1:29 next day. This may have been about six weeks after Jesus’ baptism following the forty-day testing in the wilderness (Mark 1:11-12), and shortly before Passover (John 2:13), when the people would be thinking about the coming slaying of the Passover lambs.
1:29 Lamb of God. Jesus is called “the Lamb” by the Apostle John twice in his gospel (John 1:29,36) and twenty-eight times in Revelation. The title is derived from the multitude of sacrificial lambs offered in atonement for sins in the old dispensation, soon to be superseded by Christ’s “one sacrifice for sins for ever” (Hebrews 10:12). Note also Isaiah 53:7; Acts 8:32; and I Peter 1:19, where Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice is also compared to the shedding of the innocent blood of a lamb.
1:29 taketh away. The figure here is that of the two goats (Leviticus 16:7-22), offered on the annual Day of Atonement. One would die for the sins of the people; the other (“the scapegoat”) would carry away all their sins into the wilderness. But “it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4). Sacrifices were offered every day, but they could “never take away sins” (Hebrews 10:11). Their blood could only provide a temporary “atonement” (or “covering”), until the one capable Lamb of God could come to take away the “sin,” not just “sins” of the whole world!