Monday, February 12, 2024

Agnus Dei | Lamb of God

John the apostle said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" - John 1: 29


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John 1: 29-34

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.

This passage chronicles the occurrence of John the Apostle who testifies the identity of Jesus. He testifies that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. His testimony does not surface from his superficial understanding, yet, it stems from his personal encounter revealed by God through the supernatural signs (John 1: 32-34). 

His testimony signifies that Jesus Himself, the Lamb of God, is the perfect sacrifice who reconciles the broken fellowship between humans and God caused by sins. It is interesting to note that Jesus’ mission and work apply to the world across cultural, racial, and geographical boundaries and socioeconomic political status. He comes to the world for everyone.

By presenting his testimony about Jesus’ identity, John the Apostle points out a very fundamental issue that everyone can relate to and is grappling with. No one is immune from sin. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). There is a dire need to get rid of the sins. Humans with all their effort, good life, philosophy, or religion try to solve this, yet, these fail because all our righteousness are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).

Apart from redemption, Jesus is the only person who can satisfy humans’ deepest needs and desires. Pascal, a French mathematician, physicist, inventor, philosopher, and writer said: “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made know through Jesus Christ.” This emphasizes that everyone needs Jesus in their lives.

As performed by John the Apostle, a very crucial question should be raised here. Have we exercised our roles as a messenger to testify to the world who is Jesus and what Jesus has done to people? Jesus comes to the world not only to take away our sins and purify us but also to give us purpose-driven life, eternal life, “abundant life”, and hope-filled life (John 10: 10). 

There are two ways to witness that Jesus is the Lamb of God. These are like two-sided coins (presence and proclamation): we witness through our Spirit-led life who yield the fruits of spirit (Galatians 5:22-25) and through fulfilling the great commission (Matthew 28:18-20). These are supposed to go hand in hand and we can not choose to only commit one side of the coin.

To experience Spirit-led life personally, there is no other way, except through Jesus. Jesus is the only way to come to God father (John 14:6). This implies that one should believe wholeheartedly and declare with his mouth (Rome 10: 9-10). One should invite and receive Christ personally and have a personal relationship and journey with Him. It is not the dogma and belief that passed down from generation to generation, yet, it is a personal encounter and day-to-day spiritual learning trajectory with Him.

Leading a Spirit-led life day to-day is our testimony of what we believe about God. We can share our testimony in many ways, by the words that we speak, by the example we set, by the manner in which we live our life, by the way how we face obstacles in life, by how we manage our finance, by how we treat our spouses, by how we perform our work,  by how we write our reflection,  and many more. Akin to John the Apostle, have we done things coming from our personal encounter and understanding of God? Unfortunately, many unbelievers, do not come to Jesus and give their lives because they get stumbled with how Christians lead their lives. What Christians believe about God and His teachings is not fully manifested or translated in their day-to-day lives and this condition prevents unbelievers to come to Jesus.

Sadly, to admit, some believers think that fulfilling great commission is the task/duty of the priests and evangelists and some churches do not make it a priority. Even more, these churches do not equip their congregations on how to do it. We might choose to compromise and think that it is a private matter and I am not in the capacity of doing this. We would like to “keep the harmony with unbelievers” by not boldly sharing our faith. Sharing gospel should not be always done in very formal ways but through building rapport and friendship. We start striking friendship with people and identify what would be the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of this person. After having this preliminary diagnosis with us, this information serves as a gateway for sharing the gospel that we can proceed.

Again, the critical question we should ponder is: what concerted, collaborative, and collective efforts have we done to address the calling for great commission fulfilment?

Bear in our mind, let us do our best to proclaim who is Jesus and what He has done to the world and to present ourselves in our immediate circumstance through our Spirit-led life. Let the Holy Spirit in His mighty power does the rest, according to His time, plans, and wills.

Reflection on John 1: 29-50 by Deisyi

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