“The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, ‘Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’” vs. 29
In our scriptures there are many descriptive names that are attached to Jesus, but none has had more impact or power than the simple phrase, “Lamb of God.” It’s a part of the liturgy of Holy Communion, right after the words of institution. Week after week we sing it as we prepare to come to the table, “Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us.” It’s a powerful reminder that the death of Jesus has been indelibly connected to the forgiveness of sins from the very beginning. We can debate different theories of the atonement until the cows come home but, if we separate the cross from forgiveness we risk losing the church’s most potent and meaningful metaphor. During his lifetime Jesus regularly reached out to sinners with love and told them that their sins were forgiven. In Holy Communion he reaches out to us with that same assurance. By faith, he is really present to us in the eating and the drinking, and by faith, he is the Lamb of God who has mercy on us and takes away our sin. However we understand the words and the ritual, there is amazing power here–a power that frees and cleanses sinners.
Thought for the Day: How does the Lamb of God image speak to me?