In Touch Daily Devotional
by Dr. Charles Stanley
The Jews eagerly awaited the Messiah’s arrival. The problem was they were looking for someone who could alleviate the pressure of Roman rule. But God was not interested in temporary relief from an oppressive government. No, He wanted to offer the whole world freedom from the bondage of sin.
John the Baptist understood the Messiah’s role on earth. In John 1:29, he saw Jesus Christ approaching and he called out, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John the Baptist’s words described how the Lord would carry out God’s redemptive plan.
In the Old Testament, sacrifice was an integral part of God’s plan. The fourth chapter of Genesis describes how Abel offered God an animal sacrifice on his behalf. In Exodus 12, Moses orders the captive Israelites in Egypt to protect their households from the plague by putting lamb’s blood on each doorpost. And Leviticus 16 describes how Mosaic Law established an annual Day of Atonement. On that day, the high priest would offer a blood sacrifice for the whole nation.
God made Jesus Christ a blood sacrifice for the entire world. He warned His people in Malachi 1:8 that a sick animal was unacceptable. Sacrificial lambs had to be unblemished and healthy. The One who would redeem the world had to be perfect and sinless. Only Jesus, who was God in flesh, could save mankind from the oppression of sin.
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