29 The next day he *saw Jesus coming to him and *said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ 31 I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.” 32 John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.”
I can imagine those who were there to witness this and heard what John said thought he was crazy, I mean, he is a wild man who eats bugs and now he is saying this man will cover everyone’s sins? He would seem as crazy today as I’m sure he did back then!
The reference to the Lamb of God actually refers back to Exodus 12, when the first Passover was observed among the Israelites. You see, the Old Testament was a “set up” for the coming of Christ. I think we tend to overlook the Old Testament 1) because it’s “old” and 2) because we think it “doesn’t count” after Christ. However, we fail to recognize that it details God’s plan from the beginning.
As I read over this passage in Exodus, I’ve realized an interesting fact in verse 5 that has never occurred to me. “5 Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats” On the surface, this doesn’t mean much to anyone other than they can pick a sheep or goat for this sacrifice/ meal. However, it just so happens that last night during our group study we encountered a passage in the New Testament that also spoke of sheep and goats. Mathew 25: 31-34, 41, “31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;” I see a “foreboding” here in Exodus which is linked to Christ in that His sacrifice was for all. In The Old Testament, Israel was set apart from the rest of the world. At that time, Israel would be the sheep and the Gentiles would be the goats. He died for sheep and goats alike. Yet, as we see in Mathew, the people of God (those who believe) will be the only ones who gain entrance into the kingdom of heaven.
We have already heard what John said in verse 30. The next interesting point that causes me to pause is that John the Baptist mentions how he heard from God these things, yet I don’t think we ever hear about it until this time. Certainly, we can take this moment to scoff John the Baptist saying that he is making things up. I’m sure that happened in this time. (this of course is without me studying the other gospels, which very well might clarify this point). Either way, my point is this: has God ever given you a hint at something in the future that you pushed aside or ignored until it happened?
I think we tend to ignore what God tells us because it’s unbelievable, it’s contradictory to the things of this world, or it would screw up “our plans” for the future. We need to recognize that God is in control of all things and they will happen regardless if we want them to or not. I don’t recall God ever asking someone to do something throughout scripture, but rather telling us what to do.
What is God telling you today?