December 13: Behold the Lamb of God (John 1:29-34)
This Sunday Nik Lingle will continue the Christians and Culture series at 9:00am in the youth room. Ray Rutledge will be in the Adult 1 classroom continuing through The Gospel Project.
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.” (ESV)
John the writer of the gospel has a goal in mind with his letter. He wants to both declare and prove that Jesus is God’s Son, sent by God to save the world from sin and to bring men and women into communion with the Father. This is John's goal, and our passage advances that Jesus is in fact God’s Son and our Savior. To make his point, John the gospel writer, shares the testimony of John the Baptist. John the Baptist is important not simply because he is a prophet, but also because he is the last prophet and forerunner of the Messiah. It was his task to prepare the people for the coming of God’s servant. In his testimony, John explains that the role of God’s servant would be to take away the sin of the world, like the lambs of the Old Testament. Yet John also shows that Jesus, God’s servant will baptise his people with the Holy Spirit, assuring them of salvation. Consider the tasks before Jesus, this servant of God, and rejoice.
Review and Apply
1. Give a few examples of the role of a lamb in the Old Testament? How do they point to Jesus?
2. What is different about those lambs covering sin and the true Lamb of God who removes sin?
3. What makes the substitutionary nature of the atonement vitally important?
4. If Jesus has removed sin, what do we do with guilt and shame for sin? How do we distinguish true guilt from false guilt?
5. How does John speak to the pre-existence of Jesus in this passage? Why is this so important?
6. Describe the effects of the ‘baptism of the Spirit.’
7. What is the evidence of the Spirit in your life?
8. How is one filled with the Spirit and why? See Ephesians 5:15-21.
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