New Year’s Week – Thursday
Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. – John 1:29.
At the time when John the Baptist, by his preaching and baptizing, caused such a great commotion in Israel, the Chief Council sent messengers to him, asking who he was. They asked him whether he was the Christ; and when he denied it, whether he was Elijah; and when he denied that too, whether he was the promised Prophet. When he denied that also, they demanded him to tell them who he was. He answered: “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as said the Prophet Isaiah” (John 1:23). Then they asked him why he baptized. He answered that he baptized because he was the forerunner of Christ, who was standing among them, whom they knew not. – The next day John saw Jesus coming to him, and he publicly testified: “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world” (v. 29). And again he testified and said: “This is the Son of God” (v. 34).
This is the true, and the only true testimony concerning Jesus Christ, and this is the true, and the only true, knowledge of Jesus Christ: He is the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world, and He is the Son of God who became man. Let this be your faith, O Christian, your comfort, the source of your certain trust and confidence in life and death, that the eternal Son of God has become man, and has become the Lamb of God, of whom all the lambs sacrificed in the Old Testament were but types; that He is the right and true Lamb of God, that has taken away the sin of the world and, therefore, also your sin. I say to you – this Lamb was mighty, strong, merciful, and gracious in taking away your sins, so that those sins no longer burden you, because those burdens for your sins and for the sins of the “whole world” (I John 2:2) were placed on and fully taken care of by this Lamb of God, who “was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Hallelujah! “Praise ye the Lord” (Psalm 147:20).
PRAYER – Lord Jesus, the eternal Son of God, my dear Savior and my compassionate Lord, I, a “poor” (Isaiah 66:2) sinner, am now, by Thy “grace” alone (II Corinthians 8:9), entirely free from all my sin, – and its grievous, unbearable, and damning burden no longer lies upon me. Why is this? Because that burden for my sins and for the sins of the whole world was laid on Thee and taken care of in full by Thee. – “The Lord hath laid on Him [the Messiah, the Savior] the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). Praise and thanks be to Thee for Thy undeserved goodness and lovingkindness toward me! Continue to lead and direct our lives, O priceless Savior. Amen.
On my heart imprint Thine image,
blessed Jesus, King of grace;
that life’s riches, cares, and pleasures,
have no pow’r Thee to efface.
This the superscription be:
Jesus, crucified for me;
is my life, my hope’s foundation,
and my glory and salvation. Amen.
(Hymn 179, st. 1; TLH)