Jeremiah 6:16

John's Announcement

The preacher was a rugged looking man. His face was burnt brown with exposure to the relentless Judean sun. Dressed as he was in a camel hair tunic encircled by a leather belt, he struck the figure of a manly sort of man. His message to the gathered crowd was in keeping with his no nonsense appearance as his voice echoed across the river on whose banks he stood in sandled feet.

For days now, he had been preaching to the people who assembled from various parts of the province and each day the message was similar. It was quite unlike the sermons heard every Sabbath in the local synagogues. This preacher cared not for the empty praise of men, nor did he Pharisee like exalt himself above the level of the people. Praise and personal aggrandizement might be sought by the professional teachers and synagogue rulers, but John the Baptist cared only for the Glory of his God.

His message spoke of coming judgement on the nation and of One who was much greater than himself who would soon come to deliver the repentant. At the close of each sermon people who repented of their sinful ways would be given the opportunity to come and be baptized in the river to mark their change of heart and thus prepare themselves for the coming of Messiah and His kingdom.

One day a group of religious leaders came down from Jerusalem and asked for baptism but the preacher refused. He could somehow see beyond their outward puritanical appearance and into their hard unrepentant hearts. There could be no baptism without a change of heart and a transformed life. Without these it would be a meaningless ritual.

An interesting and profitable time could be spent examining the birth, life and death of the preacher but a "greater than John the Baptist" beckons for our attention today. John pointed this One out for us. One momentous day He made His way through the congregation in the river valley and walked with decisive steps towards the Baptist. By the power of the Holy Ghost, John recognized the one who approached. Pointing to Him he called out with clarion voice, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world" John 1:29. John had effected the greatest introduction ever performed by mortal man. He had finally answered the heart cry of Isaac on Mount Moriah, "Where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" Genesis 22:7. The Lamb who would fulfil the promise of thousands of lambs slain on the great altars of Tabernacle and Temple was revealed that day to the sinful sons and daughters of Adam. The old Temple service would soon end, the need for it eliminated and a new and living Way into the presence of the Holy made plain.

The Lamb would accomplish what the Temple lambs could only foreshadow.

Isaac Watts wrote well…

Not all the blood of beasts
On Jewish altars slain,
Could give the guilty conscience peace,
Or wash away one stain.

But Christ, the heavenly Lamb,
Took all our sins away,
A sacrifice of nobler name
And richer blood than they.

By faith we lay our hand
On that dear head of Thine;
With broken, contrite hearts we stand,
And there confess our sin.

We now look back to see
The burden Thou didst bear,
When hanging on the accursed tree,
And know our guilt was there.

Believing, we rejoice
To see the curse remove;
We bless the Lamb with cheerful voice,
And sing His endless love.

Have you trusted the Lamb of God to take away your sins? There is no other way to be made fit for the Kingdom of God. Will you join in the grand chorus of heaven to sing heaven's song?

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing.

"Blessing and honour and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne And to the Lamb, forever and ever."
Revelation 5:12,13

I am a dreadful singer. My mother once told me that I sang as sweetly as a crow. I am not hurt by this. I recognize it as being true, but one day I will be able to join in that glorious song, because the Lamb has shed His blood for me. What an anthem we will raise up there. Will you be joining us there or will you be weeping and wailing among the eternally lost?

If you have not done so before you need to come in repentance and like John acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ as the "Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world", as the Saviour slain for your sin.

Those of us who are His by faith must surely seek daily to worship and glorify the Lamb who is worthy of all praise and honour. Let us join hearts and hands to extol His Name-Let us say "Lamb of God our souls adore Thee."

Those who sing the great refrain "Worthy is the Lamb" will be from every "people and tongue and tribe and nation." There will be no racial prejudice, for all will be one in Christ. Surely this is what the Baptist meant when he said, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." (John 1:29) For all the redeemed of every color and tongue will join as one in praising the Savior in the eternal ages.

Jack Scott loved his Lord! He passed away on January 10, 2001 after a lengthy illness.
He is missed greatly by his family.

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