The Lamb of God (John 1:29)
Topic: John Scripture: John 1:29
First Scripture Reading: Isaiah 52:13 - 53:12
Second Scripture Reading: Revelation 5:1-14
Sermon Text: John 1:29
When John the Baptist declared that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, John was speaking prophetically. The Holy Spirit revealed to John that Jesus was going to fulfill the Old Testament predictions of a person who would atone for the sins of his people (Isaiah 53:7). It is amazing to think that John recognized that Jesus’ redemptive work would extend not just to the true Israel, but to the world—to people of every tribe, tongue, and nation who put their faith in him. Jesus came to solve our greatest problem, and he solved it in the greatest way, by giving his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). J.C. Ryle explains:
Christ… did not come on earth to be a conqueror, or a philosopher, or a mere teacher of morality. He came to save sinners. He came to do that which man could never do for himself—to do that which money and learning can never obtain—to do that which is essential to man’s real happiness: He came to “take away sin.”
- For review, read John 1:19-28. What was significant about each of the names and titles that the interrogators posed to John the Baptist? What do you learn from John’s replies?
- Read Genesis 22:1-19 and Exodus 12:1-14. What do these passages teach about penal substitutionary atonement?
- Review today’s First Reading from Isaiah 52:13 - 53:12. R.C. Sproul used to say that this passage reads like an eye-witness testimony of Jesus’ crucifixion even though Isaiah wrote centuries before Jesus was born. How does this reveal the Spirit’s inspiration of the authors of Scripture and the way God was preparing his people for Christ’s atoning work?
- Why do you think some people (even some Christians) do not like to talk about penal substitutionary atonement? According to what the Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1:18-25, what makes the cross seem foolish to some?
- Review the reading from Revelation 5. According to the testimony of those who are in his presence, why is the Lamb worthy of praise?
- In preparation for next Sunday (when we will observe Reformation Sunday), think about some of the doctrines that the Reformers emphasized in their writing and preaching. Which doctrines do you find most comforting? Which do you find most challenging?