Christmas Tide (4th January, 2019)
First Reading: 1 Jn 3:7-10
Gospel: Jn 1:35-42
There are several names of Jesus Christ. The Scripture bears about 200 names and titles of Christ. The chief among them are Jesus as Judge, King of Kings, Lamb of God, Light of the World, Prince of peace, Son of man, word of life, Emmanuel, Bread of Life, Good shepherd, Light and Life, Savior etc. In today’s gospel, we hear him addressed as Lamb of God and Lord. Let us briefly see the implications of this for our life.
Jesus as Lamb of God (Jn 1:29, 36)
Lamb of God means the perfect and ultimate sacrifice for our sins. For Jesus, one of several important sacrifices i.e., the sacrifice of Passover lamb would mean God’s deliverance of Israelites from bondage and that sacrifice in the New Testament would mean Christ. As Lamb of God, he cleanses with His blood protecting us from the spiritual death. Our sins separate us from the love of God and none of us is righteous before God. So, Jesus by His death on the cross reconciles us like lamb. He sacrificed Himself by dying on the cross for the atonement of sins and pay penalty of sins and all those who believe in him is mentioned in 1 Pet 1:18-21.
The next title the Gospel ascribes to Jesus is ‘Lord’. When we call someone Lord, we attribute authority; control or power the person has over others. There is a change in the sense of the Lord used for Jesus both before and after resurrection. When the leper called Jesus ‘Lord’ in Mathew 8:2 we understand that he was showing Jesus respect as healers but after resurrection, Jesus as Lord should not merely title to respect but indicated his divinity. Where St. Thomas calls Jesus, “My Lord, My God “, it meant that Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth. So, when we say Jesus as Lord, we commit ourselves to Him. We acknowledge that he has power and authority over us and can save us from enslavement to sins. Amen.