Read - 1 John 1:29
Message - Alan Burke
This week were are going to have Christmas according to John’s gospel. At this stage you’ll have read the passage and have noticed if you already weren’t aware John doesn’t have any of the normal stuff we associate with the Christmas story. So then why Christmas according to John’s gospel? For the simple reason that the Christmas story begins in, well it begins in the beginning (1:1). Yet here we see how God meets Human need in the coming of the Christ. Here John saw Jesus coming towards him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (29). For any Jew who heard this, their mind would have made connections, wonderful and varied, of what God had in the past done for His people. To understand the fullness of this God given revelation to John the Baptist we need to go back to the book of Genesis when Abraham was tested by God in Genesis 22.
There we are told of how he took his son, Issac whom he loved, and went to offer him to the Lord as a burnt offering. Along the way Issac asked, where is the lamb for the offering, and Abraham said “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.”(Gen 22:7-8). Both Isaac and Abraham knew that what was needed as they bring their offerings to God was the shedding of blood for the forgives of sin, Issac asked where was the lamb knowing that it was necessary, not knowing the test that his father had been given. In the moment of Issac’s need, God stoped Abraham who had proved faithful and provided for him a substitute. For when “Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.” God was providing a substitute for Isaac, the first substitutionary sacrifice of one life for another in the bible, as the blood of the ram took the place of Isaac.
In the Old Testament, time and time again the blood of lambs was spilled, it was to bear an offering for sin, it was as a substitute for another. Over and over again we have this pattern that is seen, of how the sin and separation between God and His people could only be removed by the shedding of blood. Leviticus describes how for the one who brings a lamb as a sin offering is to let their hand of the head of the sin offering and kill it, and the priest shall make atonement for him for the sin which he has committed, and he shall be forgiven (Lev 4:32-35). The sacrifices of the Old Testament pointed to something greater that God would do. Until the fullness of time had come when God sent His Son to make a propitiation by his blood, to make a sacrifice of atonement, that is to be received by faith (Ro 3:25–26). The sacrificial system was inadequate to make amends, to atone for the sin of the people, for it was always pointing to one who would be able to make an adequate sacrifice once and for all, Hebrews 10 reminds us “it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near” Heb 10:1.
John enabled by the revelation of God saw how God himself had provided a better lamb, one whose sacrifice would not need to be repeated time and time again, no his sacrifice would finally deal with sin, past present and future. For Jesus is the one, who provided a sacrifice that was once and for all, where Issac asked “where is the lamb” the entirety of the Old Testament had been pointing to the one who would come. Jesus was the Lamb of God who became sin for us (2 Cor 5:21), a once and for all sacrifice and he has met our greatest need, at Christmas we mark what God has done in Christ Jesus the lamb of God who came in the fullness of time, and He came with a purposes to take away sin.
Q27 Wherein did Christ’ s humiliation consist?
Christ’ s humiliation consisted in his being born, and that in a low condition, (Luke 2:7) made under the law, (Gal. 4:4) undergoing the miseries of this life, (Heb. 12:2–3, Isa. 53:2–3) the wrath of God, (Luke 22:44, Matt. 27:46) and the cursed death of the cross:; (Phil. 2:8) in being buried, (1 Cor. 15:3–4) and continuing under the power of death for a time. (Acts 2:24–27,31)
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