These notes accompany the sermon found here.
Who was John the Baptist?
- Who was John?
- He was a prophet from the line of priests whose job it was to teach the people of Israel the law of God. See Luke 1:5-25, 39-45, 57-80; regarding his birth and lineage.
- He preached in the wilderness around the Jordan river baptizing people for repentance.
- He is mentioned in all four Gospels and the book of Acts.
- Why was he necessary?
- He fulfilled the role prophesied to precede the Messiah. John 1:23 from Isaiah 40:3; Matthew 11:14 from Malachi 4:5.
- He was a prophet: The General purpose of prophets was to call God’s people back to covenant faithfulness — to call for repentance.
- To link Jesus to Old Testament orthodoxy and tradition.
- To establish another witness to Jesus’ claims. John 5:30-47.
Why did he call Jesus the Lamb of God?
- Biblical lamb imagery:
- Used to convey gentleness, dependence, or innocence: Isaiah 53:7, 65:25, 11:6; Jeremiah 51:40; Luke 10:3; Acts 8:32; 1 Peter 1:19.
- Used in sacrifice to make atonement: Genesis 22:7, 13; Exodus 12; John 18:28; Leviticus 1:4; Exodus 29:38-46. Compare John 19:36 to Exodus 12:46.
- The Lamb of God
- Lamb imagery is clearly used for Jesus here, John 1:29, 36; and elsewhere, 1 Corinthians 5:7; Acts 8:32; 2 Peter 1:9; Revelation 5:6 (28 times total in Revelation).
- Jesus fulfills key Old Testament passages featuring the sacrifice of a lamb, Genesis 22; Isaiah 53; Exodus 12.
- John clearly intends to connect Jesus to a sacrifice for sins – atonement.
What does that mean to us?
- He is the lamb of God. He laid down his life for the sins of all who will believe.
- Jesus has provided all that is necessary for salvation. We need only have faith in Him, and such faith will reveal itself in repentance and good works.