Unless Ye Believe
Behold” said John, “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29. John came as a preacher of repentance, yet he told his followers that they were to look for the pardon of their sins to Jesus only, and to his death. Just to what lengths was our Saviour manifested to “take away the sin of the world?” The Greek word [airo, ah'-ee-ro] means to expiate sin in Hebraism. Webster’s dictionary renders the meaning of the word expiate as follows: 1. to make amends or reparation for (wrongdoing or guilt); atone for. 2. to pay the penalty of; suffer for.
John, pointing to Christ, calls him emphatically, the Lamb of God:-all the lambs which had been hitherto offered had been furnished by men: this was provided by GOD, as the only sufficient and available sacrifice for the sin of the world. “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many.” “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:28
Our Lord was given that we may be pardoned from sin and also from its guilt. “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21. He came not then as the KING but the Saviour of the world. Whereas the sacrifices of bulls and goats and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, were offered on behalf of the Jewish people; the sacrifice made by Jesus was on behalf of the world. If these sanctified “to the purifying of the flesh” how much more shall the blood of Christ, purge our consciences from dead works to serve the living God?
How saddening it is then, that even after such great provision many still refuse to know Jesus Christ and to believe in Him. We still cling to our darling sins as though no One has suffered on our behalf. “For God so loved the world and that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” It’s an amazing thing that not many are willing to meet the condition “whosoever believeth in Him” for attaining eternal life.
These words penned down by John in the third chapter were faintly comprehended by the Jews of Christ’s day and also by many of us today. Just how important this is we see in the words Christ used to make this clear to the church leaders of that time. Said the Saviour, “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” John 8:24. That I AM HE, the Messiah, the Christ! The fulfillment of the long awaited promise, one which prophets of old wrote about and yearned to see it’s fulfillment in their day.
How many of us die daily in our sins because of failure to see and to believe that He can save to the uttermost them that come to Him? Truly, truly, all things are possible to him that believeth, for to such a one our Saviour will appear the second time without sin unto salvation. It is a fearful thing to die in one’s sins. Behold, the Saviour is standing at door and knocking, who shall open the door and sup with Him?