Friday, May 1, 2020
For weeks I had sat in church and listened to the pastor talk about heaven. Each week, following the sermon, there was an invitation given for people to raise their hand if they wanted to know how to be saved from their sin. Each week, from my front row seat, I raised my hand, and each week the pastor never saw me.
Then one day, while playing my favorite sport, I made a terrible mistake. I broke a rule. I sinned, and the result of that sin was serious injury to another person. I knew I needed forgiveness, but I had no hope of ever being forgiven.
When I confessed my sin to my mother, she directed my attention to Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. I went from being overwhelmed with the guilt and shame of what I had done, to being forgiven forever by Jesus because He sacrificed Himself to pay for all my sin.
This was the scene in Israel when John the Baptizer had come preaching repentance for the forgiveness of sin, and the coming Kingdom of God. Crowds of people came to hear his message, each one longing to be forgiven so they could see the Kingdom of God. Each one longing for a Messiah.
Finally, in God’s perfect timing, the day arrived for the Son of God to be revealed. John the Baptizer directed their attention to the One who was sent from God.
John 1:29 “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
Every single one of us has lived a similar story. We have broken God’s rules. We have sinned. We may have even caused serious injury to others. We have certainly hurt them with our words. We have little hope of ever being forgiven and set free from the guilt and shame of it all.
But there is hope. You can be forgiven. God has provided a lamb as the perfect, once-for-all sacrifice for your sin. The lamb is Jesus, and He will save you. Here’s how the Apostle Peter describes this hope.
1 Peter 1:18-21 …you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, will take away your sin and give you hope. Confess your sin to Christ. Believe that Jesus died and rose again and has the power to grant you eternal life. Receive the forgiveness Jesus offers. Put your faith and hope in the Lamb of God.