2nd Sunday of Advent Year A - 15/1/2023 - Gospel: Jn 1: 29-34
Lamb of God
Sin separates a person from God's love. A life without God's love has no spiritual life in that person. In that sense, when a person sins, spiritual death is the result. Instead of dying for one's sin, the Jews believed that blood of a sacrificial lamb died in the place of man. John the Baptist was familiar with this concept because his father, Zacharia, the High Priest, twice a day, offered God the sacrificial lamb in the Temple. Animal blood could only temporarily absorb, not atone for human sin. God sent Jesus, God's only Son, to do the saving mission. Jesus is our Saviour, the One John proclaimed, 'The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world'. Jesus died in our place to reconcile to God, the Father, and those who embrace God's only Son, the Father would grant them salvation. We, humans, gain salvation not by a sacrificial animal, but through the blood of God's only Son.

When John proclaims 'Jesus is the Lamb of God', he publicly denounced that he himself is not the Christ, but only a forerunner, preparing the way for the Lamb. Referring to Jesus as the Lamb of God, John probably recalled the story of the Jewish Passover Feast. On the night of their departure from Egypt, every Israelite family killed a lamb for the dinner on that night; its blood was smeared on the doorpost. The angel of death would pass that family and they escaped death. This became the symbol of liberation from slavery in Egypt. Referring to Jesus as the Lamb of God, John probably had in mind that Jesus does not just remove our sins but would free us from the slavery of sin and liberate us from the power of death. John told his audience that his baptism served as a sign of repentance. The baptism that Jesus gives has the power to make us children of God. Jesus will baptise us with the Spirit. John was very sure of this because he witnessed the Spirit of God descend upon Jesus and remained on Him. In this way, John told us Jesus didn't act alone but the Spirit of God is working through Jesus, and that to anyone who opens their heart to receive Jesus, God's Spirit will instil in them God's love, and make them be a child of God. The Spirit of God will strengthen, enlighten and cleanse that person, and make that person worthy before God. Proclaiming 'Jesus is the Lamb of God', John proclaimed the death of Jesus, The Unblemished Sacrificial Lamb, but that is not the end. John didn't live long enough to proclaim the resurrection of Jesus. Whenever we proclaim Jesus as our Saviour, it implies that we proclaim Jesus' death, burial, resurrection, Ascension, and reign at the right hand of God.

John didn't contradict himself when he said he didn't know Jesus. He was Jesus' cousin. He met and baptised Jesus. He witnessed the Spirit come down upon Jesus. He heard the voice from on high calling people to listen to Jesus. John told his disciples that Jesus is the lamb of God. As 'The Lamb of God' John knew Jesus played a key role in salvation.

Sin separates that person from God's love, and it only is removed by the blood of 'The Lamb of God'. John seemed to say that he only knew what God's Spirit reveal to him. What the Spirit didn't reveal, and John would not know, is that Jesus is the author of salvation. He is God himself. Sin is a universal problem and the salvation Jesus gains for us has a universal application. It is given to those who make Jesus their Lord and God. Jesus is the unlimited source of hope for those who have faith in Him. Learning from John, we learn to love Jesus and learn more about his love for us.