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This study was originally done in two parts, due to lengthy discussion.  It has been re-recorded into one study, as it was originally intended.

Synopsis 014e  Description of the Messiah part 5 – Behold the Lamb of God

[John 1]  We’ve been studying the preaching of John and the description of the Messiah for the last several weeks.  John came preaching repentance and he was baptizing a lot of people.  Remember, repentance is more than just feeling sorry that you did something; it requires action!  It requires a changing of your ways.  Only those who have been on the right path and have strayed can repent.  But, John got the attention of the leaders, and they came out and asked him, if you’re not Elijah, Moses, or the Messiah, then why are you baptizing all these people?

John replied, “I’m baptizing you with water”, and then he described the Messiah.  He said that the Messiah would be baptizing in the Holy Spirit and in fire, and we looked at the meaning of that.

Romans 8:14 says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”  If we allow ourselves to be led by the Holy Spirit, then we can be placed in a position of son-ship.

The baptism in fire will happen at the end of the age in connection with the Judgment Seat of Christ.  1 Corinthians 3:12-15 tells of the trial of a Christian’s works by fire.  Mark 9:49 tells us that all Christians shall be salted with fire.  Revelation 2:11 promises that the overcomer shall not be hurt (strong double negative) of the second death (the second death is the lake of fire; Revelation 20:6,14; 21:8).  Do not confuse this baptism in fire that we are talking about with the lake of fire, because the baptism in fire has to do only with Christians.

In the gospels, and here in John in particular, we have been studying about how the glory of the Lord was enclosed in a body of flesh, and we beheld the glory of the only begotten of the father.  We looked at Hebrews 1:1-2, which says, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son…”  The revelation of God to man is as the Son.  If you want to know God the father, then study the son.

The Messiah came to save and he came to judge.  What does that mean?

[John 1:29]  This is the day after these other events took place, and he sees Jesus coming.  In verse 26, John says, “There standeth one among you, whom ye know not”.  In verse 29, when he sees Jesus coming, he used the word for a single look; it’s just an outward glance.  He doesn’t use the word “see” which means mental discernment.  John knew and made a simple announcement.  You don’t know him, yet here he is.

The Jews didn’t look for a suffering Messiah, neither did the disciples at first.  But John, as the forerunner of the Messiah, had an insight that let him know the truth.  This word “lamb” is used only in John (1:29; 36), Acts 8:32, and 1 Peter 1:19.  The diminutive, “a little lamb” is found once in John and often in the book of the Revelation (only of the glorified redeemer), and nowhere else in the NT.  In some instances, it emphasizes the gentle and innocent character of Jesus, who suffered to atone the sins of man (Revelation 5:6; 5:12; 13:8), sometimes, it describes him as indignant (Revelation 6:16), sometimes as victorious (Revelation 17:4), sometimes as the object of adoration (Revelation 5:8), and sometimes as being on the throne (Revelation 5:12; 7:17).

But, here in John 1:29, the definite article “the” is used with the word “Lamb” to emphasize to them that this is the lamb for which they had had been looking.  The lamb; the only one.  John obviously uses this to make them understand which lamb he’s talking about, much like the expression “the prophet”.

What lamb is he referring to?  [Isaiah 53:7]  If you remember the story about the Ethiopian eunuch, when Philip came to him, what was he reading?  Acts 8:32 tells us, “The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth.”  The idea of “the lamb” is important!

Now, behold him.  The emphasis is on “the”.  “Behold the lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”  What a wonderful passage of Scripture!  “The lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

This lamb taketh away the sin of the world.  It’s the sin.  Singular.  This word translated as “taketh away” is “airo”; it means literally that he bears or lifts the sin; he takes it upon himself.  He doesn’t simply remove it.

The first offering of the lamb of God was to be found in the Garden when God slew some animals and made coats of skin for Adam and Eve.  Then, a little while after that, we find that Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice, and what was it?  It was the firstlings of the flock.  [Genesis 4:4-5]

In Hebrews 11:4, we are told that it was by faith that Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice.  We’re told in Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  So, the sacrifice that Abel offered was according to the Word of God.  God told Cain and Abel what to do.  Abel did what God told him to do, and Cain thought he could do better.  Maybe Cain was a little squeamish at the thought of killing a little lamb, but later, we know that he slays his own brother.  Cain fixed up something that is aesthetically pleasing in the eyes of man, but God requires blood.  (How about today?)

[Hebrews 9]  We have three statements that you must master that relate to this.  [Hebrews 9:7; not without blood.]  [Hebrews 9:18; 22]  That’s the fundamental truth to get in mind concerning sacrifice and concerning the Lamb of God.  “Without the shedding of blood”; “Not without blood”.

[Exodus 12]  In the book of Genesis, there are no occurrences of shed blood with respect to animal sacrifice.  What’s the first occurrence of blood with respect to animal sacrifice?  It’s the Passover in [Exodus 12:6-7:  And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.]

Look with me on down in [Exodus 12:12-13:  For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.]  The blood was placed on the doorpost for the firstborn only.  The Passover was the slaying and eating of a lamb or goat by all Israel and Gentiles who had been circumcised.  The sprinkling of the blood was only for the firstborn.  The firstborn had the right of the birthright.

In the NT, the first occurrence of the blood in relation to the Passover sacrifice is in [Matthew 26:26-28:  And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body [for all]. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins]. 

[John 19:30:  When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost [spirit].]  Jesus the Christ was the Passover “Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world”.  Then after he gave up the spirit, in [John 19:34:  But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.]

The death of Jesus and the shedding of his blood were separated from the time that He gave up the ghost and when the soldiers pierced his side.  Jesus the Christ did not bleed to death.  If Jesus had bled to death he would not have had the strength or be conscious enough to do what is recorded in [Luke 23:46:  And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost [he expired; breathed out his life; breathed his last].]

His blood was shed for many; it was shed for those who are the firstborn and are therefore entitled to the birthright.  This is in agreement with the account of the killing of the Passover lamb and the sprinkling of the blood in Exodus.

What is the significance of the Passover and the sprinkling of blood?  [Hebrews 11:28:  Through faith he kept the Passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.]  The conjunction “and” connects the Passover with the sprinkling of blood, but it does not make them the same event.

The Passover lamb was for all in the house, but the blood was only for the firstborn.  The sad thing is that all those who were protected by the blood in Egypt were destroyed in the wilderness, and they did not enter into the land flowing with milk and honey, except the children of the children of Israel, along with Joshua and Caleb.

What is the importance of the firstborn?  The firstborn was very important as shown in [Genesis 38:28:  And it came to pass, when she travailed, that the one put out his hand: and the midwife took and bound upon his hand a scarlet thread, saying, This came out first.]  The use of a scarlet thread was no accident.

Being scarlet seems to speak of the blood and the birthright of the firstborn.  The firstborn was spared by the blood of the lamb.  Rahab and her family were spared by the scarlet thread, which was the symbol for the firstborn.  [Joshua 2:18a:  Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by...]

[For more on the scarlet thread, refer to Leviticus 14:1-8.  But, to sum it up, there were three substances that were used as common materials in the purification rites, to go along with the clean birds:  The cedar (juniper). the resin of which was a preservative against decay, and was used in medicines for some skin diseases, the “scarlet”, which was a band of twice-dyed scarlet wool, with which the living bird, the hyssop, and the cedar were tied together when they were dipped into the blood and water.]

But, scarlet seems to speak of the blood and the birthright of the firstborn.  What is the right of the firstborn?  It has to do with inheritance.  [Deuteronomy 21:16-17 "Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn: But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.]  The inheritance of the firstborn was to be double that of his brothers.  Joseph received the birthright, therefore his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh were given inheritances in the land, which, in essence, was twice that of Joseph's other brothers, but not in area.

The conduct of Simeon and Levi at Schekem also carried consequences. The tribe of Levi had no inheritance in the land.  [Joshua 13:14a:  Only unto the tribe of Levi he gave none inheritance;]  The tribe of Simeon received a Gentile inheritance among the tribe of Judah.  [Joshua 19:1:  And the second lot came forth to Simeon, even for the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families: and their inheritance was within the inheritance of the children of Judah.]

The way you live will not affect whether or not you are saved, but it does make a difference how you live!  If you despise the birthright you will lose reward and it will affect your inheritance.  [2 John 1:8:  Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.]  Is your salvation a reward?  Is your salvation something you have wrought?  Is it partial?  Can it be lost?

Well, what is the birthright?  [Genesis 25:30-31:  And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.]  Galatians 6:9 tells us that “in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”  [Hebrews 12:16:  Lest there be any fornicator [as Reuben was (1 Chronicles 5:1)], or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.]  Esau lost his double portion inheritance and the blessing because he did not think the birthright was very important.

Our inheritance is based on our service as shown in [Hebrews 9:14 (Bible):  How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?] and in [Colossians 3:23-24:  And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.]

The birthright included not only a double portion of the inheritance, but it also included the blessing.  Let’s take a look at the blessing.  [Genesis 27:29:  Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.]  This is the blessing given to Abraham in [Genesis 12:3:  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.]  The blessing of the birthright was to rule over those in the family.  Jacob was to rule over Esau and Esau was to serve Jacob.  [Romans 9:12:  It was said unto her, The elder [greater] shall serve the younger [lesser].]

How does sin affect the birthright?  [Genesis 25:34:  Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.]  Esau's inheritance was in Edom, which is outside the land of Canaan.  Jacob's inheritance was in the land of Canaan.  [Genesis 36:8:  Thus dwelt Esau in mount Seir: Esau is Edom.]  [Malachi 1:3:  And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.]

The consequence of the sin of Reuben is revealed in [1 Chronicles 5:1:  Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph ...]  [Numbers 32:23:  But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.]

[Ephesians 1:7 (Bible):  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;]

“We have:” This verb is a present, active, indicative of “echO”.  The present tense is durative; it is a continuous, process of “having”.  The word “We” is a reference to “the saints” and “the faithful” in Ephesians 1:1, and to the “chosen” in Ephesians 1:4.  The present tense can be stopped.  In this case, it can be stopped by those who are having the redemption; the forgiveness of sins.  If we do not appropriate the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, we will continue to be in bondage to sins and we will lose our inheritance.

“In whom we have redemption…”  The law of redemption as found in Leviticus 25 and the application of that law in the book of Ruth help us to see that redemption is a family matter and it pertained to one's inheritance and who we serve.  [Leviticus 25:48-49:  After that he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him: Either his uncle, or his uncle's son, may redeem him, or any that is nigh of kin unto him of his family may redeem him; or if he be able, he may redeem himself.]  This is not salvation! This is someone who is family!

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins…” The word “forgiveness” comes from the Greek word “aphesis” which is also translated as “remission” in Hebrews 9:22.  The word “aphesis” is found twice in Luke 4:18 and is translated as “deliverance” and “liberty”.  [Luke 4:18:  The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.]  When we sell ourselves into bondage to the world, flesh, lawlessness, or the devil, the only way that we can be released is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

There is cleansing from sin through the shed blood as described in [1 John 1:7:  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.] along with confession in [1 John 1:9:  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.]  There is cleansing from sin through the shed blood along with confession, but we need deliverance from the power of these taskmasters known as the world, flesh, lawlessness, and the devil, so that we can be free to serve the Lord.

We can be thankful that we can be made free from the power of sin.  [Revelation 1:5:  Unto him that loved us, and washed us [More reliable manuscripts loves us, and looses us] from our sins in his own blood,]  This is consistent with the meaning of the word “remission”.

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;”  “The riches of his grace.”  The grace of Jesus Christ is nothing other than His power.  [2 Corinthians 12:9:  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.]  [Hebrews 12:28:  Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:]  [1 Corinthians 15:10:  But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.]

We’re redeemed from sin, but we’re also redeemed from tradition.  [1 Peter 1:18-19:  Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation [manner of life; behavior; your profitless affairs] received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:]  Paul had this problem as shown in [Galatians 1:13:  For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:]  Paul had been taught things that “made the commandment of God of none effect by your (their) tradition,” as it says in Matthew 15:6.  It takes the shed blood of Christ to deliver us from the bondage of a vain life style.  [Philippians 1:27:  Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;]  The question is asked in [Colossians 2:20-22 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?]

How does all of this come about?  It takes the shed blood!  [Hebrews 13:20-21:  Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect [to equip, to fit, to mend] in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.]

Without the shed blood of Jesus Christ, it would be impossible for God to equip us to do good works, to do His will, and to be found well pleasing in his sight.  [Philippians 2:13:  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.]

Jesus died for all, but his blood was shed for many.  Jesus the Christ died on the cross so that all might be saved.  After his death on the cross, He shed his blood that we might have fellowship with Him and be blessed with the inheritance of the firstborn.  We need to obey [1 John 1:7:  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.]

We are encouraged in [2 Timothy 2:15 to:  Study [be diligent] to show [present] thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed.]  The shame of Esau, Reuben, and others is evident:  They lost the blessing and double portion inheritance because they did not value the birthright nor the commandments of God.  Esteem the birthright.  Be diligent and present yourself approved so that in that great and glorious day you won’t need to be ashamed.