This week I’ve been reading through the book of John. Each chapter I ask 4 questions: What do I learn about God? What do I learn about man? Are there any sins to avoid? Are there any examples or commands to follow? I also choose one verse (or more) to write down and study more. On Thursday, I chose John 1:29, where John the Baptizer sees Jesus coming and exclaims, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
In studying this verse I gained a deeper understanding of what Jesus taking away the sins of the world really means. In my mind, Jesus “taking away” the world’s sins looked a lot like a waiter “taking away” my dirty dishes after I’d finished eating, or “taking away” a particular cold soup that didn’t meet with my approval. Or maybe even like a judge commanding the bailiff to “take away” an unruly prisoner.
Instead, this verse uses the Greek word, “airo” (“take upon one’s self and carry what has been raised up, to bear”) which is also found in Matthew 11:29, where I’m told to take Jesus’s yoke upon myself, and Matthew 27:32 where Simon of Cyrene was compelled to carry Jesus’s cross. Jesus Himself uses this word in John 5:8, where he tells the invalid to “take up your bed and walk.”
Jesus did more than “send our sins away.”
Jesus didn’t just “throw our sins in the trash” or tell someone else to “take our sins away.”
Jesus, the Lamb of God, “took our sins away” Himself. He bore our sins in our place, taking them upon Himself on the cross.
“When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” Colossians 2:13-14 (NASB)
Please join me in praising God anew for sending Jesus to take away your sin through faith in His only Son.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23 ESV
“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8 ESV
“Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” – 2 Corinthians 9:15 ESV