because we have been so in love with sin. Thank the Lord that He looked down on us and had a plan to save us despite our sinfulness. Receive Jesus with repentance. It is there that you will be given the full measure of God's grace as if you never sinned.