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Posts Tagged ‘Passover’

Behold the Lamb of God – John 1:19-34

Preaching Notes – August 26, 2012

John 1:19-34

This is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”

He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”

They asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?”

He said, “I am not.”

“Are you the Prophet?”

He answered, “No.”

So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”

He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”

(Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.)  They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”

John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know,  even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.”

These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

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.”

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.’  I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”

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I.    A World of Questions and Seekers – John 1:19-22

A.  John the Baptist created a stir among the people

B.  Religious leaders needed to know: Who are you?

Messiah … Elijah … Prophet

C.  Who Are You

D.  The Search Continues

Your neighbors, friends, co-worker, strangers, and family

Despite fanfare all truth is relative” – people are seeking Truth

==>  Leaders asking John, “What do you say about yourself?”

II.   John’s Testimony – John 1:24-28

Note the remarkableness of John’s testimony about himself

A.  I am not

John the Baptist, chose not to be a Poser

B.  I am the voice

He downplays his calling and importance by quoting Isaiah

I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord!”

At best, I am an announcer

C.  I am not The One

John could have said, “I have been chosen and called by God to ….

In today’s world his publicity director would have said so, but he stuck with his story

I am not The One

D.  I am not worthy

He went so far as to state with humility

I am not worthy to untie the strap on his sandal

Churches known for everything, but pointing people to Jesus

John the Baptist says later, John 3:30: He (Jesus) must increase, but I must decrease

III.  John’s 3 testimonies about Jesus  – John 1:29, 32-34

After taking the focus off himself John the Baptist, turns the focus to that which is important

The testimony is from God delivered through John (1:33)

A. John’s 1st testimony about Jesus – pointing to Jesus he says:

The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (1:29)

Powerful descriptive language about Jesus

He covers all the critical mass information about Jesus in one sentence

We do not know if everyone fully understood, but he described Jesus in a sentence that when unpacked

=> telling us everything we need to know

When someone asks you, Who is Jesus? What do you say?

The Lamb of God

In Jewish world => many images

Lambs were offered as sacrifices for sins

Of 96 OT references to lambs, 85 are about lambs used is sacrifices

1.  The Passover Lamb (Exodus 12)

2. The Scapegoat  from The Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16)

Upon him all the iniquities of the people.”

3.  The Sacrificial Lamb and Suffering Servant (Isaiah 53:7, 10, and12)

A. W. Pink about the teaching of Scripture concerning “the lamb.”

Progressively in the Bible the Lamb is:

Typified, prophesied, slain,personified, identified, magnified, glorified

From another perspective notice the orderly development of for whom the lamb is sacrificed:

For the individual, for the whole household, for the entire nation, and finally for the world

Thus by calling Jesus, “The Lamb of God”

John the Baptist was making an empathic statement about Jesus

B.  John’s other two testimonies

In this passage John declares:

1. In verses 32 and 33 – The Spirit of God dwells on Jesus

2. In verse 34 – Jesus is the Son of God

IV.   Conclusion

In this passage we are taught two critical lessons:

1.  We are to bear witness, not to ourselves, but to Jesus

2.  The best witness begins with

The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world

This is what people need, desire, seek

Will you, show them the way

John Calvin wrote:

The principal office of Jesus is that He takes away the sins of the world by the sacrifice of his death, and reconciles men to God. There are other favors which Jesus bestows upon us, but this is the chief favor, and the rest depend on it.  In John 14:6 when John records Jesus saying,“I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.”  John leads us back to Christ alone.  By calling Jesus,The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” John is teaching why there is no other way to God because Jesus alone takes away our sin and reconciles us to God.” 

Have you received Jesus as The Lamb of God who takes away YOUR sin?

If, not, you need to do so, today, right now.

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Today is Maundy Thursday.  On this day Jesus gathered with his disciples to celebrate the Passover.  At dinner he instituted The Lord’s Supper with his disciples.  Both of these events celebrate God’s gracious love for us as His children.

Jesus knew He would be betrayed and arrested that evening after His last supper with His disciples.  Instead of talking about His greatness, He showed His greatness in what he did for His disciples at dinner.

As you prepare to worship this evening, think about what Jesus did for His disciples that evening.

It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.

The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.  Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” 

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

Jesus answered, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.”  For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them.

“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.  Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.  I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.  Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” (1)

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  1. The Holy Bible: New International Version, electronic ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996),  John 13:1–17.

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The jewels of a Christian are his afflictions (1)

We tend to believe that the most Christ-like people are those who love others graciously and generously.  A Christian’s love for others, always receives the praise of the world.

However, the most Christ-like people are those who suffer unjustly because of the sins of others.  In the eyes of the world, we call these people fools, if they suffer quietly and do not seek revenge.

Jesus suffered unjustly because of our sins.  He died on the cross, not to get revenge, but to secure the forgiveness of our sins.  This is suffering love.

Most Christians refuse to suffer.  If suffering comes to us unjustly, we seek to throw it off and we whine to God about the injustice of it all.

Jesus suffered quietly because of our sins.

Jesus considered suffering unjustly and quietly for love’s sake to be the best:

Blessed are those who suffer for righteousness sake.  

Blessed are those who suffer when falsely persecuted.

There is no greater love than to lay down your life for others.

The glory of Jesus is revealed not in His resurrection, but in His crucifixion.

God proves Himself, not by flexing His muscles and revealing His death-defying powers, but in His willingness to suffer, to die, as an innocent man.

In his great hymn about Jesus, Paul writes:

Jesus humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him. (2)

As you move into Holy Week, remember that the most holy day is not Palm Sunday’s Parade, Passover’s Feast, or Easter’s Resurrection.

The crowning jewel, the most holy moment of Holy Week is on Good Friday when Jesus cries out, “It is finished!”

There is no greater … anything ….  than a crown of thorns.

The crown of thorns is a Christian’s halo.

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  1. Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening : Daily Readings, Complete and unabridged; New modern edition. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2006).
  2. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Philippians 2:8–9.

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