The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said,
“Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! [John 1:29 NLT]
I wonder what the Jews thought when they heard the Baptist say these words? I think that the imagery is devastating. The Old Testament teaches us about the fate of spotless lambs. These innocent animals are killed on an altar to atone for sins. In that sense, the sacrifice of an innocent makes clean the guilty.
Our inclination is to associate the Lamb of God with the cross that Jesus died on. While that is certainly a good interpretation, I suggest to you that the entire life of Christ was a beautiful example of a living sacrifice. A life that cleansed the ones who heard his teaching and experienced his compassion.
The Apostle Paul admonished us to live such a life when he wrote to the Romans teaching them to offer their bodies as a living and holy sacrifice. The message lingers today. Our lives can have a cleansing effect on those who are broken and without hope. In that sense we are lambs that God can use to cleanse.
I offer myself anew to you today Lord. Use me to help people who are broken and hopeless.
... this devotion is part of a series about John the Baptist.