Faithlife Sermons

Behold the Lamb of God

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Opening passage

John 1:35–51 NKJV
35 Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. 36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38 Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?” They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour). 40 One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A Stone). 43 The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” 48 Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49 Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50 Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
This passage tells us how Andrew, Simon, Philip and Nathaniel became disciples of Jesus Christ.
But I want to focus on the very first verse...
John 1:36 NKJV
36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!”
This identified Jesus with the Jewish Passover...
1,500 years before this, the Israelites were slaves in Egypt, and were greatly oppressed.
Through Moses, God told Pharoah to let the Jews go, but he stubbornly refused.
So God sent plagues, but he still refused.
So God determined to kill all the firstborn of the Egyptians.
The Jews would escape this judgement through the Passover lamb.

The Passover

There were three steps in the Passover sacrifice.

Step 1: They Chose an Unblemished Male Lamb

Exodus 12:5 NKJV
5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.
It had to be “without blemish”
When Jesus was handed over to Pontius Pilate...
Luke 23:4 NKJV
4 So Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no fault in this Man.”
1 Peter 1:18–20 NKJV
18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you

Step 2: They killed and applied the blood of the Lamb

Exodus 12:21–23 NKJV
21 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb. 22 And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning. 23 For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you.
Note, first of all the killed the Lamb
1 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV
7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.
Then the blood was applied to the door frame of their home using hyssop (a strong wiry plant found in the Middle East)
[Picture of hyssop]
Hyssop represents “faith”, by which the blood of Jesus is applied to our lives.
Romans 5:1 NKJV
1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Romans 5:9 NKJV
9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
1 Thessalonians 1:10 NKJV
10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
Even as the Jews were saved from God’s wrath against the Egyptians, so we are saved from God’s wrath through the blood of Jesus.
But, not only does the blood of Jesus save us from God’s wrath, it also heals us:
1 Peter 2:24 NKJV
24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.
God heals physically. But the above is spiritual healing. We used to live for sin, but because of the cleansing blood of Jesus, we now live for righteousness - we have received moral healing. That’s the most important type of healing to receive.

Step 3: They ate the lamb

Exodus 12:8 NKJV
8 Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.
They were to do so each year as a way of remembering the passover:
Exodus 12:14 NKJV
14 ‘So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.
Even so, Jesus instituted Holy Communion, in which we symbolically partake of His sacrifice and remember Him:
Luke 22:19–20 NKJV
19 And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 20 Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.
And this we will now do, but first let me summarise...


Jesus is God's chosen unblemished Passover Lamb
Jesus’ blood is applied to our lives through faith in Him, bringing both salvation from God’s wrath and spiritual healing
Even as the Jews were to eat the Passover as a memorial, we are to eat the Lord's Supper in remembrance of Him
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