"The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “'Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!'" John 1:29 (NRSV)
At first, this seems like an unusual verse for a devotional the day before Palm Sunday. Before Christ's triumphant entry was his three years of ministry, which begins with John the Baptist’s declaration upon seeing Christ; when asked, John avered he was not the Messiah, but there was one coming, and now that day was here.
Surely, John the Baptist must have heard from Elizabeth the extraordinary circumstances of Jesus' birth. On that day, though, there was more than family lore behind this declaration; it was God making the pronouncement through John, "Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" How strange these words must have sounded. The people gathered there were expecting something more like, "This is the long-awaited Messiah and your King." But no, Christ was not a political leader, freeing his people from physical oppression by the Romans, but a Savior of souls. His message not just for his chosen people but for all nations.
We come then to Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. The people, still looking for that earthly King, gathered that day, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord— the King of Israel!” (John 12:13) In a few short days, Jesus will suffer and die upon the tree to fulfill God's plan of redemption. Hanging over his head in mockery is the sign, “The King of the Jews.” (John 19:19) Not only on that day but for eternity, Jesus the Lamb of God has atoned our sins with his life-saving blood.
O God, our compassionate Father, how you must love us! You took human form, and for three years, demonstrated to us through your Son Jesus how we are to live. You taught us all that is possible through a relationship with you. Not stopping there, your Son went to the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. To aid us in our walk, you sent your Holy Spirit. Lord, there are not thanks enough for all you have done and continue to do for us. Though little, we offer you our thanks and praise. Please use us as you will to your glory. Help us to tell the world of your life cleansing blood. Amen