The next day John sees Jesus coming to him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.
I. THE OBJECT WHICH WAS TO BE ACCOMPLISHED. The abolition of the world's sin: a most desirable object. Were any one to offer to take away the world's sorrow, or its toil and trouble, or its care, what a benefactor he would be. But how much more when the Son of God comes from heaven and suffers to take away its sin. Because the sting and bitterness is nothing but that. But we are led aside from the truth by the consideration of second causes and immediate results, and so forget the nature of sin and disregard the Baptist's invitation. And yet sin is the universal curse, and those who are unacquainted with sorrow are sinful; and sin unrepented of will bring the bitterest sorrow. The need, then, of the abolition of sin is —
2. The greatest of our needs. Other needs man can remedy; but no man can help his brother here.
3. The most pressing.
4. In proportion we do not feel this, our sin is the greater.
II. THE MEANS ORDAINED FOR ITS ACCOMPLISHMENT. Such a need in God's. universe could not be without a remedy. This was provided in the Lamb of God, which expression looks back to Isaiah 53. and Genesis 22. Christ was the Lamb of God in being God's appointed sacrifice, and the sacrifice offered by God. He was the federal head of our race, the one Being in whom our race was gathered up, who took upon Himself the penalty of sin. His great qualification for this was his sinlessness. Two conclusions —
1. That if Christ was the Lamb of God He must have been an adequate provision for dealing with the world's sin.
2. That He must have been the exclusive sacrifice for sin. There was no other means appointed by God; there can be no other means devised by man.
III. THE METHOD OF APPLYING THESE MEANS.
1. Christ takes away the punishment of sift — sin with all its accidents and qualities.
2. Christ destroys the power of sin in the heart.
3. You cannot get rid of sin by resolutions or efforts, but only by faith in Him. There is in us a sinful will which prompts to sin. We cannot get rid of that by thwarting or discipling our sinful will. We can only do it by taking cognizance of a higher will in Christ. And as we believe in Him we submit to His will, and become inspired with a fresh will which prompts to good and not to evil.
(Stanley Leathes, B. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.