The world is beset with sin and it offers no hope to anyone. Therefore, the apostle John admonished believers saying, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them….. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:15-17). If it is challenging to live in the world, it is even more challenging to survive from it. This being the case, what hope do believers have? Will they all perish with the world, without any opportunity to be saved at all? Certainly not! The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials. Amidst this apparent hopelessness, John the Baptist put everything in perspective when he declared, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Only Jesus, the Lamb of God, can provide hope and salvation from this corrupted world.
To fully appreciate Jesus as the Lamb of God, we need to go back to the story of the Passover. When the Pharaoh of Egypt refused to let the Israelites leave in spite of having experienced nine plagues earlier, God sent the last plague and this entailed the death of the firstborn. The angel of death visited every home and struck to death every firstborn it found in the home. Since the homes of the Israelites were equally exposed, God instituted the Passover as a way of saving them. The Israelites killed spotless lambs and sprinkled their blood on the sides and tops of their door frames. When the angel of death went throughout the land of Egypt to strike down the firstborn of both men and animals, it saw the blood on the door frame and it passed over that door since the Lord did not permit the angel of death to enter it (Exodus 12). In the same manner, those whose hearts were sprinkled by the blood that Jesus shed on the cross are also saved from the angel of death. The apostle Peter emphasized this when he said, “ For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:18-19)
To further understand the mechanics of God’s salvation plan, it is worth considering Abraham’s story. Abraham was one hundred years old when God finally gave him a son, Isaac, through his wife Sarah. This was the son that God promised to Abraham, who would inherit his possessions. When Isaac has grown old enough to be able to carry wood on his shoulder, God tested Abraham. God told him to take his only son to a mountain that he will show him, and there sacrifice his son to the Lord as a burnt offering. Without hesitation, Abraham took his son, bound him and laid him on the altar. Abraham was about to kill him when God called out to him saying, “Abraham! Abraham! Do not lay a hand on the boy. Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son” (Gen 22:11-12). Turning around, Abraham saw a ram caught by its horn in the thicket. He took the ram and sacrificed it instead of his son, Isaac. “So, Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, ‘On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided’” (Gen. 22:14).
The picture of the ram being sacrificed instead of Isaac depicts the substitutionary death of our Lord Jesus Christ for our sins. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). As a result, we are all doomed to die because “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). But because of God’s love, he provided a way by which we can be saved and that is by sending His only begotten Son, the spotless Lamb of God, to die in our stead. Therefore, we are like Isaac who should have died, but Jesus came along and offered his life for the forgiveness of our sins. God did this because he loves us: Yes, “for God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Up to these days, God continues to provide for the salvation of the lost through our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. It is comforting to know that we have a Lord that can be with us in good times as well as in bad times. He is our ever present help in times of need. The worst enemy that we could ever encounter is sin, for it brings not only destruction and all kinds of devastations, but death as well. This death is not only spiritual but physical death. But when Jesus came, we found hope and life. Sin has no longer mastery over us and death has been swallowed up in victory. Thanks be to God for the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Hallelujah!