The prophetic word of John the Baptist happens on the next day. Since he was the “forerunner” of Jesus, he was given the privilege of pointing to the Messiah when He arrived. John says Look. “Behold the Lamb of God which shall take away the sins of the world.” Jesus is the lamb slain before the foundation of the world. In John 1:36, John repeats this truth. Why does John say Lamb of God? John’s baptism confronted the people with their need of repentance. They also needed redemption. Their hearts had been cleansed, but they still needed more. That “more” would come in the Person of Jesus Christ. The coming of the Lamb of God would bring redemption. Why did John use this title? There are several possible pictures.
The picture of the Passover Lamb
The Jews would be familiar with this sacrifice of the lambs. The feast would take place in a few days. They remembered the shedding of the blood of the lambs. Their firstborn were delivered from the death angel. This Lamb would be too. [Matton’s Treasures] Note 1 Corinthians 5:7. This Lamb would do the same–with one exception. The one sacrifice would be for the last time. It required faith for it to become a part of an individual’s life. There had to be a confession of faith in order for it to be a part of an individual’s life. Paul spoke of Jesus as being our Passover Lamb.
The Lord Jesus Christ met the requirements of the Passover lamb.
1. The Paschal or Passover lamb began the chronology of Israel as a nation. This lamb marked a new beginning for Israel. The calendar changed. October (Tisri) was the first month of the year. The Passover event changed the first month to the month of Abib or Nisan (April). [Ibid.] When Jesus was born, the calendar changed. It changed with world’s calendar from Anno Mundi (The Year of the World) to Anno Domini (The Year of our Lord).
2. The Passover lamb was a male of the first year. Jesus was not too old or too young. He walked in the fullness of his strength when He died on the Cross.
3. The lamb was chosen on the tenth day of the month so that it might be tested and inspected for four days for defects and flaws. Christ was examined or tested for four days in Jerusalem before He was crucified. Jesus’ ministry was just under four years. He is singled out as the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world in four gospels. He was unblemished.
4. The Passover lamb was slain on the fourteenth of the month around 3:00 p.m. This was the approximate time when Jesus died on the cross. [Matton’s Treasures, Treasures from John Volume 1 – Chapter 6. Behold the Lamb of God! page 45]