When John the Baptist saw Jesus, he cried out, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)
The Lamb of God.
This name for Jesus could have meant several things to John the Baptist. He could have been referring to the Passover Lamb (Exodus 12:1-13). He could have been pointing to the sacrificial lamb prophesied by Isaiah (53:7). He could have been referring to the lamb of Genesis 22:8, the one God provided as a sacrifice. Or he could have been thinking of the daily temple sacrifice where a lamb was offered every morning and evening (Exodus 29:38-46).
Or … he could have been revealing Jesus as the fulfillment of all of these.
Regardless, the Jewish people knew that all lamb sacrifices pointed to God’s saving power and His forgiveness of sins. John was telling everyone, “Look! Place your eyes on God’s power to save and forgive. He has come. Don’t miss Him!”
Perhaps this is off track. Maybe not. But my mind wanders to the very first time blood was spilled on this earth. Sin had entered the beautiful, pristine, perfect world through the disobedience of Adam and Eve. God told them the consequences they would face because of their choice–consequences God never wanted for them.
The oneness between Creator and creation was broken. Yet, Genesis 3:21 tells us, “The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them,” when He saw His masterpiece, man and woman, ashamed and afraid because of their nakedness. The life of an innocent animal would have been sacrificed to provide a covering for them.
This is our first indication that innocent blood would have to be shed to provide the covering for guilt of our sins. And the revelation that it would be a gift of grace from God. Also displayed is God’s goodness. His holiness. His kindness. His mercy. His loving us enough to provide a way back into fellowship.
Scripture doesn’t say but could it be? I wonder…the animal sacrificed to provide the covering for Adam and Eve…was it a lamb?