THOUGHT FOR THE DAY 15th April 2020
Today’s reading: John 1:29-34 – Jesus the Lamb of God
Over the past few weeks, many things have changed, and certainly not for the better. In the midst of uncertainty and upheaval, one thing has however encouraged many people: The recognition given to many nearly invisible and often low paid people identified as ‘key workers’. Lorry drivers, administrators, farmers, carers, nurses and shop assistants have been our unsung heroes working behind the scenes to keep the wheels turning. Unsung until Monday evening, that is, when the ‘Sing for Wales’ event encouraged us to step out into our front gardens or open wide our windows and doors and sing along with the national anthem played on BBC Radio Wales for the NHS and other key workers. And for all of us who find ourselves in this together.
Today’s reading tells us of another ‘key worker’ being identified: Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. Although John and Jesus were cousins, John did not recognise Jesus as the Messiah until he saw the Holy Spirit come down and rest on Jesus in the form of a dove. As he testified about the real identity of Jesus, John’s ministry drew to a close. Everything John had said and done had been done to reveal the Messiah to Israel. Now He had arrived.
John’s baptism served to prepare people’s hearts for Jesus. It was a baptism to allow people to express their need for forgiveness. Here, as the time comes for Jesus’ ministry to begin, John tells us that Jesus will take away the sins of the world as the Lamb of God.
The fields are full of young lambs. I saw them myself as I ventured out for a couple of walks over the weekend. Full of life and curiosity, they run around in little groups exploring the world. I smiled as I saw how white and innocent they looked in the sunshine but I am sure if I had looked closely enough, they would have had muddy feet, darker spots and quite a bit of personality!
Jesus is God’s completely perfect and innocent lamb, who came to take all our sins away. On the cross, Jesus took upon Himself all our flaws, failings, shortcomings, mixed motives and brokenness. He not only cancelled our debt once and for all by offering His perfect life on our behalf, He baptises us with His own Spirit, giving us completely new hearts. In Christ, we are a new creation, pure and blameless! This is not a quick fix or a temporary solution, this is a fundamental change of our very nature, God taking away the sins of the world. My sin and yours. All we need to do is to recognise Him and trust Him.
Let us honour our amazing key workers with the national anthem on Mondays, and with cheers and clapping on a Thursday evening. And let us remember, too, to praise the most important Key Worker with a new heart full of song, with a heavenly anthem of praise that will never fade.
“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”
“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing!”
Only a pure and honest heart can sing with such gratitude, but He can give you that heart, pure, clean and full of thanks.