This sermon is trinity based. The Father called John from the womb. By the power of the Holy Spirit He sent John to reveal (in the spirit of Elijah although he was not Elijah) God's only Son to the world, upon whom His favor rests. Both the Spirit and the Father are revealed in Jesus. No one has seen God. The only Son of God has revealed His fullness to us. The Spirit and the Son are now saying, see in Jesus our fullness, through John the Baptist. See verse 29:
The next dayJohn saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"
Take a look at Isaiah 53:7 which says:
"He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth."
This is the only place in the Old Testament where you will see what John was saying.
John was still baptizing the next day. The audience here remains anonymous. It could have been his disciples and others who came to hear him identify who the Messiah is. John pointed to an individual coming down the road. The testimony to the Jewish people must be seen in conjunction with the testimony of verse 36:
When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God."
Right after this John will tell them, "Follow Him." John the apostle, who brought these words to us in the gospel, sees Jesus Christ in a three-fold manner throughout the entirety of the gospel.
1. He is a lamb as a deliverer. My deliverer is coming, my deliverer is standing by. A deliverer of the flock, He will be a shepherd. The shepherd, who is a male ram, spotless, will also give His life so that the whole flock will live. So He saves us from our sins that we have committed; and He also begins to deliver us from our sinful nature, the way to wholeness, that we would take on the very image of His Son, who is spotless and blameless.
2. The apostle also sees the lamb as a shepherd over the entire flock. He leads and guides the flock as God the Father leads Him; and the words God the Father gives to Him, He gives to the flock
3. He also sees Jesus as a ruler. We have the lion of the tribe of Judah, a ram victorious, rising up out of the grave, once mortally wounded. He is an eternal king, the King of kings.
When you hear "The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world," you should see all three images at once.
The apostle John also sees Jesus Christ as Messiah. Lamb and Messiah, man and God. Just like He was the deliverer, He is the redeemer and savior. He is the anointed Son of God who wins salvation for His people through His death and resurrection. He is a lamb that was slain from the foundations of the earth, because the decision was already made. He is conquerer and Lord. This is our lion of the tribe of Judah.
Isaiah chapter 52 talks about the suffering servant. He died willingly. In the book of Revelation, beginning in Chapter 5, the lion shall return and conquer and subdue the earth. And He is judge and king.
Judge and king, ruler and conquerer, Lord and redeemer, savior and deliverer; they all go together. The anointed of God, whose mission is to bring all the unrighteous (all of us), to take us out of that and to bring us before the throne victorious. But for those who won"t bow the knee, He brings them to judgment.
A lion and a lamb. For us, we choose both.