“Hey! Look here!”
What kind of thing(s) might you expect to see after such an appeal: A rarely seen animal? A snow fort just completed by a child or grandchild? Someone taking a picture of you?
“Hey! Look here!” That’s what John the Baptizer boldly announces. And then, he points your eyes and mine and the eyes of the whole sinful world to a Lamb! Not a rare kind of Lamb, though. THE ONLY ONE of its kind! This is THE LAMB sent by God the Father Himself. And why is it so pressing we look at this Lamb? Because our sins – EVERY. LAST. ONE. – are on that Lamb! But they aren’t on the Lamb like they’re on our conscience. On our conscience, they torment and torture us. Of course they do! They’re death!
But we are to “Behold” that Lamb because on that Lamb they are lifted from us. Our sins and all their guilt are hauled away once and for all, never to torture or torment you again. That is a “must-see” to be sure!
Now make no mistake about it, the Devil will drag the stench of these sins back for you to smell and fear. Your own flesh will try to get them back so that you can “offset them,” making everything right. Then John the Baptizer’s words – “Hey! Look here!” – are there to absolve and comfort you anew: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).
St. John 1:1-5 (ESV)
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… And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”
Hymn ELH 331: 2
A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth
This Lamb is Christ, the soul’s great Friend,
The Lamb of God, our Savior;
Him God the Father chose to send
To gain for us His favor.
“Go forth My Son,” The Father saith,
“And free men from the fear of death,
From guilt and condemnation.
The wrath and stripes are hard to bear,
But by Thy Passion men shall share
The fruit of Thy salvation.”
Jesus, Lamb of God, my Savior, You take away my sin and death and deliver life and peace in return. Cause my eyes to be fixed on You in my living and my dying. Amen.
Reverend Kyle Madson
Editor, The Lutheran Sentinel
Norseland Lutheran Church
St. Peter, MN
Norwegian Grove Lutheran Church
“Hey! Look here!”