John 1:29-34

            In a world where people do whatever seems best and feels right to them personally; on an earth where the environment and people are viewed as commodities to be used, abused, and/or manipulated for personal gain; in a place where sin is rampant and seems to run amok as if it’s ubiquity is a hopeless constant; into this world enters John the Baptist.  His message speaks to the sin of the age:  “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
            Jesus has come on the scene to tackle this sin issue once for all.  This is truly good news!  I must admit, and perhaps you will confess with me, that we sometimes get quite discouraged with the way things are.  As a pastor I am in the business of constantly dealing with sin issues.  Not only do I interact and shepherd people who traffic in sin, try to manage sin, ignore sin, or genuinely seek to face sin down, but I myself must deal with the presence of indwelling sin in the shadowy places of my own heart.  I suspect that you, too, must engage co-workers, family members, neighbors, and others on a daily basis for whom sin is an ever-present reality while monitoring your own responses to hard hearts and difficult situations.  It can be exhausting!
            Yet, since Jesus has come on the scene and has lived a holy life, taught us how to do the same, was crucified, died, rose again, and ascended, the pioneer of our salvation has set us up for success.  We can take courage, joy, and even rest in the gracious sacrificial Lamb who has dealt a death blow to sin’s power.  Jesus Christ always has the last word.
            O blessed heavenly Father, thank you for sending the Son, the Lamb of God, to take away the sin of the world.  Help me to walk in this reality every day, so that I might face down sin in my life, and gently assist others to do the same.  Amen.

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