For those who are preaching this weekend on John the Baptist’s proclamation of Jesus as “the Lamb of God who takes away the Sin of the World”, this ancient song is worth reading:
The Lamb Replaces the Scapegoat. Romanus Melodus:
Now the the garment of mourning is rent; we have put on the white robe
Which the spirit has woven for us from the lamb’s fleece of our Lamb and our God;
Sin is taken away, and immortality is given us, our restoration is clear.
The Forerunner has proclaimed it.…
O, the message of the Baptist, and the mystery in it!
He calls the shepherd lamb, and not only a lamb, but one to free from mistakes.
He showed the lawless that the goat which they sent into the desert was ineffective.
“Lo,” he said, “the lamb; there is no longer need of the goat;
Put your hands on him,
All of you who confess your sins,
For He has come to take them away, those of the people, and of the whole world.
For lo, the One whom the Father has sent to us is the One who carries away evil,
Who appeared and illumined all things.”
Kontakion on the Epiphany 6.12–13.
Elowsky, J. C. (2006). John 1-10 (pp. 70–71). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.