The Lamb of God Who Takes Away the Sin of the World!

A Passover Devotional:

Lessons on the Lamb of God Part 1

The Hebrew Scriptures conclude with two prophecies in the Book of Malachi describing a Messenger (also the meaning of the prophets name!) who would prepare the way for the Lord.  The first of these prophecies is found in Malachi 3:1,

Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts.

This Messenger would purify the priests so they might once again offer sacrifices on behalf of the Jewish people.  As the prophet writes, Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.(Malachi 3:3)

The Jewish people would be judged because of disobedience, but also left with hope. In fact the very last words recorded in the Old Testament (Malachi 4:5-6), predict that this messenger identified as the prophet Elijah would call the Jewish people to back to God and reconcile both fathers and sons.

“Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.

This call to repentance was God’s way of preparing the Jewish people for the One whom Elijah would introduce to the Jewish people. Jesus believed that John the Baptist fulfilled these prophecies and that He was the Elijah like messenger who came to turn the Jewish people back to the Lord.  Jesus affirms this in the Gospel of Matthew,

As these men were going away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ palaces! But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and one who is more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send MY messenger ahead of You, Who will prepare Your way before You.’ (Mt. 11:7-10)

John repeatedly denies that he is the Messiah and tells those gathered that the One they have really been waiting for is coming and it is simply his job to introduce Him.

Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, and said to him, “Why then are you baptizing, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” John answered them saying, “ I baptize in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know. It is He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie. (John 1:24-27)

The earth shattering moment comes when John’s introduces this One place at Bethany beyond the Jordan. (John 1:28). He was immersing Jewish people in water as a symbol of their desire to be cleansed from sin. But now he declares that the One who was to come – had come! John describes Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  The Jewish people on the banks of the Jordan would have understood this to be a reference to the Passover lamb in Exodus 12 with additional information provided by Isaiah in chapter 53.

John declares,

The next day he *saw Jesus coming to him and *said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘ After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me (John 1:29-30)

John mentions this again a moment later to two future disciples when he said,

Again the next day John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as He walked, and *said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. (John 1:35-37)

This theme of Jesus as the Lamb of God would become a major teaching theme by the writers of the New Testament. Peter, also establishes this link, as he was the brother of Andrew, one of the two disciples who heard John’s statement about Yeshua.

Peter writes,

…knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Messiah.(1 Peter 1:18-19)

This link between Yeshua and the Lamb had already made by Luke in the Book of Acts in reference to the encounter between Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch. Luke records,

Now the passage of Scripture which he was reading was this: HE was led as A sheep to slaughter; And as A lamb before its shearer is silent, SO HE does not open His mouth. (Acts 8:32), which is our first indication that Jesus was not only compared to the lamb in the Book of Exodus, but the Lamb as well in Isaiah 53.

Rabbi Saul, the Apostle Paul takes this link one step further and declares,

Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Messiah our Passover also has been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (1 Cor. 5:6-8)

The links between Jesus and the Passover Lamb are overwhelming. In describing the crucifixion of Yeshua John adds,

For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, “ Not A bone of Him shall be broken.”(John 19:36), looking back to Exodus when Moses tells the Israelites how the lamb was to be sacrificed,

It is to be eaten in a single house; you are not to bring forth any of the flesh outside of the house, nor are you to break any bone of it. (Exodus 12:46)

The Lamb in Exodus 12 is a prophetic portrait of the One who would come and shed His blood for the sins of the world.

The Lamb of Isaiah 53

The prophet Isaiah develops the significance of the lamb as an atoning sacrifice.

There are two key passages in Isaiah 53 which conjoin the idea of the Messiah with the Passover lamb…

He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. (Isaiah 53:7)

Admittedly, this can be a reference to the lambs that were regularly sacrifice at the temple and especially on some of the holidays. Yet, when you look at the entire passage it does seem that the prophet had the Passover lamb specifically in mind.

And additionally in Isaiah 53:1,

Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

The key link in this passage is that the term for arm is zeroah,which refers to the arm or forearm, but is more often used in passages which refer to God’s saving power and intervention in human history.  This idea easily brought the mind of an Israelite back to the deliverance from Egypt as a picture of God’s redemptive work on behalf of His people.

Exodus chapter 6, quoted in the Hagaddah teaches this very clearly,

Say therefore to the people of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. (Ex. 6:6)

Jesus is the saving zeroah of God who intervened in Egypt and into this world to deliver Israel and the nations from spiritual bondage.  And when a man or woman, Jew or Gentile, boy or girl, by faith “smear” the doorposts of their hearts with His shed blood with blood of the Lamb that the wrath of God passes over us and pass from death into life.

This is the way to begin the Passover season and Holy Week – knowing that God’s promises are true and that He has provided the Lamb of God to be the Savior for us all.

Happy Passover.

 

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12 Comments

Filed under Holidays & Festivals, Israel, Jewish Christian Dialogue, Jews and Christians, Judaism, Messianic Jewish, Uncategorized

12 responses to “The Lamb of God Who Takes Away the Sin of the World!

  1. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    AGNUS DEI…WHO TAKETH AWAY THE SINS OF THE WORLD…HAVE MERCY UPON….US!!!!

  2. Frank Adamick

    What’s written by the prophet MALACHI (KJV) proves profound to both Jew & Gentile.

    “I have loved you, saith the LORD (YHVH).”, opens the burden of the word of YHVH to Israel by Malachi. It is a declaration of love to Jacob accompanied by a stern warning to the priests of Israel. “Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.” (Mal. 1:7) The LORD of hosts has determined by the irreverence of the priests that they despise His holy name. Indeed it has come to the point where: “I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.” (Mal. 1:10b) How can it be that those who were to serve as ministers to YHVH, intercede on behalf of the people of Israel and maintain the Temple of the LORD should be considered utterly unacceptable by the LORD of hosts Himself? Once again, the heart of the matter is bound to covenant.

    “And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart. Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it. And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Mal. 2:1-4) Were the children of Israel not chosen by God in that they were to be a peculiar treasure unto Him above all people; that they might become a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation set apart as witnesses & ambassadors to the splendor of YHVH if they would obey His voice? (Ex. 19:5-6) And yet, “My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name. The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.” (Mal. 2:5-6) Those who genuinely serve in true worship to YHVH receive from Him the guidance of His Spirit & the favor of His blessings. (Ps. 119:135) Have we not been told, “And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”? (Deut. 6:5) And not only this but that it is the greatest commandment. (Matt. 22:37-40) The priests of that time along with the people of Israel were doing the greatest disservice to YHVH in that they offered Him mockery by disingenuous lip-service. (Is. 29:13-14; Matt. 15:3-9) “For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.” (Mal. 2:7) Indeed it’s a priest’s solemn responsibility to serve oblation, prayer and worship to YHVH. However, the Almighty’s judgment decreed: “But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Mal.2:8) This condemnation resulted from the pungent treachery dealt by every man against his brother. The Creator although long-suffering will bring righteousness to bear on idolaters profaning His covenant with their fathers (Mal. 2:9-11). It holds testimony to the willful hypocrisy and rebelliousness of the ungodly that this pattern repeats over and over throughout human history. (Gen. 6:5, 18:20-21; Is. 1:2; Ezek. 20:1-44; Matt. 23:1-36)

    Chapter 3 of the Book of Malachi tells of the arrival of the True Messenger & High Priest of the LORD YHVH of hosts who shall faithfully keep knowledge and seek the law at his mouth (Is. 11:1-5, 9-12; 48:14-18). It shall be by the new and everlasting covenant that He establishes (Jer. 31:33-34; Heb. 10:9-18) that the house of Israel shall be redeemed and the fullness of the Gentiles shall be brought in (Is. 42:1-7; 52:13-15; Mal. 1:11).

    “BEHOLD, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant (angel of the LORD/ angel of God/ angel of His presence/ The Angel of His Face-malach panav/ Messiah), whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Mal. 3:1) And when He comes He shall purge as by fire in metallurgy the priests, the sons of Levi, to take away iniquity and refine them, that they may offer unto YHVH an offering in righteousness. This Messenger shall restore integrity to Judah and Jerusalem that they may be once again pleasing in God’s sight. (Jer. 33:15-18) He shall save the sons of Jacob from being consumed (Mal. 3:3-6; Matt. 15:24). As the LORD of hosts delights in keeping His covenants He assures us, “Return unto me, and I will return unto you (Mal. 3:7)”. YHVH’s mercy will heal and renew those who repent; turn from sin against God and turn to faith in Messiah who through atoning sacrifice gives His own life a ransom for many. (2 Chr. 7:14; Mal. 3:8-12; Matt. 20:28; John 10:15-18; Rev. 21:3-7) “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not (Mal. 3:16-18).” (Mal. 4:1-2; 2 Peter 3:9-13; Rev. 20:11-15)

    “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings;” (Mal. 4:2a)

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  4. Dean M.

    The Gospel of Mark begins by misquoting Malachi, attributing it to Isaiah and says the Holy One sends His messenger before “your face,” instead of before “my face.” Was this to make the messenger be John the Baptist going before the face of Jesus? I ask because in the Gospel of John, Chapter 1, verse 21, John the Baptist, himself, denies that he is the messenger–Elijah–spoken of in Malachi. “And they asked him, What then: Are you Elijah? He said, I am not.”

    Dr. Glaser, in your article you quote Matthew’s gospel in which Jesus says John the Baptist is Elijah. Could this be an interpolation in Matthew–later editors putting words into Jesus’ mouth he did not say? I’ve read Christian commentaries on this point to explain the contradiction between Jesus saying so and John saying not so. The commentaries seem to me to be reaching.

    The reason I question is church tradition has it that the Gospel of Mark was Peter’s testimony as dictated to John Mark. I doubt he would have misquoted Malachi and attributed it to Isaiah.

    May I explain what I’m getting at?

    There is a literary mnemonic devise used in the Hebrew Scripture called chiasmus. It goes ABBAABBA, etc. It seems it is used in Mark. Mark begins:
    A =The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God. Behold I send my messenger and he shall prepare the way before me: (actual quote from Malachi)
    B = As it is written in Isaiah the Prophet, The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
    B = John the Baptizer appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And there went out to him all the people of Jerusalem; and they were baptized by him . . . (he preaches of the one to come after him)
    A = In those days came Jesus of Nazreth of Galiee . . .

    This implies to me that the original Markian text identified the messenger in Malachi (who comes to cleanse the temple) as Jesus, not John the Baptist. Afterall, Jesus did cleanse the temple. (I suggest this in trying to find common ground or rapproachment for Judaism and Christianity.) It seems to me that with the Christology that later developed among the Church Fathers, they had to make John the Baptist be the messenger rather than Jesus as that might detract from Jesus’ deification which was necessary for their doctrine of the Trinity to prevail. It was a hot topic at that time. In any case, the literary structure of chiasmus in Mark implies to me that the Malachi quote (messenger) goes with Jesus and the Isaiah quote (voice in the wilderness) goes with John (who also says he is the fulfillment of the Isaiah prophecy).

    I know this is getting rather technical. But from a Jewish standpoint, not one yod can be out of place, right? Not to strain at a gnat and swallow a camel, Yom Tov, Chag Pesach Sameach! Yeshua ha-Seh (as encrypted in Breshis flush with “And Avraham said, My son, G-d will provide Himself a Lamb for a burnt-offering.” ch 22:8)

    • Dean M.

      Shalom. One more thing from yesterday. In Mark, the Elijah question comes up again. Mark’s gospel, as the testimony of Simeon Peter, I see as the most reliable gospel. [I see Matthew is a type of Midrash; Luke & Acts, John & Revelation (plus his epistles) as Judeo-Greek Apocrypha in nature; the Pauline and other epistles a type of New Covenant Church Mishneh.]

      Be that as it may, after the transfiguration mentioned in Mark 9, where Moses and Elijah appear to Jesus, and their mantles pass to him, it naturally occurs to the disciples to ask about the Elijah prophecy. The answer Jesus gives in verses 12 and 13 of chapter 9 imply to me that he, the Son of Man, fulfills the prophecy of being the Elijah who was to come. He does not say here it refers to John the Baptist. If you look at the Greek, verse 13, “But I am saying (alla legO) to you (humin) that also Elijah (hoti kai Elias) has-come (elEluthen) and they do (kai epoiEsan) to-him (autO) whatever they-will (hosa EthelEsan) according-as (kathOs) it-has-been-written (gegraptai) of him (ep auton).” In the previous verse Jesus ties this in with the Son of Man and and that he must suffer. “They do to him whatever they will” is not in the past tense in the Greek.

    • TheScripture that You Refer to as “misquoted” in theGospel of Mark IS NOT a Misquote because IT IS ALSO FOUND IN THE BOOK OF THE Prophet ISAIAH. Also, please understand that the JewishScriptures, which Jesus Yeshu’aHaMoshiach and HisDisciples READ and which were also READ by Jews throughout was is now Greece and Turkey, were the “Greek Septuagent” which are the GreekTranslation of the JewishScriptures. —JMNistal III

  5. Frank Adamick

    “BEHOLD, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Mal. 3:1)

    “And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus (Yahshua), to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, ‘Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.’ And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, ‘Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against (Is. 11:10-13); (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.'” (Luke 2:25-35)

    “But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I WILL HAVE MERCY, AND NOT SACRIFICE, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.” (Matt. 12:6-8)

  6. Frank Adamick

    “BEHOLD, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come (Luke 2:46-49), saith the LORD of hosts.” (Mal. 3:1)

  7. Yehuda Yisrael

    Malachi 3:3-4 explicitly says this:

    Malachi 3:3. And he shall sit refining and purifying silver, and **he shall purify the children of Levi.** And he shall purge them as gold and as silver, and they shall be offering up an offering to the Lord with righteousness.

    Malachi 3:4. **And then the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem shall be pleasant to the Lord,** as in the days of old and former years.

    In light of this article, a few questions arise…How did Jesus “purify the Levites?” It seems as though the Levites will have an integral role in the purification of Judah and Jerusalem. The chronology of the text implies that the the purification of the Levites is a prerequisite for the purification of Judah and Jerusalem so that their “offerings shall be pleasant to the Lord, as in the days of old and former years.” In what sense are the Levites purified today in light of Jesus?

    Shalom

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