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 sacrifices of the Old Testament had localized and temporary effect. They cleansed only the one making the offering. They had to be repeated continually so that the Lord could dwell among his people. The sacrifice of the Lamb of God is effective for all time and in every place. He died once for all, and his sacrifice takes away the sin of the whole world.
We pray, Lord Jesus, that as your sacrifice is effective for the sins of the whole world, the whole world may come to salvation.
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