Behold The Lamb of God.
Daily Spirit & Word, 447: John’s Powerful Testimony.
The Water, Lamb, Dove and the Son of God.
Good morning my friends, today we’re gathering on the first Sunday of March to worship the Lord with an truly amazing focus on Jesus, looking at Him through the Magnifying Glass of John the Baptist. Let’s jump right in and read God’s Word;
- John 1:29-34
- 29 The next day John saw Jesus coming towards him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
- 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’
- 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptising with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”
- 32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.
- 33 I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptise with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptise with the Holy Spirit.’
- 34 I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.”
As a Magnifying Glass makes things BIGGER: So John’s Witness about Jesus makes Him much BIGGER for each and every one of us today. Here’s HOW!
You know my friends, there is nothing more powerful to lead others to Jesus Christ than by our own witness or testimony of who Jesus Christ is: both to us and to the world. That’s what John the Baptist revealed in his own life and it’s what Christians can reveal to the world today.
We’ve observed the POWER of this fact in the face of debate and doubt: Whilst out on the streets witnessing, we’ll come accross many people who’ve got strong arguments and reasons for not believing in God or Jesus, but after trying to debate them on an intellectual level for a while, we’ve seen how just one or two words brings those strong defences, (These are the Castles they built to hide from God) intellectual and moral doubts come crashing down. When we say, “I know God because I’ve met God personally through Jesus” there’s absolutely nothing they can say. Apart from thinking, either we’re mad or deluded or we’re telling the truth. There is POWER in personal testimony, that’s what John the Baptist brings us today.
John gives us FOUR vary powerful symbols;
1) The Water:
John’s message was: “Repent and Be Baptised for the forgiveness of Sins.” (Baptism means to submerse, to sink to go under, to go down underneath and into the water).
Baptism was something people always did to themselves, but this was very strange, now a man came calling people to come to him to be washed in running water, to be cleansed of their sins. But first John said that people must REPENT.
The people at the time knew what John meant, but we’ve don’t have the same understanding of God’s Word, the Old Testament. He was calling the people to come back to God’s ways, God’s will revealed in the Law and the Commandments. Repenting is simply acknowledging we’ve failed and fallen short of them, turning away from sin and desiring God’s cleansing from Sin. (Sin is the Transgression of the Law of God).
Washing in Water was always a symbol of RITUAL CLEANSING. Baptism = Repentance and Forgiveness / Cleansing from Sin.
2) The Lamb of God: “Behold the Lamb of God”
John was saying, “Behold” which means LOOK PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT I’M POINTING OUT.
Who takes away the sin of the world.
In Israel: The Jews sacrificed pure, innocent and spotless lambs, this was God’s given symbol of purification. The blood of the lamb was to show that their sins had been washed away, but that sin has a price, “The wages of sin is death”… The Lamb died in the place of the people, because sin must be paid for.
Imagine that, an innocent, pure little lamb: The people would most surely have the same feelings for little lambs that we have today. They are cute, lovely, innocent, spotless and cuddly: But they needed to die to pay the price for their sins. seems cruel and barbaric to us today, but God was showing the people something about SIN. How much it hurt him and how serious sin was to him.
Now John was saying something awesome: Just like people would wash themselves to purify themselves, so Israelite People would bring their own lambs to be slaughtered. It was their identifying with their own sin. It’s like saying to God, “It was me, I did it, now I bring this little lamb to suffer in my place”… Now John is telling the people, God is Himself providing the Lamb for Sacrifice: Jesus would be God’s Lamb who would be sacrificed to take away the sins of the whole world. His precious blood would pay the price for the sins of everyone. He was God’s pure, spotless and sinless Lamb.
Why? The Bible tells us why: John 3:14-18
14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,
15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
16 “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.
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
3) The Dove:
For many thousands of years, since the time of Noah, the Dove has been well known as the international symbol of PEACE. Often depicted carrying a leaf in it’s mouth.
After the flood, that destroyed every sinful human being apart from Noah and his family, when the waters receeded Noah sent out some birds to find land, the dove finally returned to Noah carrying an Olive branch in it’s mouth. This meant the end of God’s wrath, the flood abated and PEACE with God was restored. He’d finished his work of cleansing / PURIFYING the earth from Sin. Water: Now the earth was appearing again and the Dove brought the symbol of God’s Peace.
My friends, when the Holy Spirit came down from Heaven and entered Jesus, He came in the form of a Dove. Notice what John said though, The Dove came down and rested on him and remained upon Him. The Holy Spirit NEVER left Jesus again.
John said about Jesus; “The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptise with the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus was and is the one who sends the Holy Spirit into the hearts of everyone who comes to Him in Repentance seeking the forgiveness of their sins. He died upon the Cross as God’s Lamb to take away those sins. He now gives the Holy Spirit to each and every person who TRUSTS in His death upon the cross, that it was for their sins. His precious, spotless, innocent and holy life-blood poured out on the cross for your sins.
Jest like the Holy Spirit remained upon Jesus, so the Holy Spirit will be with the New Believer forever. He’ll fill you and give you what John said here, “FIRE”… Fire = Zeal for God. Love for God, Devotion to God, Dedication to God’s ways. That’s the FIRE it means the ability to live in such a way, that your life will be pleasing to God.
The Holy Spirit really is a symbol of PEACE between mankind and God. That God was finished with the punishment Jesus had taken all the punishment necessary for SIN and now God was sending the Holy Spirit to reveal the True PEACE between the believer and God. The PEACE in your heart is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
4) Testimony (Witness).
John the Baptist said, “I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.”
WOWzer! What a powerful witness. “I’ve seen” and “I testify”…
My friends, John saw the DOVE (He’d been given a message and a method of getting people ready for Jesus coming: Repent = turn back to God away from sin. AND be baptised to be PURIFIED from those sins) NOW after years of getting people ready, he finally saw what God had told him from Heaven. “When you see the Spirit come down and remain upon him, he is the one who will baptise with the Holy Spirit and fire”…. I’ve seen Him, this is the one, this is the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ is the SON of God.
And as I said at the beginning, there is nothing more powerful than personal testimony, personal witness, personal knowledge: “I’ve seen Jesus, I know Jesus, I’ve been with Jesus” What has Jesus done for you?
A Christian’s Personal Testimony:
Witness about Jesus: What He’s done for you:
He’s forgiven my sins (How did that make you feel).
He died for me (How does it make you feel how Jesus died for your sins).
He came into my life: Now tell people what your life is now like with Jesus, in comparison to what life what like without Jesus.
He filled me with His Holy Spirit: Now tell people what it’s like being full of the Holy Spirit. How you know the PEACE of God.
Tell people: “Behold Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the SIN of the World.”
With this POWERFUL testimony, what Jesus came to do, what Jesus has done for you, you can go out and be confident that God will use it to bring others to the same faith and confidence that you have in Jesus Christ. Knowing Jesus Christ personally is all the training you need to become a powerful EVANGELIST to lead others to Him.
Today we’ve seen FOUR Powerful Symbols:
These Make for a VERY POWERFUL TESTIMONY.
- The Water:
- The Lamb:
- The Dove:
- The Son of God:
What’s the Water For? Repentance and Forgiveness (Cleansing & Pruification).
What’s the Lamb for? Paying the Price in Blood for Sins.
What’s the Dove for? Assurance of PEACE within each and every Repentant Sinner who receives Jesus as Lord.
What’s the Son of God for? He’s the Lamb, He’s the giver of the Holy Spirit, He’s the one who paid the price for sin.
John 3:16 “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.”
Why do we need a Personal Testimony like John’s? Because God has revealed just how precious each soul is, that He doesn’t want anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. So He’s given you a task of spreading this Good News of Jesus to everyone and He’s given you a personal encounter and filled you with His Spirit to accomplish the task. If you’ve not got this FIRE (Zeal) to share Jesus with others, then there’s something wrong with your faith. God’s LOVE compels us to share with others what He’s given to us: So share Jesus today.
Have an awesome Sunday my friends.
If you’ve never done so before, can I encourage you today to come to Jesus Christ; Repent and seek His forgiveness, know that He’s paid the price for all your sins upon the cross and turn to Him now. He’ll give you the gift of the Holy Spirit as a way that you can know that you’ve been forgiven, your place in Heaven is secure and you are living a PEACE with God forever. Come NOW is the Day to be SAVED from Sin. Come today is the day of Salvation from sin.
Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.