See The Lamb of God (Part 3)

Bob RoaneJesus Christ, Loving and Trusting God, Safety and Security in Christ

See the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!…Jesus was oppressed and afflicted (on the cross), yet He did not open His mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth. (John 1:29; Isaiah 53:7)

This draws on class notes. You may read See The Lamb of God Part 1 + Part 2, but each post also stands on its own.

By the time you are reading this, Good Friday and Easter will have passed this year. But we keep on needing the Lord Jesus to take away our sin every day, moment by moment. One hymn contains this prayer to Christ:

What you, my Lord, has suffered was all for sinners’ gain.
Mine, mine was the transgression, but yours the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior! ’Tis I deserve your place.
Look on me with your favor, and grant to me your grace.1

Some Reminders

All of us ought to say with the Apostle Paul: “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.”2 Notice, Paul says that he is (present tense) still a sinner. So are all believers. By Jesus’ work of obeying God in our place and dying and rising in our place to pay for our sins, Paul and every Christian is 100% saved, justified (declared righteous before God), forgiven, and accepted in Jesus. God sees Christians as “hidden in Christ.”3 Also Paul and all Christians are still 100% people who stumble, fumble, fall, and slip into sin.4 We can fail to live out the good for God that we want to do, but the evil that we want to avoid we keep on doing.5 We can still stumble into secret and scandalous sins, sins against God and against other people, sins of omission (failing to trust and obey the Lord) and sins of commission (distrusting and disobeying Him).

Jack Miller said: Cheer up; on your own you’re a lot worse off than you think. But connected to Jesus, you’re far more loved, saved, and secure than you could ever imagine. Elisabeth Elliot said: You are loved with God’s everlasting love, that’s what the Bible says. And underneath you are Christ’s everlasting arms.6 That’s the good news for all Christ’s followers!

How Does Jesus Take Away Sin?

God could’ve taken away sin by destroying sinners like He did in the flood in Noah’s day. But in Christ, the holy, holy, holy God provided the only way to take away sin, and yet spare us.

Key Scriptures: God made Him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin (the sin bearer on the cross) for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God….After He (Christ) has suffered (on the cross), He will see the light of life (in His resurrection) and be satisfied. By His knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and He will bear their iniquities. (2 Cor 5:21; Isaiah 53:11)

Thank God! The believers’ disobedience is counted to Christ and His perfect obedience is accounted to us. What a marvelous exchange! Jesus, the Lamb of God, died and rose again, so that we, His little flock, will not be hurt by the second death.7

One hymn says: “Christ breaks the power of reigning sin, He sets the prisoner free. His blood can make the foulest clean, His blood availed for me.” Another hymn says: “Hallelujah! What a Savior! Hallelujah, what a Friend! Saving, helping, keeping, loving, He is with me to the end.”

In class, we used this chart to help understand the stages of our blessings in Christ:

The Lord removes Sin’s penalty When He justifies (forgives and accepts us)
The Lord removes Sin’s power When He regenerates (gives us new birth)
The Lord removes Sin’s practices When He sanctifies (makes us more and more like Christ)
The Lord removes Sin’s presence When He returns to glorify us in the new heaven and new earth

Christ Is Returning

Dr. Leon Morris said: One in every 30 New Testament (“NT”) verses refer to Christ’s Second Coming! Of the 260 chapters in the NT, there are more than 300 references to the Lord’s return. Twenty-three of the twenty-seven NT books refer to this momentous event. Our Lord’s return will be personal, visible, sudden and unexpected, glorious, and triumphant.8

Titus Chapter 2 says: For the grace of God (Jesus) has appeared to offer salvation to all people. He teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good.9

The Lutheran Liturgy says: “Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.” Martin Luther taught us to live as if Jesus died yesterday, as if He rose this morning, And as if He is coming back for us tomorrow. Another ancient hymn says: “Dying Christ destroyed our death; rising He restored our life; Lord Jesus, come in glory.”

Early Christians thought more about Christ’s Second Coming than about death or about heaven. They were not looking forward to a place in the ground called a grave but for a cleavage in the sky called Glory. They were not watching for the undertaker but for Jesus, the Uppertaker.10

Pastor G. Campbell Morgan said: To me Christ’s return is the perpetual light on the path which makes the present bearable. I never lay my head on the pillow without thinking that perhaps before the morning breaks, the final morning may have dawned. I never begin my work without thinking that He may interrupt my work and begin His own work of consummation and re-creation.

Listen to how the New Testament ends:

Christ says: “I am coming soon.” And His followers say: Amen. Come, Lord.
And the last verse says: The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.11

To be continued

Notes:  1 From “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded.”     2 1 Timothy 1:15.     3 Col 3:2.     4 James 3:2.     5 Rom 7:19.     6 Jer 31:3; Deut 33:27.     7 Rev 2:11, 20:6, 20:14, 21:8.     8 See also The Momentous Event by W. J. Grier.     9 Titus 2:11-14.     10 Adapted from Alexander Maclaren (1826–1910).     11 Rev 22:20-21.     Note: Older translations say: “Behold the Lamb.” Newer translations say look at Him or see Him. The meaning is the same.