Second Sunday after the Epiphany
Jesus Our Lamb
When John the Baptist cried out, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” you can imagine how startling that may have been to those who stood by. Every Israelite understood and at one point had experienced the sacrifice of a lamb—or goat or dove or even a bull—for the remission of their sin at the temple by the priests. The taking of a spotless lamb and killing it in front of the family was an emotionally painful thing to watch. And to see its life drain out as the blood flowed from its body must have made a lasting impact upon all who witnessed the event as prescribed by God according to the Old Covenant.
So when John the Baptist cried out, “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” everyone must have immediately looked for an actual lamb. Instead they saw a man, Jesus of Nazareth, coming toward John to be baptized in the River Jordan. Jesus came to be our Passover Lamb who laid down his life for ours. He is the spotless, sinless Lamb of God who drained his blood for the cleansing of our sins.
Jesus Christ “Our Lamb Has Conquered; Let Us Follow Him.” This has been the victorious cry of the Moravian Church and the historical church since its foundation. In our Moravian heritage, we consider ourselves an Easter people; therefore Jesus is our Passover Lamb who has risen from the grave and ascended into heaven to break the bonds and oppression of sin, the power of death, and the evil one. Jesus is our Victor, the Lamb of God who has conquered. Let us celebrate him and the tremendous inheritance he has given us as the worldwide Moravian Church!
R. Jeff Carter, pastor, Little Church on the Lane,
Charlotte, North Carolina