In the New Testament, Part 1
Salvation Bible Basics
Every Jewish person knew these stories that I have just told you in brief. They had heard them many times and knew them inside out, and many others also that we didn’t look at. Each one was a picture, a foreshadowing of the Messiah that would one day come. But what do these Old Testament pictures, this foreshadowing have to do with the New Testament Jesus Christ?
In John 1:29, ‘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 the Baptist used these words to introduce Jesus to the crowd that was gathered to hear him preach. We find the same phrase in John 1:36. Why does John the Baptist call Jesus the Lamb of God?
John the Baptist was a Jew, and he knew as he used those words, every Jewish person would immediately know that Jesus was the Messiah promised by God all through the Old Testament that would die for their sin. They would remember that an animal died that Adam and Eve might be clothed. They would remember that ram which had to die in order that Isaac might live. They would remember Leviticus 16 and Exodus 12 and the myriad of other chapters that talked about animals dying so that others might live, so that sin could be taken care of, and so that God could forgive the sin of those people.
In all those stories, the animal was the picture, but the animal was not the payment. Jesus is the One the picture is all about. Jesus was the One who would make the payment for sin. The animal sacrificed in the place of someone pictures the coming of Jesus. That is what John was saying, when he said, ‘Hey everybody, wake up! There is a great announcement I have for you now. Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ He was letting them know that Jesus was the Messiah.