In scripture, we’ve got this famous prologue, the first 18 verses of John’s Gospel, where the Word is introduced. This concept is communicated throughout scripture: Father is communicating with us by sending his one and only Son. And by the work of His one and only Son, we are offered a place in the bosom of the Father. Its full richness of the triune God screams out in the first 18 verses of John 18. But I want to bring our attention to a slightly less famous part: John 1:29-34.
The next day, John 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 is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptising with water.”
And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptise with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining on him, this is He who baptises with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”
They’ve got the word “who” twice. And on one of the occasions, it has been used as “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” And in other part, it is in verse 33: “He who baptises with the Holy Spirit.” There is a significance to this. One, he is going to take away the sin of the world. Two, He is also baptising us with the Holy Spirit. That should be like a red flag, flashing something in our minds to tell us who this individual is.
Throughout Scripture, we get to see God’s forever plan of dealing with the problem of humanity, and the problem of humanity is sin. We are guilty and our sins simply separates us from God. We don’t have the spirit of God. We are spiritually dead, we are guilty. Our hearts are dirty, our hearts are stone. But there is a solution. The solution is that someone is going to be identified as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
Not only my sin, not only your sin, but he is going to take away the sin of the whole world. That’s not only enough, but also changing our stone hearts, our dirty hearts, and giving us new hearts. He is going to deal with the problem of sin and forgive us. That’s not enough, He is going to give us a new heart. The heart simply beats for Him or the heart simply be responsive to His love.
Our hearts are going to be changed. This is the language where we also get reading the Old Testament as the new covenant. We have heard that there is a term called “gospel”. And even in simpler form, we simply heard or expressed that the gospel is simply being forgiven. But what we see in this passage is actually that the gospel is more than that. It is much richer than that. It’s not only that we are simply forgiven, our records are being cleaned or our records are being exchanged, but that something relational takes place.
We are brought into something more relational. We are brought into fellowship, not any fellowship, but fellowship with the triune God. Why? Because John the Baptist tells us that the Lamb of God is going to take the sin of the world on himself. And this Lamb of God is going to baptise us with the Holy Spirit.
May the Lamb of God, may the Son of God help us to incline our hearts towards Him so that we can respond to His amazing love; the one who takes away the sin of the world, but more personally, the one who takes away my sin and then brings me into relationship with the perfect, delightful and amazing triune God.