John 1:35-37 (ESV)
The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus.
The 1828 Webster’s Dictionary is a great resource for Christians because it contains the greatest number of biblical references of any reference volume. Noah Webster said, “Education is useless without the Bible. The Bible was America’s basic textbook in all fields. God’s Word, contained in the Bible, has furnished all necessary rules to direct our conduct.” It is no wonder, then, that his 1828 dictionary defines the word behold as, “To fix the eyes upon; to see with attention; to observe with care. ‘Behold the lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.’ John 1:29.”
In 1808, Noah Webster beheld the Lamb of God and began to follow Jesus.
Why was it that John the Baptist’s own disciples walked away from him and instead, chose to follow another leader? Because Jesus was The Lamb while John was “only” a prophet, identified by Jesus as, “…among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist” (Mth. 11:11). John could announce, but only Jesus could fulfill, and upon beholding him, the two men understood and chose to follow. The weight of that beholding moment contained the fulfillment of the entire Old Testament sacrificial system—Jesus was the perfect and ultimate sacrifice for sin. He was not the animal that men would slay, but the Lamb of God that the Heavenly Father would allow to be slain.
Do you remember when you first beheld The Lamb?
Lambs are gentle and cute, so thinking about them being slaughtered by the thousands during Jewish ceremonies is no pleasant thing. However, when you realize that Jesus—meek and mild, loving and compassionate, healer and sustainer—willingly took to the cross and allowed himself to be slaughtered to atone for YOUR sin…well…that is a different matter altogether, isn’t it? It is right and appropriate to think of Jesus as Lord and King, Defender and Friend, but we must never forget to behold him as The Lamb, as well. He was beaten. He was bloodied. He was sacrificed on an old rigged cross…for you, and for me.
Behold, The Lamb of God!