by the Rev. Henry Huenemann
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto Him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29).
1Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
2For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
3He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
8He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
9And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
11He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
12Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
John, the Baptist, was preaching and baptizing in the wilderness of Judea, saying, "repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Then went the people out to him, and were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. Then one day John sees Jesus coming unto him, and said, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." Jesus also desired to be baptized of John. But John "forbade him saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now; for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him."
Now let us note well: John preaches repentance, and baptizes with the baptism of repentance. The people come and confess their sins, and are baptized. Then Jesus comes and is also baptized, in the same way as the people. There is no distinction made. How could this be? Jesus had no need of repentance for He had no sins to confess. He was the Holy One of God. But we must remember, John pointed him out as the Lamb of God. He took our place. "Jehovah laid on him the iniquity of us all." He is willing and ready to make full atonement for our sins, confessing them as his own. Thus, and thus alone could all righteousness be fulfilled. "He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
O God, our Father, we thank Thee for Thy Son, Jesus Christ, our Mediator, that unspeakable [indescribable] gift. We thank Thee that He offered up himself as a perfect sacrifice, and that by the one sacrifice of his body He has redeemed us from eternal damnation, by making full satisfaction to Thy divine justice, fulfilling all righteousness. We thank Thee that now no one can condemn us, since Christ died and rose again, and makes intercession for us. May we ever abide in his love. Amen.
Scripture in Devotional: Matt. 3:1, 2, 5, 6; Luke 3:21; Matt. 3:14f.; Isa. 53:6; 2 Cor. 5:21.
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