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What is “the sin of the world”?

06-03-2018 - Posted by Andre Piet

During the Roman Catholic Holy Mass, the famous Agnus Dei is sung. The following words sound repeatedly:

Agnus Dei (=Lamb of God)
qui tollis peccata mundi (= which is taking away the sins of the world)
miserere nobis (= have mercy on us).

The first part of these words is derived from John 1: 29, where we read…

On the morrow he is observing Jesus coming toward him, and is saying, Lo! the Lamb of God Which is taking away the sin of the world!

When we look carefully to this verse, it is remarkable that not the word “sins” is used, but “sin”. Not plural but singular. One could start theologizing, but it’s much wiser asking the question: does the Evangel of John itself give a hint about what “the sin of the world” could be. And indeed, that hint exists!

In John (16: 8, 9) we read:

And, coming (= the consoler),
that will be exposing the world
concerning sin and concerning righteousness and concerning judging:
concerning sin, indeed, seeing that they are not believing in Me;

Here is spoken about the sin of the world and it turns out to be one specific sin, i.e. disbelief. Disbelief (= distrust) in that what God says, is the source of all other sins. What form a sin may have, it always starts with disbelief. Already in the Garden of Eden.  Adding question marks to the word of God.

Often, one imagines that Christ takes away all sins, except disbelief. Disbelief should be the only sin that prevents taking away. But the opposite is true! Disbelief isn’t a prevention for taking away the sin of the world, it’s just a condition. Because disbelief is the sin of the world. And the Lamb of God takes this sin away. That was John’s testimony at the Jordan river.

Be aware that He doesn’t take away the sin of the world as the Christ, but as the Lamb of God. Of course that is the same person, but it’s in another character. It is as the Lamb of God that is slaughtered (Revelation 5: 6), how he takes away the sin of the world. The world crucified him, but God raised him to vivify all (1 Corinthians 15: 22). The Lamb of God proves that God loves this world unconditionally and that even the rejection of his Son doesn’t disturb Him. The proof of that love will finally turn all hostility into peace. Than there won’t be a disbelieving world. All will recognize him as Lord, for the glory of God, the Father (Philippians 2: 9- 11)!

Lo! The Lamb of God…!