June 18 Inspiration

From the Desk of Pastor Becky Hart

The Signs of Liberty

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! … The reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.” … I have seen, and I testify that this is the Son of God.” … The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, John said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” (John 1: 29-35)

The beginning of Jesus’ ministry is nothing like we expect it to be. John the Baptist is in the desert by the Jordan river, calling people to repent of their sins and to be baptized in the name of coming Messiah. And despite the starkness of his message, (“You brood of vipers” being one of John’s favorite phrases!) people are coming to him in droves, walking through miles of desert just to hear his message. At the start of his ministry, Jesus himself comes to be baptized by John. Overcome, John cries out: “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.”  In other words, “This is the one! It’s him – the One we’ve waited centuries for.” And John chooses – out of all the messianic images of Jesus – the Lamb of God.  It is this symbol of the lamb that hangs from the balcony above our communion table in the Barn.

Now, I might have chosen differently. King of kings is a title we admire because it seems so grand, as does Almighty, Deliverer, Redeemer – but Lamb of God?  Sounds a little underwhelming, doesn’t it?  But then we open God’s word, and from beginning to end, runs this image of the lamb as the sacrifice for our sins.

In response our sin, God’s final answer wasn’t some bigger or better sacrifice. No! The one perfect sacrifice would be made by God himself, in the gift of his only Son. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son…”  (John 3:16).  On the cross, Jesus took upon himself all the brokenness and alienation of our sin and offers us forgiveness and a new beginning. As C.S. Lewis wrote, “Christ offers us something for nothing. He even offers us everything for nothing. In a sense the whole Christian life consists in accepting this remarkable offer.”

So, the next time we are in the Barn together again, look at that beautiful wall hanging of a lamb up front – and may it remind you of a love that went all the way to the cross, and the new life that is ours in Jesus.

Blessings,
Becky

P.S. Special thanks to Marlene Peele, who created our beautiful quilts and wall hangings!