Beholding the Lamb of God
One of the pleasing and momentous scenes in the life of Christ Jesus is that which is described in each of the four Gospels relative to his baptism. In the fourth Gospel it is recorded that John the Baptist recognized so clearly the promised Messiah that he "saw the Spirit ... like a dove" resting upon Jesus. And of the mighty purport of that which Spirit revealed, he exclaimed, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."
Possibly not all of those who stood on the shore of the Jordan and witnessed the baptism of Jesus saw in the Man of Galilee the same evidence of the Messiah as did John the Baptist. The first to testify was Andrew, usually referred to as Simon Peter's brother. On the day following the baptism it is recorded that Andrew, with another of John's disciples, was standing with the Baptist as Jesus passed by. When John said, "Behold the Lamb of God," these disciples turned and followed Jesus, but Andrew first went to his brother Simon and said to him, "We have found the Messias, ... the Christ." Nathanael, who was told of Jesus by Philip, and the woman of Samaria also, were among the first to indicate that they too beheld in Jesus the Lamb of God, the Christ the Saviour of the world.
In the Glossary to "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 590) Mrs. Eddy defines "Lamb of God" as "the spiritual idea of Love; self-immolation; innocence and purity; sacrifice." Accepting this interpretation, we see that it is "the spiritual idea of Love" which takes away the sin of the world, not the vicarious sufferings of the man Jesus, as an inoffensive victim offered as a propitiation for sin. This similitude of the Christ as the Lamb of God becomes, under the Gospel teachings, a more spiritual concept, for in the epistle to the Hebrews we read that if the old sacrificial rites under the Mosaic law were necessary to "the purifying of the flesh," how much more shall the self-immolation of Jesus the Christ "purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God." Our Leader also makes clear (Science and Health, p. 334) that while "the human, material concept, or Jesus," disappeared, "the spiritual self, or Christ, continues to exist in the eternal order of divine Science, taking away the sins of the world, as the Christ has always done, even before the human Jesus was incarnate to mortal eyes."
Today Christian Science is purifying the world-thought with the true understanding of the atonement. Through her spiritual interpretation of the Scriptures, our Leader shows how the pure spirituality of the Christ strips off sin's disguise in its every delusive form and reveals man's unity with the Father. Referring to the vision of the Apocalypse, she states (ibid., p. 567): "The beast and the false prophets are lust and hypocrisy. These wolves in sheep's clothing are detected and killed by innocence, the Lamb of Love." Self-immolation, or the denial of material selfhood with all its false pleasures and pains, is the method of warfare against lust and hypocrisy, in which are included all fleshly desires and every deceitful motive and act. As the denial of error brings about the purification of sense and self, it also overcomes every adverse circumstance and makes way for the conquest over all sin. Through innocency gained in the healing which comes from the purification of self and spiritual understanding, one learns to counteract sin and its effects. Being "faithful over a few things," withstanding daily temptations or evil propensities, one gains an ever increasing realization of dominion over sin, until the human sense of things has become completely regenerated and spiritualized. All wrong desire, envy, hatred, malice, revenge, and the hypocrisy which seeks to clothe evil in the garb of good, must be denied and cast out by the innocence and purity which reveal the Lamb of God in demonstration, taking away "the sin of the world," and healing the many woes which sin entails.
Disheartened, and in prison, John began to doubt that Jesus was "he that should come," and he sent two of his disciples to make further investigation. To these Jesus said: "Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them." In the same manner today the world requires proof that the Christ "continues to exist in the eternal order of divine Science," and that this "eternal order of divine Science" is present now to reveal the Christ, "the Lamb of God," in demonstration, as Jesus gave proof of his Messiahship by bringing the Christ to human perception in the natural human ways of healing sin, sickness, poverty, and distress of every kind. Presenting to the world "the Lamb of God" as "the spiritual idea of Love," Christian Science is proving that this same "Lamb of God," of innocency, purity, self-immolation, is destroying sin and healing all manner of disease today in the same way in which its efficacy was shown when the Master and his disciples brought relief and comfort to the distressed multitudes of their time.
With a right understanding of man's unity with God, the purification of sense and self brings about a state of guilelessness, or innocency, which destroys—makes nothing—every false belief. All true healing takes away the taint of sin as well as the desire to sin. It brings about a consciousness void of offense before God and man. This state of innocence is the very acme of demonstration.
In the fifth chapter of Revelation, the Revelator vividly portrays how none but the "Lamb," "the Root of David," was found worthy to take the "book ... sealed with seven seals ... and to loose the seals thereof." Thus, throughout the Scriptures, by symbol or similitude, the "Lamb" becomes typical of man's perfect spiritual being, exempt from sin and suffering, and the atonement of Christ Jesus brings to light man's eternal at-one-ment with the Father-Mother God. When, in the order of divine Science, all shall behold "the Lamb of God" in the full significance of spiritual understanding and Christian demonstration, the new song will peal forth, "Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever."