In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Jesus has come into this world for a judgment: that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind (9:39). This is the judgment: that the Light has come into the world, but people love the darkness rather than Light. Jesus has come to put an end to that: that those who do not see may see.
John did not see. He says, I myself did not know Him. Jesus was probably a follower of John, at first. But John did not see Him until He came to be baptized. This is why I was sent to baptize with water, John says—that Jesus might be revealed, that He might appear, that He might be seen. I myself did not know Him; but the One who sent me to baptize with water said, He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, He is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit. John did not see; and then he saw. I have seen and borne witness that this is the Son of God. John sees, and then he says, Look! Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. And then, the next day: Look! The Lamb of God! And two of John’s disciples look, and see. They say, Teacher, where are You staying? Where do you remain? And Jesus says, Come and see.
Come and see. Come and see Abraham, as he leaves the donkey with his servant at the bottom of the mountain. Come and see Abraham walking up the mountain with Isaac, his son, his only son, his beloved son. Isaac says, Father, I see the wood and I see the fire, but where is the sheep for the sacrifice? Abraham says, Yahweh will see to it. Yahweh will see to the sacrifice, to the sheep, to the lamb. Come and see, as Isaac is lying on the wood to be burned; as Isaac appears to be the sacrifice. Come and see Abraham, with the knife in his hand. But look! The angel—the messenger—of Yahweh stays his hand. Do not do anything to the boy! And Abraham looks, and he sees a ram caught by its horns in the bushes. Come and see, Isaac: God has seen to the sacrifice. This death is your death. This sheep takes your place. And Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will see to it.” And to this day, Moses says, it is said: On the mountain, the Lord will appear (Genesis 22:14, LXX).
Come and see another mountain. Another Son: an only Son, a beloved Son; the Son in whom all the good will of the Father dwells bodily. Look! The Son is the Lamb. God has seen to the sacrifice. Not the son of Abraham, but the true Son of the Promise, Jesus. See your death there in Christ, the Victor (Luther). See the Lamb in your place. Just as every Israelite was to see every sacrifice as his or her death, the consequence of his or her sin; just as Isaac was to see that ram as his death; so look and see the Lamb of God as your death, in your place. Come and see! The Lord appears on the mountain; God sees to the sacrifice.
Come and see, disciples. Remain with Jesus, not one day, not one week, but every day and every week. Come and see. Look! The Lamb of God, here, today. Not on the mountain anymore, but on the altar, the Lord will appear. Look, the Lamb of God who has taken away the sin of the world. O Christ, Thou Lamb of God, who takest away the sin of the world, have mercy on us! O Christ, Thou Lamb of God, who takest away the sin of the world, have mercy on us! O Christ, Thou Lamb of God, who takest away the sin of the world, grant us Thy peace.
In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7, ESV). Amen.
–Pr. Timothy Winterstein, 1/13/17