Pastor James J. Barker

Text: JOHN 1:29


  1. I remembered, two of our ladies sang a beautiful song entitled, "Behold the Lamb."
  2. I felt led by the Lord to preach on that great text (John 1:29,36).
  3. Charles Haddon Spurgeon was greatly upset that the sinless Son of God was brutally slain. Let me read to you from his sermon,

                                           "The Death of My Best Friend"

Who could have injured Him? For He never injured any man; all His life long He "went about doing good." He had healed the sick, fed the hungry, raised the dead – for which of these works did they kill Him? He had never breathed out anything else but love; and as I looked into the poor, sorrowful face, so full of agony and yet so full of love, I wondered who could have been a wretch so vile as to pierce hands like His.

I said within myself, Where can these traitors live? Who are these that could have smitten such an One as this?

Had they murdered an oppressor, we might have forgiven them; had they slain one who had indulged in vice or villainy, it might have been his desert; had he been a murderer and a rebel or one who had committed sedition, we would have said, "Bury his corpse; justice has at last given him his due."

But when Thou wast slain, my Best, my only Beloved, where lodged the traitors? Let me seize them, and they shall be put to death. If there be torments that I can devise, surely they shall endure them all. Oh! What jealousy; what revenge I felt! If I might but find these murderers, what I would do with them!

As I looked upon that corpse, I heard a footstep and wondered who it was. I listened, and I clearly perceived that the murderer was close at hand. It was dark, and I groped about to find him. Somehow or other, wherever I put out my hand, I could not meet with him, for he was nearer than my hand would go.

At last I put my hand upon my breast. "I have thee now," said I; for lo! He was in my own heart; the murderer was hiding within my own bosom, dwelling in the recesses of my inmost soul.

Ah! Then I wept indeed, that I, in the presence of my murdered Master, should be harboring the murderer; and I felt myself most guilty while I bowed over His corpse…My sins were the scourges which lacerated those blessed shoulders and crowned with thorns that bleeding brow. My sins cried, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" and laid the cross upon His gracious shoulders.

  1. Today, I would like to preach on the text, "Behold the Lamb."



      1. The lamb was a sacrificial animal among the Jewish people. God had taught them to slay a lamb and to sprinkle its blood as a sacrifice. The lamb was killed as a substitute and its blood shed so that sins could be forgiven.
      2. However, the blood of the lambs slain during the OT period did not put away sin – they were pictures or types, pointing to Mount Calvary (cf. Gen.22:7,8; Ex.12:1-13; Isa.53:7; I Cor.5:7; I Peter 1:18-20; Rev.5:6,12-14).
      3. Notice Jesus is "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin (not sins) of the world." In other words, Jesus came, not only to take away our individual sins, but primarily to deal with the sin-question as a whole.
      4. Now, I would like for us to move along to three years later. It is the time of the Passover when our Lord, the real Passover lamb, was about to be slain.
      5. The Jewish leaders were determined to crucify Christ and brought Him to the judgment hall (John 18:28). Notice their hypocrisy and spiritual blindness. They would not enter the Gentile’s judgment hall because that would make them unclean ceremonially and unfit to eat the passover. And yet, there before them stood the true Passover lamb, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
      6. They were very conscientious about the outward things of the law but failed to recognize their Messiah who fulfilled all the Old Testament types and prophecies.
      7. Pontius Pilate has gone down in history as one of the most cowardly rascals. He knew our Lord was innocent and yet he still scourged Him in order to appease the Jews (John 18:38-19:1). Which brings us to my next point, my next "Behold."



      1. Pilate kept protesting that Christ was faultless but would not stand up to the mob that was determined to kill Him (John 19:4-8; cf. Prov.29:25).
      2. Pilate’s wife even tried to warn him (Matt.27:19-25).
      3. Deep down, Pilate knew that our Lord was more than just an ordinary man and asked Jesus, "Whence art thou?"(John 19:9).
      4. "But Jesus gave him no answer" (John 19:9b). God does not answer those who are not sincere, those who are determined to reject the truth, those who have no real desire to submit themselves to His will (cf. John 7:17).
      5. Pilate asked Jesus, "What is truth?" (John 18:38). Sir Francis Bacon wrote: " ‘What is truth?’ said jesting Pilate, and waited not for an answer."
      6. Many people are like Pilate – they say that they want to know the truth but they really do not.
      7. Pontius Pilate went back and forth from his chambers in the building to the Jewish mob outside no less than seven times (18:29,33,38; 19:1,4,9,13). That is the way unsaved many people are – back and forth from their worldly friends to church and back and forth again – never having the courage to take a stand for God.
      8. Pilate is the consummate politician, putting his own selfish political interests above the truth (John 19:12,13).



      1. We can be certain that Pilate had no idea that he was quoting an Old Testament prophecy when he uttered those sarcastic words, "Behold the man!" (John 19:5; cf. Zech.6:12). "Behold your king" also comes from the prophet Zechariah (John 19:14; Zech.9:9).
      2. Jesus was the last rightful claimant to the throne of King David, being descended from David on both lines. But the Jews hated Him and refused to acknowledge Him as their Messiah.
      3. The wicked chief priests answered: "We have no king but Caesar" (John 19:15). There is a day coming when they will embrace the antichrist (John 5:43).
      4. It is significant that the Jews suffered mightily under the Caesars, before and after the crucifixion of Christ, and it was the Roman army, under the Roman general Titus, that destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70.
      5. The German Kaiser and the Russian Czar both mean "Caesar" and the Jews also suffered greatly under many cruel Kaisers and Czars (cf. Matt.27:24,25).
      6. They rejected their King and the Bible tells us: "Then delivered he Him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led Him away" (John 19:16). He is being led away to die as the Passover lamb, the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.
      7. The historian Eusebius records that later on Pontius Pilate committed suicide.


    1. This has been a message on the death of the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
    2. But thank God, He did not stay on the cross after He died, nor did He stay in the grave.
    3. He rose victoriously from the dead, as He said He would.
    4. Back in the 1930s, there was a British lawyer named Frank Morrison, who was an avowed agnostic. He went to Israel to do some research and try and prove that the resurrection of Jesus Christ never took place.
    5. He believed that if this fundamental doctrine could be disproved, the Christian faith would be destroyed (and he was right about that).
    6. However, while searching the evidence, he became convinced that the facts proved that Jesus Christ really did rise from the dead. The bodily resurrection of Christ was the only fact that explained the data he had collected. He was converted to Christ and abandoned agnosticism. He then wrote a book , Who Moved the Stone?, which chronicles his journey from skepticism to genuine faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
    7. The evidence convinced him that he needed to get things right with the Lord Jesus Christ. What about you?

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