One day early in his ministry, when John saw Jesus coming toward him, he declared, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John bore witness to the authenticity of Jesus as God’s chosen Messiah, for God had told him that the one you see the Spirit descend upon and remain, he will be the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. John testified, “And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.” Jesus is the Paschal sacrifice of God, the lamb offered to God to make atonement for the sins of the people.
The title, “Lamb of God” is drawn from Israel’s exodus from Egypt and the later priestly sacrifices. The Lord saved his people from death in Egypt by means of a lamb sacrificed with its blood smeared on the door frame. In an echo of this, the priests sacrificed spotless lambs twice a day in the tabernacle to deal with sin. Jesus is the lamb of God who saves us from death and cleanses us from all sin.
Worthy are you, Lamb of God, to receive all glory and honor and praise for ever and ever!
Jesus’ whole life was a ministry to others, designed to serve (diakonēsai) their needs. But ultimately his service to them meant offering himself in death, in perfect obedience to the will of his Father, as a payment for their sins. Although the language of worship is not specifically used in this context, the notion of Jesus’ death as an atoning sacrifice is close at hand.
~ David G. Peterson, Engaging with God: A Biblical Theology of Worship. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992. p. 119.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
Behold the Lamb of God, John 1.29-42
Peterson, Engaging with God