The Lamb of God. How does Jesus “take away the sin of the world”? (John 1:29).
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How does Jesus “take away the sin of the world”? (John 1:29)
“The next day John saw Jesus coming to him, and said, ‘There is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me, but he is greater than I am, because he existed before I was born.’ I did not know who he would be, but I came baptizing with water in order to make him known to the people of Israel.’”
“The goal of a revival was to create or revive in everybody the three-fold conviction that each of us was so rotten to the core that we deserved to die and roast in hell forever; that God was enraged at us enough to kill us; and finally, that, in spite of everything, God loved us enough to rescue us by sending his son as a sacrifice in our place…[this view of God] consumes you with anger…renders you passive…wallows you in depression…keeps you from loving and knowing yourself to be loved.”
- Who was changed at the Cross? “All this is done by God, who through Christ changed us from enemies into his friends and gave us the task of making others his friends also.” (2 Corinthians 5:18)
- Does the Father ever really forgive? Isn’t forgiveness a releasing of the debt?
- Is God too holy to view sin? How did Jesus dwell with sinners?
- Can you transfer guilt and sin? Is it a commodity?
- Is it ever just to punish the innocent for what someone else did?
Whoever sins is guilty of breaking God’s law, because sin is a breaking of the law. (1 John 3:4 GNB)
“The only obligation you have is to love one another. Whoever does this has obeyed the Law...if you love others, you will never do them wrong; to love, then is to obey the whole Law…love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:8-10)
1. What “good work” must I do…?
2. Pre-occupation with my legal standing
3. Salvation by knowledge: knowing the “right” doctrines and being a member of the “right” church with the most “right” doctrines
“Each one of the four living creatures had six wings, and they were covered with eyes, inside and out. Day and night they never stop singing: ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was, who is, and who is to come.’” (Revelation 4:8)
“The four living creatures sing songs of glory and honor and thanks to the one who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever. When they do so, the twenty-four elders fall down before the one who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives forever and ever. They throw their crowns down in front of the throne and say, ‘Our Lord and God! You are worthy to receive glory, honor, and power. For you created all things, and by your will they were given existence and life.’” (Revelation 4:9-11)
“Then I saw a scroll in the right hand of the One who was sitting on the throne. There was writing on the inside and the outside of the scroll, and it was sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel, who shouted with a loud voice: ‘Who is worthy to break the seals on this scroll and open it?’” (Revelation 5:1-2)
“No one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll and read it. Then I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll and read it.” (Revelation 5:3-4)
“But one of the twenty-four elders said to me, ‘Stop weeping! Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has won the victory. He is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals.’ Then I saw a Lamb that looked as if it had been slaughtered, but it was now standing between the throne and the four living beings and among the twenty-four elders…He stepped forward and took the scroll from the right hand of the One sitting on the throne.” (Revelation 5:5-7)
“They sang a new song: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to break open its seals. For you were killed, and by your sacrificial death you bought for God people from every tribe, language, nation, and race...’ Again I looked, and I heard angels, thousands and millions of them! They stood around the throne, the four living creatures, and the elders, and sang in a loud voice: ‘The Lamb who was killed is worthy to receive power, wealth, wisdom, and strength, honor, glory, and praise!’ And I heard every creature in heaven, on earth, in the world below, and in the sea---all living beings in the universe---and they were singing: ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb, be praise and honor, glory and might, forever and ever!’” (Revelation 5:9-13)
“Just watch my servant blossom! Exalted, tall, head and shoulders above the crowd! But he didn’t begin that way. At first everyone was appalled. He didn’t even look human-- a ruined face, disfigured past recognition. Nations all over the world will be in awe, taken aback, kings shocked into silence when they see him. For what was unheard of they’ll see with their own eyes, what was unthinkable they’ll have right before them.” (Isaiah 52:13-15)
“Who believes what we've heard and seen? Who would have thought that God’s saving power would look like this? The servant grew up before God--a scrawny seedling, a scrubby plant in a parched field. There was nothing attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look. He was looked down on and passed over, a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand. One look at him and people turned away. We looked down on him, thought he was scum. But the fact is, it was our pains he carried-- our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures.
“All the while we thought that his suffering was punishment sent by God.” (Isaiah 53:4)
But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him--our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed. We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost. We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way. And GOD has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong, on him, on him. He was beaten, he was tortured, but he didn't say a word. Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered and like a sheep being sheared, he took it all in silence.
Justice miscarried, and he was led off-- and did anyone really know what was happening? He died without a thought for his own welfare, beaten bloody for the sins of my people. They buried him with the wicked, threw him in a grave with a rich man, Even though he’d never hurt a soul or said one word that wasn’t true.” (Isaiah 53:1-9)
“If we see this as divine punishment, we…undercut the major thrust of this Fourth Servant Song. An interpretation of this passage, in which sin causes the death of the Servant, changes the way both substitution and punishment are perceived…if one removes the divine cause, placing it instead on sin, substitution becomes a practical transition instead of a legal transaction.”