Tuesday, October 04, 2005

"Behold, the Lamb of God"

Joh 1:29-37

(29) The next day he sawJesus coming to him and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

John says: Behold - which gives the sense of surprise, wonder, exclamation

"Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"

There is no greater wonder than this, that God would send a Lamb as a sacrifice of atonement, at-one-ment - as a sacrifice that reconciles us to God, us who are wicked sinners, us who hate God, us who do not seek after the things of God, us who despise good and love evil, a sacrifice that reconciles us to God - the wonder of this - the mystery - even angels long to look into these things, but do not see, though they strain their necks trying to get a glimpse, they do not comprehend, they do not behold as we do - they long to look into this amazing wonder - God the Father sent His one and only Son to die for guilty men. How great and awesome this thing is - Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

May our mind be filled with awe and wonder at this - when we sing, "amazing love, how can it be?" wonder! When we wake up in the morning, wonder! When you survive another day of deadly traffic in Phnom Penh, wonder! Wonder and behold this great salvation that has been revealed to us - Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

When John said, Behold the Lamb of God - I think he also meant that his disciples should consider, think about, ponder, the Christ

The Christ being the focal point - learn of Him, study Him, - know all you can about Him - Greater than all subjects you study at school - the study of the crucified Christ - He surpasses all things.

Charles Spurgeon said, "He is most learned in the university of heaven who knows most of Christ. He who hath known most of Him still says that His love surpasseth knowledge."

Consider Him - Do you know that He is a man, that He can understand what you are going through, He understands your weakest point for He has been there and below- do you understand that He is the Son of God – that He is God, all sufficient, the source of all joy, all satisfaction - He posses all things and lacks nothing.

We believe things that we cannot comprehend - things we cannot understand - He is the bridge between us, who are men, to the Divine.

Know Him - and then wonder, be in awe at who He is

Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

To behold is also a study look - a look that sees, that looks and does not sway - Looking to Christ - take your eyes of all else - and look only to Him - for you cannot look at two things at once! And then, in your looking - look long

See how He came and took your guilt - the heavy burden of your guilt that is so heavy your legs break when you attempt to carry it - He took it, carried it, weary to the point of death, was hung on a cross and died – yet just before He died, as He hung there on the cross, cries out, "It is finished"

Accomplishing that which you could not - carrying your burden as far as the east is from the west and dumping it, never to be seen or brought up again. Paying that which you could never pay – your debt towards God – He took it upon Himself.

Trust Him - for He has completed the work, completed completely - look and live - it is not do and live - for the doing is complete – Look and Live – Look and Live!

How are we to live? By looking - by trusting, believing, confiding, resting in Christ - that is how we are saved - looking in faith to the Lamb.

Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world

When John saw Jesus on that great day - John first looked himself, he beheld Jesus first and then he cried out, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"

My brothers and sisters - we cannot preach what we first have not practiced. If I have never looked to Jesus, how can I call out to you to look to Him? I have beheld Him, and though my heart aches for the evil that is in me, beholding Him I am like a drowning man, looking to the one who reached His hand down and dragged me from the rushing flood - as one looking, as a thief, looking into the eyes of the One from whom I stole and who took the beating I justly disserved - as a murderer, looking in awe as the Judge interposes His own perfect life for mine - as an adulterer, condemned to die by the law, looking into the face of the One who said, "Let the man who is without sin, cast the first stone" And as all those who would have been my just executioners walk away, hear His voice say, "Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more."

It is by Him, by looking at Him that I am being brought from death into life - from the depths of despair, to the heights of joy.

Oh, that each of you would believe our testimony and look to Him and live!

But I fear many of us fail to feel the urgency - we hear - and we wait - we feel but we push aside. We forget that death overcomes us soon – we do not hold tomorrow in our hands – we don’t even hold our next breath in our control. Isn’t it funny – we can command our hands to hold things, to move around. We can command our eyes to look at something, our legs to walk, run, skip – and so we feel like we are in control. But who controls how many beats his heart beats in a minute – who decides to breathe? Who decides to contract all the muscles in our hands in order that they might move? When these automatic functions of our body stop – we cease to be able to do what we want – don’t be fooled into thinking that you are in control, that you have time, that you need not attend to these matters of eternity until later.

Oh, how I struggle to take these things to heart! How far I am from knowing this Lamb – how far I am from understanding how great He is, and how far from putting Him first in my life – for I fail to see – I fail to see with eyes that are un-obscured this Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

How I long for the day that I will see Him face to face – to Behold Him as He is – for then I will be like Him – to see without obstacle – to see from eyes that know no sin – to think with a mind that is not tainted and defiled – to never struggle from the death grip of sin again!

So I follow – not in perfection, but I follow the One who is perfect – I follow, not without stumbling, but I follow the One who never stumbled – I follow Him, for He is my Savior – He is my sacrifice – my salvation – my Lord, my God.

May God grant us, eyes to see – ears to hear – that we might follow, with urgency – The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.


1 comment:

Ben said...

Good word. As I was reading this I came across two themes that I have written songs about (actually phrases more like). One was scripture (so not entirely surprising), "we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He is" but the idea of how can I call others to follow if I'm not going there already, not looking at Christ -- yeah. That's the other one. An interesting concept to arrive at separately.