Once upon a time, there was a boy who spent many hours building a model sailboat. When he put it in the local river, however, it moved away from him quickly. He chased it along the bank, but the strong wind and current carried the boat away. The heartbroken boy knew how hard he would have to work to build another sailboat. Downriver, a man found the beautiful boat, took it to town and sold it to a toy store. Later, the boy was walking through town and noticed the boat in the store window. He explained the situation, but the shopkeeper didn't believe him and said that the only way to get the boat back was to buy it. The boy wanted it back so much that he did exactly that. Then he looked at the boat and said, "Little boat, now you're twice mine: I made you and I bought you."
God created us in his image and likeness. And when we were lost, He came to bring us back, He paid with His blood. Today John the Baptist introduces Jesus, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world." In John's Gospel there are so many incidents explained in the backdrop of the Old Testament exodus story.
In the book of Exodus 12, we read the famous story of the sacrifice of the Passover lamb. The sacrifice of the Passover Lamb that saved the Israelites from the destroying angel, from the angel of death, and then they were liberated from the slavery and began their journey to the promised land. Jesus is the new Passover Lamb who poured out Blood to save us and to lead us to freedom from slavery of sin.
The ancient instructions for killing and eating the Passover lamb said, "You must not break any bone of it" (Ex 12:46). And so, John says, the soldiers did not break Jesus' legs as he hung on the Cross but pierced him instead with a lance. Later, near the end of the century, in John's apocalyptic vision he saw "between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders a Lamb standing as if it had been slaughtered" (Rev 5:6) that is, dead and raised up again. We read in Isaiah 53 the prophecy of a suffering servant. Although this was written six hundred years before Jesus, it describes the feelings of God’s people as they look at Jesus on the cross.
St. John the Baptist had his testimony to Jesus as the Lamb of God. By saying “Lamb of God” John the Baptist affirmed the redemptive sacrifice of Christ for the salvation of all the people. Jesus came to take “away the sins of the world.” In the passage John the Baptist is introducing Jesus, the new Passover Lamb of the New Exodus.
In the Eucharist, at "the breaking of the bread" we proclaim the Baptist’s testimony. Our traditional fraction anthem is the Agnus Dei – “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, has mercy on us/grants us peace.” In this prayer, we give expression to our deepest understanding of the identity and purpose of Jesus Christ as our Lamb and Lord. By his life of love and sacrifice, we believe and affirm that he is the one who came and continues to come into a broken life/world to take our sins upon himself.
John testified that the spirit descended on Jesus and that therefore he is going to be the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. In the 1 Samuel 16, we read the anointing of David on whom the Spirit came. This Gospel passage announces the Davidic servant, Jesus, of whom Isaiah prophesied.
The first reading is from the book of Isaiah: the second Servant Song. Bible Scholars have called this and three similar passages from this section of Isaiah (chapters 40-55), the “Songs of the Suffering Servant.” Isaiah is prophesying about the mission of the servant. Centuries before the birth of Christ, Isaiah prophesied that all nations would be included in the blessing of his New Covenant. The Gospels clearly show that the “suffering servant” is Jesus who came to “take away the sin of the world.”
The readings invite us to open ourselves to receive the blessing Jesus brought to us through his passion, death, and resurrection. Every time we gather, he breaks and shares with us, gives us nourishment. Then we are sent out to break and share with others. In other words, we are sent out to live the Eucharist.