Second Sunday after the Epiphany (2023)

Epiphany--Jesus Appears  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  21:04
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Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
For centuries Israel offered sacrifices to God for sin. Over and over, blood flowed, testifying that the penalty of sin was death. But over and over, a substitute stood in place of the sinner. Countless animals died under the priestly knife as generations of the faithful brought lamb after Lamb to the temple.
Last week we heard the Father's voice thunder, and we saw the Spirit descend in power to mark the Messiah, the one anointed by God to solve the problem of sin. His baptism revealed his identity to John and to Israel. This man was the one who would be the giver of messianic blessings to God's people.
Today, John explains even more. He speaks of the way the Messiah would acquire those blessings for the church. The one at the other end of John's pointing finger was the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. This is the Lamb that God is bringing to the temple. This is the Lamb that God would sacrifice. Jesus is the fulfillment of every sacrifice, because He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
Today we will look briefly at the Mission of the Lamb; the Qualification os the Lamb, and our Role in the Lamb’s Mission.

The Mission of Jesus the Lamb

John 1:29 “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
This verse tells us not only what Jesus is about to do, but how He will do it!
The image of the Lamb points to a future sacrifice, which we know occured on the cross.
John 1:41 calls Jesus the Messiah, the Christ.
John 1:31 “I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.””
The Mission is to bring Salvation.
Jesus gives the salvation He wins through Baptism.
John 1:33 “He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’”

The Qualification of Jesus the Lamb

John 1:34 “And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”
Verse 34 clearly calls Him the Son of God.
Greater than all the Prophets
Greater than John the Baptist.
He is eternal
John 1:30 “This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’”
God the Father validated His Mission through the Holy Spirit who descended upon Him at baptism.

Our Role in the Lamb’s Mission

Word and Sacrament are God’s means for transmitting salvation.
We are the human agents who bring those means to bear on people.
John informs us in verse 31 that his witnessing and his baptizing was designed to reveal Jesus and His salvation to the people.
In verses 35 to 41 we see the early church involved in Jesus’ mission on a one-on-one basis.
John tells a couple of his disciples about Jesus.
They, in turn, tell others — One told Andrew. Andrew then tells his brother, Simon Peter.
And so it goes through human history, and the Church grows.
Are you playing an active role in telling others about Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world?
There is a handout at the door when you leave today—it’s called “Friendships Ablaze.” One one side it give you a simple track to run on: Pray, Build, Tell, Invite. On the other side, is space for you to write in the names of people you know who doesn’t attend church, who you then can begin to pray for, build into your relationship with the, tell them the story of how Jesus, and Invite them to church or Bible class.
John knew Jesus. He told Andrew. Andrew told Simon Peter . . . all the way down the line to the person who told you about Jesus. Who are you telling?
You see, in the great act that would remove our condemnation and give us freedom of forgiveness, Jesus, the Lamb of God, took our sins, stood in our place, and died as the substitute for sinful mankind. This was the fulfillment of every sacrificial promise. This was the goal and the fulfillment of the entire sacrificial system. Every lamb and goat and bird pointed to God's Lamb who takes our sin and transfers it to Himself, so He might make satisfaction, and take away out of the sight of God.
Jesus is the Lamb of God for the whole world. This Lamb would take away the sins of the world have bring both Israel and the Gentile nations into the Kingdom of God. The hearts that see this Savior in faith cannot help but take the news of this salvation to the ends of the earth.
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