Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Interpreting the Lamb

Blogging will be slow and sparse and will be like that for some days to come. I am busy with lots of writing projects and courseware development. So dear friends, I hope you excuse the gaps in between posts.

So I was sitting in my hotel in Valencia, Spain when I started on re-reading the Gospel of St. John. I do not know how many times I have done the rounds on my New Testament but counting does not matter anymore. So I get to this passage...John 1:29




29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

I have encountered people interpreting the highlighted phrase to mean that sin is no more, i.e., to mean that Jesus' death has done away the presence of sin in every individual of the world.

Now, is this what the passage means? Interesting that those Bibles that have cross-referencing points to Hebrews 10: 4 for this... 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. Again, in 1 John 3: 5 we have this: 5And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. In context this points to the ritual of the Atonement. What the lamb or goat receives is the sin of the world and in its body receives also the punishment for the sins of the world, that is why it dies or is killed.

If sin is no more, why do I still see it in my life and in the life of others? Rather, the punishment for it has been done and received in Jesus' body as the recipient of God's Holy Wrath. The taking away is the punishment for our sins. It is not the elimination of its presence; for why would I need to confess during the absolution each Sunday if I did not I realize it in my life?

1 John 1:8; If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us . Clearly this Scripture verse is against those who say that by virtue of Jesus' death sin is no more. Indeed at Jesus' return we will no longer see the presence of sin but until then, John the Baptist's testimony should be interpreted to mean that Jesus takes the punishment meant for the world due to its sins. Those who do reject the offering of Christ have their sins without cover and the wrath of God on it still remains.

2 comments:

LutherRocks said...

Thank you, Lito. I was thinking about this while I ran this morning. Jesus lived the perfect life in our place; took our sin upon Him; paid the price of sin and now in the place of that sin is righteousness(which he carries instead of the sin) that is distributed to the believing heart.

LPC said...

Joe,

When I was in Evangelia, the interpretation of this passage was the ontological obliteration of sin, rather than its punishment. The consequence of this teaching is that assuming this is true, then when one sees sin in his life, he concludes he must not be saved.

LPC