See the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!…Out of Judah will come God’s ruler who will shepherd His people Israel….When Christ saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (John 1:29; Matt 2:6, 9:36)
This draws on class notes. You may read See the Lamb of God Part 1 + Part 2 + Part 3, but each post also stands on its own.
From Fear to Faith
Glamour Magazine’s YouTube channel covers a wide variety of lifestyle topics and has over 4 million subscribers. The one post entitled “70 Men Ages 5 to 75: What’s Your Greatest Fear?” has over 84,000 views. Some men reported fearing clowns, heights, spiders, and snakes. Others feared the end of the world due to climate change, evil people causing us harm, and the death of loved ones. The fear most often mentioned was “failing to live up to my potential.”1 Augustine is right: God has made us for Himself and our hearts are restless until we find our rest, joy, and peace in the Lord.
The Bible’s Psalms are very honest about fears among God’s people. We are not super heroes untouched by life’s dangers. Here are some sample Scriptures: “My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught….I am overwhelmed with troubles and my life draws near to death….Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”2
But Jesus’ followers must choose and decide to trust in God (the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) no matter how bad the situation gets. Here are some expressions of faith from the Bible: “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you….I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?…I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’”3
Psalm 91 uses four names of God to encourage us to trust Him. He is the Most High (Elyon), higher than the kings of the earth and the false gods of the nations. He is also the Almighty (Shaddai), the all-sufficient God who is more than adequate for every situation. He is LORD (Yahweh), the covenant-making God who is faithful to all His promises. He is God (Elohim), the powerful God whose greatness and glory surpass anything we can imagine. This is the Holy Trinity God who bends over backwards to convince us of His love for us! He is on our side!
One hymn says:
Fixed upon Lord Jesus, hearts are fully blessed,
Finding as He promised, perfect peace and rest!4
We Have Peace with God in Christ
Jesus takes away our bad record with God and our alienation from Him by His sacrificial death and powerful resurrection. Christ reconciles us to God and makes all believers God’s adopted sons and daughters! We become Jesus’ little brothers and sisters! We are made temples of the Holy Spirit! That’s what you are, beloved, if you are Christians in the Bible way! You belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.5 You can’t be safer, or more blessed than that!
Spurgeon says believers have PERFECT PEACE in Jesus because…
Looking UPWARD, you see no burning wrath shooting at you;
Looking DOWNWARD, you’re not condemned to hell;
Looking BACK, all your sins are blotted out;
Looking BEYOND, you see Jesus’ glory shining in the future;
Looking OUTWARD, you know God works ALL things for your good;
Looking INWARD, you have Christ’s peace that transcends all understanding, guarding your heart and mind in Him.6
Jesus’ Ongoing Work
John the Baptist says: See Jesus, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! These words are in the present tense in English and in Greek. Christ takes away our wrong and He continues to take it away. His atoning work was completed once for all on the cross. But His blessings belong to and overflow to His believers forever and ever. Christ gives us the Holy Spirit’s “spring water” welling up to eternal life. Streams of living water continue to flow from within us and spill out to bless others.7 It’s like the jars of oil in the days of Elijah and Elisha that keep on gushing.8
Where our sin increased, God’s grace in Christ abounded all the more. As our Great High Priest, Jesus offered Himself up once as a sacrifice for us to satisfy divine justice and to reconcile us to God, and He continually intercedes for us. There is power, power, wonder-working power in the precious blood of the Lamb. Jesus saves forever, completely, perfectly, eternally, you who come to God through Him.9
William Cowper’s hymn says:
Dear dying Lamb, your precious blood shall never lose its power,
Until all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.10
Christ is the substitutionary Lamb of God, beloved. That’s the truth! He was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many. And He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.11
Are YOU waiting for Jesus, beloved? Are you receiving and resting upon Him alone for salvation, as He is offered in the Gospel? That’s what we must do. All the Bible warns us to flee, to escape God’s coming judgment. We must run to Christ for refuge, safety, and protection all the time. He will never reject us, cast us out, or turn us away! So call on Jesus now and forever!
Notes (various Bible translations used): 1 YouTube (8-3-20). 2 Psalm 55:2, 88:3, 139:23-24. 3 Psalm 9:10, 56:11, 91:2. 4 From hymn by Frances G. Havergal. 5 1 Cor 2:23. 6 See Isaiah 26:3; Phil 1:2, 4:7-9. 7 John 4:14, 7:38-39. 8 1 Kings 17:12-16; 2 Kings 4:1-7. 9 Rom 5:20; Heb 7:25. 10 “There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood.” 11 Heb 9:28. Note: Older translations say: “Behold the Lamb.” Newer translations say look at Him or see Him. The meaning is the same.