During the Roman Catholic Mass, the famous Agnus Dei is always sung in which the following words are repeatedly heard:
Agnus Dei, (=Lamb of God)
qui tollis peccata mundi, (= which takes away the sin of the world)
miserere nobis (= have mercy on us).
The first part of these words is taken from John 1:29, where we read …
On the morrow he (= John the Baptist) 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 closely at the text, we see that there is no question of "sins" but of "sin". No plural, but singular. What specific sin would this be about? What is "the sin of the world"? Concerning it, we do not have to speculate, because, in the same evangel of John (16:8.9), we find the answer:
And, coming, that (= the Comforter),
will be exposing the world
concerning sin and concerning righteousness and concerning judging:
concerning sin, indeed,
seeing that they are not believing in Me…
"The sin of the world" refers to one thing: unbelief. And what does the Lamb of God do with this? He takes it away! Do not be fooled into thinking that all sins can be removed, except the sin of unbelief. If that were true, then no one, as yet, knows the Lamb of God! "The sin of the world" is unbelief and that is what He will take away. Therefore, Jesus is precisely what the Samaritans, during His two-day stay amongst them, testified, "Truly, He is the Saviour of the world" (John 4:42; see also: 1John 4:14).
Spread the word!
Translation: Peter Feddema