It’s always painful to read the story of Pilate, who knows and publicly proclaims Christ’s innocence, and still approves of him being flogged and crucified. Yet this is exactly what we believe as Christians: that he who knew no sin was punished on our behalf. Pilate’s motives were evil and cowardly; but “God the just” knew exactly what he was doing in providing this perfect sacrifice so that we can have eternal fellowship with God and his saints forever. We can only ponder and praise his mysterious ways.
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (v. 29)
What struck me this time while reading John 1 is the title “Lamb of God.” It’s a phrase I’ve read and sung a thousand times, but today it sprang off the page: Lamb of [belonging to] God.
Unlike the millions of other lambs that came before, which men offered to God, this was God’s very own Lamb, which HE offers to us. Only the Lamb provided by God Himself — who is God Himself — can perfectly atone for our sins.
Jesus is that true and better Lamb.
That’s why John the Baptist cried out, “Behold!” And that’s why, even today, in the midst of our fears and failures, we’re called to do the same.