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Lifting Sin’s Burden

Lifting Sin’s Burden

By: Alistair Begg - July 12, 2023

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’” – John 1:29-30

Are you weary, beleaguered, and weighed down today by the burden of your sin? Do you lack assurance of your forgiveness before God? If so, there is only one sure antidote: to fix your gaze humbly and believingly on the Lord Jesus Christ. Anyone or anything else is insufficient to deal with the oppressive weight of sin.

In reading the Old Testament, we discover that the substitution of the innocent for the guilty is the divine principle of dealing with sin. The sacrificial system and its requirements were put in place by God in order to address His people’s disobedience. But as the story of God’s people unfolds, it becomes apparent that the sacrificial system was not sufficient in and of itself. Neither the priests nor the animals were enough. They couldn’t take away sin. They couldn’t save. They couldn’t justify. And they couldn’t make the people holy.

But the sacrificial system was absolutely necessary, in one important respect: it anticipated and explained the arrival of the perfect Lamb. As the writer to the Hebrews explains, “If that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second” (Hebrews 8:7). So when John the Baptist saw Jesus and declared, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” he was proclaiming the truth that Jesus was the one who had come to offer His very life for sin, once and for all, for anyone who might believe.

In Jesus we have not only this willing and spotless sacrificial Lamb but also a perfect “high priest” who “entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:11, 12). In contrast to the priests of old, who could never sit down on account of the fact that their work was never done, Jesus was able to say “It is finished” and sit down at God’s right hand (John 19:30; Hebrews 10:12).

Oh, the joy and freedom that are ours when we place our trust in Jesus as the final sacrifice for our sin! What peace and rest for our weary souls! In Him our burden is lifted and we are forgiven, freeing us to sing forever:

I need no other argument,
I need no other plea,
It is enough that Jesus died,
And that He died for me.

Eliza E. Hewitt, “My Faith Has Found a Resting Place” (1890).
About the Author(s)
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Alistair Begg

Alistair Begg has been in pastoral ministry since 1975. Following graduation from The London School of Theology, he served eight years in Scotland at both Charlotte Chapel in Edinburgh and Hamilton Baptist Church. In 1983, he became the senior pastor at Parkside Church near Cleveland, Ohio. He has written several books and is heard daily and weekly on the radio program, Truth For Life. His Daily Devotionals are presented here via a syndication agreement.
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