Did Jesus take away our sins in the baptism of John?
Category: Sin and the Cross
Description: A current unusual teaching making the rounds is that Jesus took the sins of the world upon Himself in the baptism of John.
A current unusual teaching making the rounds is that Jesus took the sins of the world upon Himself in the baptism of John. He was able to freely heal and minister to the multitudes because He had already taken their sins. The teaching comes from the following:
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (Jn. 1:29)
The teacher of this doctrine supposes that John’s statement became reality when Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan. This is quite a leap, and a very wrong conclusion. The idea is based upon the Old Testament story of the scape goat. The priests would lay their hands on the scape goat and send their sins off into the wilderness. (Lev. 16:21-22) It is supposed that this was a type and shadow of Jesus being led by the Spirit into the wilderness with the sins of the whole world. However, there are several major flaws with this teaching.
First of all, the story in Leviticus begins with two goats being chosen. (see Lev. 16:7-19) The first goat is sacrificed as a sin offering. “Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail…” (v. 15) After the sin offering is complete, hands are laid on the scape goat and it is sent into the wilderness. Notice the order of events: first the sacrificial goat and second, the scape goat.
Before Jesus could fulfill the ‘type’ of the scape goat and carry our sins into the lowest parts of the earth, He must first be the sacrificial goat. “The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isa. 53:5) “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree.” (1 Pet. 2:24)
Jesus did not take our sins in the waters of baptism. He took them on the cross. How, then, did He minister to a fallen world if sin was still in the way? “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.” (Mk 2:10-11)
Jesus had power on earth to forgive sins. His righteousness overcame the obstacle of sin. His authority was a function of His righteousness. Jesus was not carrying the sins of the world as He ministered, and He didn’t leave them somewhere in the wilderness. He became the sacrificial lamb on the cross, and then descended into the lowest parts of the earth, thus fulfilling both types in the proper order.