April 1, 2012

John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

God in His wisdom had John, son of Zebedee, be one of John the Baptist’s disciples before he became the youngest of Jesus’ 12 disciples, and then had him write this Gospel years later as an old man. That is how we have this record of the interaction between John the Baptist and Jesus. John was widely spoken of as a prophet, but he didn’t do much prediction of the future, which is how many people think of prophecy. Rather, he spoke what he heard God saying, which is much more the Biblical definition of prophecy. Here, he was perhaps doing both. I doubt that God had shown him how Jesus was going to take away the sins of the world, but he was thoroughly familiar with the temple sacrificial system, and that was the terminology he used. I bring it up regularly, but it is important to remember that Jesus is the only person ever born for the purpose of dying. It is beyond human intellect and understanding that God would create mankind, knowing that we would rebel against Him, and love us so much as to provide His own Son to take the penalty for our sin so that we might come to Him as His children. No merely human love could ever be that great! As the Christmas song, “Ring the Bells,” says, Jesus was “born to die that man might live.” Today starts Passion Week, in which we commemorate His death and resurrection, but this is a truth that needs to be strong in our awareness all the time.

Not being from a liturgical tradition, commemorative dates tend to sneak up on me. Knowing full well that today is Palm Sunday, I still didn’t focus on that in preparing this morning’s message. Next Sunday I have the message for the Joint Sunrise Service, as well as our regular service here. I need to allow the Holy Spirit to speak a fresh expression of God’s unchanging love both times, so that the believers of Omura may be encouraged and emboldened to proclaim the Gospel, the reality of salvation in Christ, to all, for the salvation of many.

Father, thank You for the message that is prepared for this morning. Help me speak whatever You want said, whether it agrees with my current notes or not! May I be as obedient to You as Jesus was and is, whatever that means for me personally, so that Your will may be done on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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