Daily Reading & Meditation

Sunday (January 19): "Behold the Lamb of God!"

Scripture: John 1:29-34

29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, `After me comes a man who ranks before me, for he was before me.' 31 I myself did not know him; but for this I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel." 32 And John bore witness, "I saw the Spirit descend as a dove from heaven, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him; but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, `He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' 34 And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God."

Meditation: John calls Jesus the Lamb of God and thus signifies Jesus' mission as the One who redeems us from our sins. The blood of the Passover Lamb (Exodus 12) delivered the Israelites in Egypt from death. The blood of Jesus, the true Passover Lamb who offered his life up for us on the cross as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 Corinthians 5:7), delivers us from everlasting death and destruction. It is significant that John was the son of a priest, Zachariah, who participated in the daily sacrifice of a lamb in the temple for the sins of the people (Exodus 29). In Jesus he saw the true and only sacrifice which delivers us from sin.

When John says he did not know Jesus he was referring to the hidden reality of Jesus divinity. But the Holy Spirit in that hour revealed to John Jesus' true nature, such that John bore witness that this is the Son of God. How can we be certain that Jesus is truly the Christ, the Son of God? The Holy Spirit makes Christ known to us through the gift of faith. God gives us freely of his Spirit that we may comprehend the great mystery and plan of God to unite all things in his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:10). Do you seek to grow in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ?

"Lord Jesus Christ, fill me with the power of your Holy Spirit and let me grow in the knowledge of your love and truth. Let your Spirit be aflame in my heart that I may know and love you more fervently and strive to do your will in all things."

Psalm 40:1,3-4,6-10

1 I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry.
3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.  Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.
4 Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after false gods!
6 Sacrifice and offering you do not desire; but you have given me an open ear.  Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required.
7 Then I said, "Lo, I come; in the roll of the book it is written of me;
8 I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart."
9 I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation;  lo, I have not restrained my lips, as you know it, O LORD.
10 I have not hid your saving help within my heart, I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;  I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.


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