Judges 13:1‐14:20; John 1:29‐51; Psalm 102:1‐28; Proverbs 14:15‐16
The Means of Salvation
In the Gospel reading, we find significant pictures of salvation. First there is the proclamation by John the Baptist: "Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world." Offerings of lambs sacrificed in the temple were common in the Jewish religious system for atonement. However, they were limited in their effectiveness. The sacrifice was but a covering for sin and did not deal with the ultimate problem, a flawed humanity. We were created in God’s image but have been marred by sin and disobedience. There is no way we can fix ourselves.
Jesus does something different as The Lamb of God. He takes sin away. This is a radical concept. By His obedience, His blessed passion and precious death, His mighty resurrection and glorious ascension, Jesus deals with sin once and for all. We can truly be saved because in Christ and by His atoning work on the cross, humanity is redeemed and made whole.
There is a call to follow Christ. It comes to us all. Just as Andrew, Simon Peter, Philip, Nathaniel, and others followed, so are we to give ourselves, our souls and bodies, in service of Jesus and His Kingdom. There was awe, wonder, amazement, mystery, and revelation in these early moments of the Gospel narrative. When I think back to my hearing the call as a thirteen year old, those days were similar. I was in awe and wonder of a newfound faith, a new way to live, a call to follow Jesus as my Lord. Jesus changed the very fiber of my being; I became a new creation, and it has never gotten old or routine. It has been a life that started in wonder, and with each day I see new and wonderful things, greater things.
Lord Jesus, may we never grow complacent in this earthly pilgrimage, and may we always be looking to you, fixing our eyes on the author and perfecter of our faith.
The Rev. Jon Davis
Director of Canterbury Retreat and Conference Center