The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”
32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”
Behold, The Lamb of God
Not only does Jesus fulfill the law of Moses and the hopes of the prophets, he also completes the worship of Israel. In Jesus, old covenant types give way to the new creation antitype—shadow is supplanted by substance. To “Behold, the Lamb of God” is to see in Jesus the arrival of the suffering servant of Isaiah’s prophecy (Isa. 53:4–12), who took the punishment we deserve to give us the grace we could never earn.
To see Jesus is to celebrate the end of the sacrificial system, which was central to Israel’s worship. For the blood of Jesus cleanses us from our sin, once and for all (Heb. 10:10). This good news is so central to John’s message that he spends 40 percent of his Gospel describing one week—the most crucial week of our Lord’s life, the week of his death and resurrection (John 12:1–20:25). John wants us to see Jesus not just as a moral model but, far more importantly, as the substitute sacrifice for our sin.
As the Messiah, Jesus was anointed with the Spirit without measure (cf. Isa. 61:1–3; Luke 4:14–19), and he gives his Spirit without reservation to his people. By the Spirit’s baptism, Jesus unites us to himself and inaugurates us into life and service in his kingdom. With Jesus, eternal life begins before death; earthly death is not the final chapter for those united to Christ eternally. The new age has broken in on us, and all are welcomed into it, by resting upon Christ’s provision and resisting the urge to make our way to God with the merit of our obedience.
*These devos are taken from Crossway's, ESV Gospel Transformation Bible.