All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. 1 Peter 1:3-5
Great expectation. Is that how I live? Is that the way I started this day?
No. I started this day with a grumble of being too tired. I started with a sense of the mundane. It is, after all, just a Tuesday. And what really happens of any significance on a Tuesday? Maybe great things in the lives of others, but for me, it’s often just a Tuesday.
But God has shown great mercy. God has given re-birth. I was dead, now I’m alive. Priceless inheritance beyond the reach of decay and it’s mine! It’s waiting for me! God is protecting me by his power. How could this day be thought of as mundane? How could it be boring? How could I not live in great expectation?
Because I forget. Because I know and yet I don’t remember. Because I am too easily satisfied and settle for today being just a Tuesday. Because something within me lies and tells me I’m just being mature—there’s no need to get all giddy with excitement over what God’s done, he knows I’m grateful. There’s no sense in expecting too much from another ordinary day, I’ll just end it with disappointment. It’s too hard to learn how to have the right kind of expectations—the lasting ones that don’t center around my appetites for the momentary. It’s too much work to set myself aside and consider the Savior who gives this great expectation to the day.
And that’s just it. I’ve forgotten to look beyond myself. I’ve forgotten to behold the one who takes away my sin and sets my feet on the path to life and freedom. John the Baptist calls out to those who encounter Christ and the call is simple: Behold him.
Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29
A lot of translations just say “Look” and that’s fine, but the word behold I think better captures the sense of the call. It’s not a casual glance, it’s not just seeing him when someone says, “Hey look at him.” It’s continuous looking and perceiving and receiving who he is: the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. It’s being changed by the reality of who he is and what he’s done.
Behold him. Not just at the moment I prayed a prayer and asked for forgiveness. Not just on Sundays and maybe if I read the Bible a few times during the week. Behold him—Jesus. Behold him today and every day. Behold him when I rise in the morning and during the drive into work. Behold him at my lunch hour and during that difficult conversation with a critic. Behold him when I sit around the table with my family, deal with obstinate children or tuck them into bed and see them sleep so peacefully. Behold him when I laugh with my wife, disagree with a friend or lay myself down to rest. Behold the Lamb. See him, consider him, rejoice for he has given himself to take away our sin.
How can I not live in great expectation when I am beholding the one who is God’s Lamb? The one who is my salvation? The one who established this inheritance beyond the reach of decay and set me under the protecting power of God? How can I not live in great expectation when I know that I am still waiting for that last day, that final revelation of all the Lamb has accomplished. How can I not live this way knowing today could be the day? Or is it tomorrow? Or the next day?
All of life should be seen and lived as on the precipice of greatness beyond imagination because I live it reborn into the forgiveness of the Lamb. Do I not see him? Am I not beholding him? If I were, surely my life would show it. Surely I would spill over with expectation and gratefulness.
Behold Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.