The Lamb of God
2nd Sunday after Epiphany
The Lamb of God
1. Look to the Lamb
2. Point to the Lamb
Text: John 1:29-41
“Where are my keys?” I yell as I frantically storm through the house. “I don’t have time for this!” Where did I put them last? How am I supposed to remember that? “Are you sure you didn’t put them somewhere?” No matter what they say, I probably won’t believe the kids. They must have hidden them somewhere. “Unbelievable! Where are th . . . Oh. They’re right here in my hands.”
How many times have you done that before? You look all around. You search high and low. But you can’t see it. Then there’s frustration. Or anger. Or disappointment. Then more frustration and anger.
“It’s right there,” someone tells us. “It’s right in front of your face.” Not only with finding things, but in solving problems this happens too. “The answer is right under your nose. Look! It’s right there.”
These are the kinds of situations that make our children pout and shout, “Where? I can’t see it!” Well, sometimes adults want to pout and shout over our problems, too. “Why can’t I find the answer? Where? I can’t see it!”
Let’s face it. There are plenty of problems we need to solve. It seems like every day brings a new problem. As if our load isn’t heavy enough, then our car needs to break down. Then we have to get sick. Then a our kids get in trouble (Sometimes those of you who have grown up kids find them getting in trouble, too!).
Our problems get much worse than that though. Those are tough, but they are actually easy compared to some of the other things that happen in life. Your family is fighting like cats and dogs. “This is ridiculous! We are family! Why can’t we get along?”
Or tragedy strikes. Someone close to you is diagnosed with cancer. Someone close to you dies. “Now what am I supposed to do? I wasn’t expecting that.”
Or your marriage is suddenly on the rocks. You once got along like two lovebirds singing in the morning, now you’re screeching like two vultures trying to tear each other apart. “How did it come to this? What happened? How do we fix this? The Christ the King Marriage Enrichment Seminar is not until February 8 from 9am-Noon. What are we supposed to do until then? Will that even help?”
Or your conscience starts getting to you. You try your best to ignore it. Most days you can. But sometimes your heart beats faster than a rock ‘n’ roll drum. “I can’t believe I did that. That really is awful. Shameful even. I feel so guilty. How do I make that go away?”
Oh yeah, we have plenty of problems in our lives. Too many to count in fact. We need to find some answers. So we start looking.
We start with our friends and family. “What do you think I should do? How should I handle this one?” Sometimes they have some decent advice. Sometimes they are there for support. But friends and family never really make the situation better. They can’t heal cancer. They can’t mend a broken heart. They can’t take away guilt.
So we try the next thing. Where do we find every good answer to every question in the world today? That’s right. The Internet. Maybe almighty Google will know. We search for what other people have done. We read a few online articles. We look for tips and tricks. But that doesn’t really seem to help either.
Maybe we go old fashioned on these problems. An actual book with pages. The self-help book section is pretty big. There’s got to be something worthwhile there. Millions of people watch Dr. Phil. Maybe his book can help. There has to be some sort of seven or nine or even fifteen step guide to fixing this. I’ll even take one of those A Dummy’s Guide books right now. But after endless chapters and pages, my problems still aren’t gone.
What next? Maybe eating will make me feel better and make it go away. Maybe some other substance—legal or otherwise. Maybe acting out and letting loose will help. You know. Party it up. Live carefree. Be wild and spontaneous. At least I’ll forget about my problems then. But the trouble with that is, I don’t. Whenever it is that I come back to clear and normal thinking, my problems are still there.
Soon, like little children we begin to pout and shout. Maybe even cry. Maybe cry a lot. “Why can’t I find the answer? Where? I can’t see it!”
Suddenly a strange man stands up. “Look!” he says. “Look at what?” you think. “I’ve tried enough things. Nothing helps.” But you can’t take your eyes of this man. He’s living in a strange place and dressed even more strangely. He’s out in the desert and he’s wearing came’s hair and a leather belt. “Look!” he says. “Look at what?” you say. With a warm smile he lifts his finger and points. “Look,” he says, “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” There’s your answer. It’s right in front of your face.
How foolish our sinful hearts are! They always want something else. We will look to other people. We’ll search the Internet and read books. We’ll try and figure it out on our own. We’ll spend countless dollars. We try anything to fix our problems. Except one thing. God. How shameful is the heart that doubts that the God who mended this universe together can’t mend our hearts! How sinful is the heart that turns away from the God who alone has the power, the might, and the mercy to help!
That’s why John the Baptist lived in such a strange place and wore such strange clothing. He got people’s attention. But it was his message that did so even more. Today his message is just as captivating. We stand in silent awe as we hear him say, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” Jesus is the answer.
John told everyone around him, “This is the one! This is the one I was talking about before. This is the one who is greater than I am. This is the one I saw the Holy Spirit descend upon. This is the one I heard the Father speak about. This is the one that was promised to come. And now he is here! Look!” said John.
So we finally do look and what do we see? Not the mighty God of the universe. Not a fiery force of fury. Not a destructive storm of anger. We see the Son of God hiding his divine nature in human flesh looking humble like, well, a lamb.
The Israelites identified well with lambs. Not only did they raise them and know how gentle and humble they are, but lamb was also part of their most important feast—Passover. Every year they took a male lamb, a firstborn male lamb, a firstborn male lamb that was perfect with no defects. They sacrificed this lamb and shed its blood. They were remembering how their forefathers covered their doorposts with the blood of a lamb and God passed over them with his anger.
“Look!” John says, pointing at Jesus. “Don’t you get it? It’s the Lamb of God.” What is Jesus? God’s Son, his firstborn and only Son, who was completely perfect and righteous. What happened to Jesus? He was sacrificed and shed his blood. And what happened to us? That blood covers us and every sin we have ever committed so that God passes over us with his anger and forgives us.”
The answer is right in front of our face. Look! Are you guilty? Do you feel bad about what you have done? Does you conscience bother you? Look to the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
Does your life feel like one helter-skelter mess falling apart like an imploding skyscraper? Do you wish you could have calm and quiet just once in your life? Look to the Lamb of God who gives you a peace that surpasses all understanding, knowing that you are God’s child.
Do you wonder when this will ever end? When will your problems all go away? When will things finally get better? Look to the Lamb of God who took away all your sin so that you could live in the peace and perfection of heaven forever.
John the Baptist told everyone he met 2,000 years ago, and now he tells you today. The answer is right in front of you. Look to the Lamb!
You know that feeling when you finally find your keys? It’s a pretty good feeling. Relief. Comfort. The answer was so easy and so obvious you have to tell everyone you know. “You’ll never believe what I did today! I was looking for my keys and they were right there in my hand the whole time!”
What do you do when you finally get through a really tough situation or problem? You post it on Facebook. You send out a few happy Emails or text messages. You make a few phone calls. You tell all your family and friends how you made it through. And if you’re happy enough, sometimes you find yourself even telling strangers too.
John the Baptist was dishing out the greatest advice people could ever receive. “Look to the Lamb” he told people, including his own disciples. One of those disciples we heard about today was named Andrew. Andrew was so intrigued about the Lamb of God that he followed after him. He asked Jesus where he was staying and spent the day with him. Andrew was so overjoyed that he ran to find his brother and tell him, “We have found the Messiah.” You might know that brother. His name is Peter. Both Andrew and Peter then became Jesus’ disciples.
This is the joy of Jesus. When you know the answer to all of life’s biggest problems—especially our eternal problem of sin—you just have to tell someone. What did John the Baptist do when he finally realized Jesus was the one he was preparing the way for? Every time he saw Jesus he pointed and said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” What did Andrew do when he realized Jesus was the Messiah they had been waiting for? He ran to find his brother to point him in the right direction to see the Lamb.
This is what we do too. We go to our neighbor who is never happy and always grumpy and Point to the Lamb. We take a minute at lunch to catch our coworker who looks flattened by a freight train and we Point to the Lamb. We gently take aside our family member caught in sin and we Point to the Lamb. We live every moment of our life so that our words and our actions are like one giant neon arrow that points to the Lamb.
I actually tried it yesterday. I went on Google and I searched. I tried: “I am angry.” Then, “I am frustrated.” Then, “I am addicted.” Then, “I am sad.” Then, “I am depressed.” Then, “I am guilty.” Then, “I need help.”
There were billions of answers available to me in a fraction of a second—except the one answer that really matters and that really can and will help. The answer is so simple. It’s almost staring us in the face. It’s even free. John knew it. He shares the answer today. Look to the Lamb!
Now you know the answer. Follow his advice. Look to the Lamb of God every day. Then, with sins forgiven, with peace restored, and with heaven promised, Point to the Lamb, that others may see the answer too. It’s the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
Christ the King Lutheran Church and School is a Christian church and Christian school / private school located in Palm Coast, FL.
Christ the King Church and School
5625 N. US HWY 1
Palm Coast, FL 32164
Posted on January 19, 2014, in Church, Sermons and tagged Addicted, Andrew, Anger, Angry, Blood, Cancer, Church, Depressed, Egypt, Jesus, John, John 1, John the Baptist, Lamb, Lamb of God, Lonely, Passover, Peter, Sacrifice, Sad, Sermons, Shed Blood. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.