The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 13 : The Gospel According to MATTHEW

[Chapter 21-5] (Matthew 21:32) The Relationship between The Work of John the Baptist and the Gospel of Atonement for Our Sins

(Matthew 21:32) 
“For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him.”
 
 
John the Baptist Who Was Sent by God
 
About John the Baptist, it is written in the Gospel of John chapter 1 verses 6-7, “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.” In this passage, the Apostle John is bearing witness to the importance of the baptism John the Baptist gave Jesus with regard to the gospel of the salvation. 
Here, speaking of John the Baptist, Jesus says, “This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light.” In this passage, He bears witness to the fact that it was none other than John the Baptist who had passed on all sins of the world through the baptism He received. John the Baptist bore witness to Jesus in order “that all through him might believe.” The Apostle John tells us that through the witnessing of John the Baptist, all the people in the world are able to believe in the Truth which states that Jesus has saved all sinners by the baptism He received and the blood of the Cross. 
In other words, this passage means that if John the Baptist hadn’’t borne witness to the salvation of the water and the Spirit, people would have been unable to know the salvation in which Jesus has saved sinners by His baptism and the blood of the Cross. Therefore, the faith that is not based on the knowledge of why John the Baptist baptized Jesus is a useless faith. Only those who have met Jesus through the gospel of the water and the Spirit can become the possessors of the proper faith.
 
 
What Sort of Person Is John the Baptist?
 
At an old age, the priest Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth, had John the Baptist by the providence of God and sang praise, “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins” (Luke 1:76-77). As the prophet of the Highest, the representative of all mankind, John the Baptist passed on all the sins of the world by performing the baptism on Jesus and caused people to believe in Jesus by preaching this gospel through which people can receive salvation. 
It was none other than the prophet John the Baptist who had preached the good news to let us know that we were saved from the judgment because the baptism of Jesus was an atonement for all our sins. God sent John the Baptist into this world as the representative of all mankind to do the work of passing on the sins of the people to Jesus. In Luke 1:78, its reason is stated, “Through the tender mercy of our God, With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us” Here, “With which” means that all mankind has to come to see the salvation through John the Baptist, just as the rising sun shines from above on those who had been sitting in the darkness and in the shadow of death. 
Jesus has atoned for all the sins of humankind. In this world, who is it that guides us to the way of peace? It is Jesus. Since John the Baptist had passed on all our sins to Jesus through the baptism, John the Baptist had guided us to the gospel in which the Lord has atoned for all our sins.
Let us find out more specifically who John the Baptist is from the Scriptures. These are the words in Luke 1:1-14. “Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed. 
There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years. 
So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. 
But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.”” 
Luke, a fellow ministry worker of the Apostle Paul, delivered the gospel to a gentile named Theophilus, a man of high position. However, because of this man’s lack of knowledge of the Scriptures, Luke had to explain to him about the Bible in detail, and that was why Luke started writing the gospel from the time of the appearance of John the Baptist. In order to explain the gospel fundamentally, it was necessary for Luke to explain the genealogy of John the Baptist and the particulars of his birth. Through these words, we will try to look into the birth of John the Baptist and his ministry in detail.
If we look at the above passages, there is a passage that states, “There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth” (Luke 1:5). It is clearly stated that the mother of John the Baptist was a descendant of Aaron, but as for his father Zacharias, we must figure out exactly which lineage among the nations of Israel he was born in. John the Baptist’’s father was Zacharias. And, Luke writes that he was a priest from the division of Abijah.
Then, who is this Abijah, the ancestor of the priest Zacharias? If we look at the First Book of Chronicles chapter 24 verse 10, there is a passage that states, “The seventh to Hakkoz, the eighth to Abijah.” God led the people of Israel by placing Moses as His mediator, and God appointed Aaron, Moses’’ older brother, as the High Priest. God had the descendants of Aaron carry out all the sacrificial offerings held inside the Tabernacle. But, Nadab and Abihu, the two sons of Aaron, died when they offered profane fire before God at the time of sacrifice (Numbers 26:61).
After the death of those two sons, the other two sons of Aaron, Eleazar and Ithamar, took on the duties of the priesthood. But, the descendants of these two sons flourished, so by the days of David, it became necessary to institutionally reorganize the priesthood for entering the Tabernacle and serving God. And so, with the heads of the houses among the descendants of Eleazar and Ithamar as the basis, they divided the priests into 24 groups. 
Then, as it was written, “Then David with Zadok of the sons of Eleazar, and Ahimelech of the sons of Ithamar, divided them according to the schedule of their service. There were more leaders found of the sons of Eleazar than of the sons of Ithamar, and thus they were divided. Among the sons of Eleazar were sixteen heads of their fathers'’ houses, and eight heads of their fathers'’ houses among the sons of Ithamar. Thus they were divided by lot, one group as another, for there were officials of the sanctuary and officials of the house of God, from the sons of Eleazar and from the sons of Ithamar” (1 Chronicles 24:3-5), David set the division of priesthood serving God inside the Tabernacle.
Among the order that has been set shown here, through the passage, “The eighth to Abijah,” just as we have read in the First Book of Chronicles chapter 24 verse 10 and the passage, “a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah” (Luke 1:5), Luke proves that this Zacharias was a priest from the division of Abijah among the descendants of the High Priest Aaron. Furthermore, as it is said that Elizabeth was of the daughters of Aaron. John the Baptist then, is clearly a descendant of the High Priest Aaron (Luke 1:5) because his father, Zacharias, was a priest of the division of Abijah. Since Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron, John the Baptist, who was born between the two, was obviously a descendant of the High Priest Aaron.
Luke had to explain this part very well in order for Theophilus to understand that John the Baptist had passed on the sin of the world to Jesus as the representative of all humankind. Let’’s find out where the Scripture passage is that states that the descendants of the house of Aaron carried out the duties of High Priest.
 
 
John the Baptist Who Was Born into a Family of High Priests
 
A High Priest’’s son inherited the duty of offering the sacrifices of atonement. It says in the Book of Numbers chapter 20 verses 28-29, “Moses stripped Aaron of his garments and put them on Eleazar his son; and Aaron died there on the top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain. Now when all the congregation saw that Aaron was dead, all the house of Israel mourned for Aaron thirty days.” God gave the High Priesthood of the nation of Israel to Aaron and his sons and said that this shall be an everlasting statute (Leviticus 16:34). That is why Aaron and his sons carried out the duties of offering the sacrifices, which redeemed the sins of people of Israel before God. 
It is written in Exodus 28:1-2, “Now take Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister to Me as priest, Aaron and Aaron'’s sons: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty.” 
Also, in Exodus 29:1-9, said it says the following: “And this is what you shall do to them to hallow them for ministering to Me as priests: Take one young bull and two rams without blemish, and unleavened bread, unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil (you shall make them of wheat flour). You shall put them in one basket and bring them in the basket, with the bull and the two rams.
And Aaron and his sons you shall bring to the door of the Tabernacle of meeting, and you shall wash them with water. Then you shall take the garments, put the tunic on Aaron, and the robe of the ephod, the ephod, and the breastplate, and gird him with the intricately woven band of the ephod. You shall put the turban on his head, and put the holy crown on the turban. And you shall take the anointing oil, pour it on his head, and anoint him. Then you shall bring his sons and put tunics on them. And you shall gird them with sashes, Aaron and his sons, and put the hats on them. The priesthood shall be theirs for a perpetual statute. So you shall consecrate Aaron and his sons.” 
So, on behalf of the nation of Israel, God had the house of Aaron, Moses’’ older brother, carry out the duties of the High Priesthood, offering the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement to God. No one could object to this duty. The High Priesthood of the house of Aaron was a command set by God. This High Priesthood was not something just anyone could carry out. Only the High Priests from the house of Aaron could enter the most holy place inside the Tabernacle once a year and minister the duties of High Priest. Only they were able to atone for the year’’s worth of sins of the people of Israel once and for all. That is why God said to Moses, “Now take Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister to Me as priest, Aaron and Aaron'’s sons: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty” (Exodus 28:1-2). 
That only Aaron and his descendants could become the High Priest was the everlasting institution set by God. God had commanded Aaron and his descendants to carry out the duties of the High Priesthood forever, from the days of the Old Testament until the coming of Jesus in the New Testament. The descendants of Aaron had been carrying out the duties of the High Priesthood which was an everlasting statute of salvation through the atonement for sins set by God. 
That is why Luke was describing John the Baptist as the last High Priest of the Old Testament by mentioning the fact that Zacharias was a man of the house of the High Priest Aaron. With John the Baptist as a representative on behalf of all humankind carrying out the work of passing on all the sins of the world to Jesus, the Old Testament came to an end, and from then on, the age of Jesus, the age of grace began unfolding. God spoke of the history of humankind by dividing it in times or dispensations. 
 
 
John the Baptist Did Baptize Jesus Christ
 
Because John had given Jesus the baptism, we call him John the Baptist. Then, what does the baptism mean in the Bible? “Baptism,” “βάφτισμα” (baptisma) in Greek, means “being immersed.” To baptize, “baptizo” in Greek, means to immerse or submerge under water, to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water, to wash one’s self, and to bathe. It also means to pass over or to transfer. By receiving the baptism from John the Baptist, all the sins were passed onto Jesus, and Jesus became the Savior to the faithful by taking on the sins of the entire world, dying on our behalf for the wages of sin, and resurrecting from the dead. The Lord received the baptism through which He took on sins on our behalf and died on the Cross. It was because the wages of sin is death. 
Because the rite of baptism is performed in the form of immersion and by the laying on of hands, it is also called ‘‘the rite of immersion.’’ Both have the same meaning. The word ‘‘baptism’’ also means ‘‘to cleanse.’’ The baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist at the Jordan River was the baptism of the remission of sins by which He has cleansed us from the sins of the world by having taken them onto His own body. Because all the sins of humankind were passed onto Jesus by His receiving the baptism from John the Baptist, we were able to receive the salvation by believing it. If we look at length at the meaning of the baptism Jesus had received, there are four meanings; “to cleanse,” “to pass over,” “to transfer,” and “to be buried.” 
People of the Old Testament, in order to receive the remission of sins, brought sacrificial animals like goats, sheep, cattle, and so on, without blemish, and placed their hands on the head of the animals to pass on sins. This is exactly the same as the baptism (βάφτισμα in Greek) Jesus had received. In the Old Testament, people laid their hands on a goat to pass on the sins of the nation to that goat, and because the goat had received the passing on of sins, it had to atone for the sins of people by dying. 
In the Old Testament, the High Priest Aaron represented entire the people of Israel. Representing the nation of Israel, the High Priest transplanted the sins by laying hands on the head of a goat, and by drawing the blood of the animal from its throat and then putting it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering. He offered the sin offering of the Day of Atonement before God on behalf of the people. In the New Testament, it was John the Baptist who was the representative of all mankind. Thus, Jesus took on the sins of the world by having received the baptism from John the Baptist, and in order to atone for the sins of mankind, He shed His blood and died on the Cross. By being resurrected from the dead, He saves those who believe in Him. 
 
 
The Greatest among Those Born of Women
 
If we look at Matthew 11:11, Jesus bears witness to John the Baptist, saying, “Among those born of women there has not risen one greater.” John the Baptist passed on the sins of the world once and for all by baptizing Jesus in accordance with the eternal statute set by God as the High Priest of all mankind, like Aaron the High Priest (Matthew 3:15). John the Baptist had the qualifications to be the High Priest of all mankind. That was why it was possible for John the Baptist, as the last High Priest of the Old Testament, to pass on the sins of all mankind by baptizing Jesus. In the New Testament, the priest Zacharias was a descendant of the house of Aaron, and the origin of the High Priest was as follows:
 
 
In the First Book of Chronicles Chapter 24 Verse 10
 
The order of High Priests who are the descendants of Aaron offering the sacrificial rite is shown in the Old Testament, and the order of the priest ‘‘Abijah’’ comes up as the eighth division. But still, in the New Testament, the priest was chosen “according to the custom of the priesthood,” as we can see from the Gospel of Luke chapter 1 verse 9. Just like the Old Testament, the person chosen here became the High Priest, taking on the High Priesthood of the Old Testament and carrying on the duties. This tradition was passed down from generation to generation starting from the days of the Old Testament up until the time of Zacharias, John the Baptist’’s father. 
Zacharias was a High Priest born into the ranks of Abijah, a descendant of Aaron. Just as the lion can only bear a lion cub, God had made it so that a High Priest can come only from the house of Aaron, the High Priest. And so, John the Baptist, from the house of a High Priest, took on the role of an intermediary; the priest who would fulfill the prophecies about the salvation of God, as promised in the Old Testament, and he who had passed on the sin of the world to Jesus was the greatest among those born of women. The passages in Matthew 11:11-13 bear witness to this. That is why Jesus, pointing out John the Baptist, also bore witness that he was the Elijah to come as prophesied in the Old Testament (Malachi 4:5). 
 
 
Testimonies of the Apostles about the Baptism of Jesus Who Had Taken on the Sins of Mankind
 
The baptism Jesus received was the atonement for sin, the sin of the world, which He had taken on. The proof of the baptism Jesus received is shown numerous times in the epistles of Paul and Peter and also in the epistles of John. Let us first look at the Scripture passages concerning Jesus’’ baptism through the Pauline Epistles. We will first look at the passage from Romans 6:2-7. 
“Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 
For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin.” 
The Apostle Paul’’s faith that we have received the baptism, and united together with Jesus, is the faith of believing in the gospel that Jesus’’ baptism had taken on the sin of the world and had atoned for those sins . The gospel of the atonement for sins mentioned in the Bible is the gospel of the water and the blood in which Jesus received the baptism and was crucified. In the Bible, the gospel of the atonement for sins witnessed by the apostles, tells us that Jesus has taken away all the worldly sin.
How does the Apostle Peter believe and explain the baptism of Jesus? In 1 Peter 3:21, he said, “There is also an antitype which now saves us-baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” The Apostle Peter is saying that the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist is an antitype of the salvation of Him having atoned for our sins. 
What is more, the Apostle John said, “Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is He who came by water and blood-Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one” (1 John 5:5-8). The Apostle John is saying that we get to receive the salvation of God that has atoned for all our sins by having faith in the Savior who has come by the water and the blood. 
 
 
What Is the Proper Faith in Believing in Jesus Christ?
 
Similarly, the Apostles said that the baptism (the water) Jesus received is an antitype of the salvation that saves the sinners, and that the born-again can overcome the world by believing in the gospel of the atonement for sins which was perfected by the baptism and the blood of Jesus. So, we can see that there is a vast difference between the faith that the Apostles believed and the faith of today’’s theologians who believe only in the blood of the Cross. Theologians these days believe only in the blood of Jesus, but the Bible testifies that sinners can receive salvation only when they believe in both the baptism of Jesus and the blood of the Cross together. Therefore, we must know properly, and believe in the gospel in which Jesus has atoned for all our sins with His baptism and blood. Both the baptism Jesus received and the blood of the Cross are essential components for the completion of the perfect gospel. It is the gospel that has atoned for all the sins of the world. In the Old Testament and the New Testament, it is written that the gospel of the atonement for sins is the gospel of the baptism and the blood, and this blots out all the sins of the world. 
Matthew, a disciple of Jesus, records in Matthew 3:15-16, “But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.” Here, God tells us that all the sins of the world were passed on to Jesus by His receiving the baptism from John the Baptist. It bears witness to the righteousness of the salvation that God has perfected through the gospel in which our sins were atoned. 
By receiving the baptism, Jesus took on the sins of all the people in the world, and bore witness to His salvation for 3 years. After these three years, He died on the Cross shedding His blood and He was resurrected on the third day. In doing so, He has perfected the salvation for all those who believe in this Truth, and now sits at the right-hand of the throne of God the Father.
Also, the disciples of Jesus state, “So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation” (Hebrews 9:28). This passage means that the Lord will appear a second time to those, who, apart from sin, wait for Him. That is, to those who, by faith, have received salvation through the atonement for sins by believing in the baptism Jesus received and the blood of the Cross.
“And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’’” (Matthew 3:17). This passage refers to the fact that the One to whom all the sins of the world has been transferred by the baptism, and atoned for those sins, is none other than Jesus. Some theologians do not know at all about the Truth in which Jesus has atoned for the sins of mankind by His baptism and blood. They are spiritually blind; they are unable to take in the waters above the firmament; that is, the pure Word. Because of this, people vaguely believe that ‘‘Jesus has taken on the sins of the world somehow,’’ but this is a thinking that comes from ignorance of the baptism of Jesus that constitutes the gospel of the atonement for sins. 
Yet, just as the nation of Israel in the Old Testament were liberated from sins by the High Priest passing on the sins through the laying of his hands on the sacrificial animal, and that animal shedding blood, Jesus has to save mankind according to what He has promised. Jesus was the sacrificial lamb in the New Testament. He was in need of John the Baptist, the representative of all mankind who would pass on all the sins of the world to Jesus. That was why God the Father sent John the Baptist to this earth 6 months prior to sending Jesus.
John the Baptist was a servant of God who was already prophesied in the Book of Malachi in the Old Testament. He was none other than the messenger of God prophesied in Malachi 3:1-3. Also, if we look at Matthew 11:10-11 in the New Testament, the Lord needed to receive the baptism that would have Him take on all the sins of mankind as the Savior, and that would atone for their sins. So, Jesus needed a servant of God who would give Him the baptism. That is why John the Baptist passed on the sin of the world to Jesus by the baptism, obeying Jesus’’ command, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15). 
The sacrificial lamb during the days of the Old Testament died having been made to take on just the sins of a single person or a single nation. But Jesus Christ the Son of God came to this earth and opened the age of the New Testament. He took on the sins of the world without a single trace left behind, in order to atone for all the sins of all mankind. Then, He had to die through crucifixion as the price of atonement for those sins. In order for Jesus to forever deliver mankind from the sins of the world, He had to atone for all the sins of the world by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist and then resurrecting three days after having died on the Cross. God has saved those who believe in the gospel of Jesus’’ baptism and blood, from all sins.
 
 
John the Baptist Was a Messenger of God
 
Matthew 11:11-14 bears witness to John the Baptist. Let us read the Book of Matthew chapter 11, verse 7 through 14: “As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings'’ houses. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. For this is he of whom it is written:
‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,
Who will prepare Your way before You.’’
‘Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come.’”
People went into the wilderness to see John the Baptist. John the Baptist was crying out to people to repent. As Jesus saw the people going to see John the Baptist, He said, “For what did you go out into the wilderness? A man clothed in soft garments? Those who wear soft clothing are in kings’’ houses.” But the prophet John the Baptist was in the wilderness. 
These Words by Jesus speak of the Truth that God had put John the Baptist here as the representative of mankind, and also had him give the baptism to Jesus. As Jesus was personally bearing witness concerning John the Baptist, He said, “Why did you go out into the wilderness? Why did you go to a man clothed in camel’’s hair, a man like a wild man? What did you go out there to see? Did you go out to see a man clothed in soft garments? Such a man is in kings’’ houses. But, he is greater than kings,” and also, He bore witness that John the Baptist was the greatest among those born of women, saying, “Why did you go out? Did you wish to see a prophet? Yes, he is more than a prophet.” 
In the Old Testament days, prophets were considered’ greater than kings. Then who was the greatest among all the prophets of the Old Testament? He was none other than John the Baptist. Jesus personally bore witness that John the Baptist is the representative of mankind, and Jesus said that it is John the Baptist who is the greatest among all mankind. John the Baptist was a servant of God, sent 6 months prior to the birth of Jesus. He was also sent to pass on the sins of the world by giving Jesus the baptism. So the Lord said, “Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. For this is he of whom it is written: “Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You.” The Bible clearly writes and bears witness to John the Baptist of this. 
John the Baptist, who had been witnessed by Jesus like this, bears witness to Jesus now. “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) It was John the Baptist, who bore witness to Jesus, saying, “Jesus has taken away all the sins of the world, and He is none other than the Son of God,” and he was truly the greatest among all people and among all prophets. It can be said that John the Baptist was a High Priest because both of his parents were descendants of Aaron. We know that in the Old Testament God had chosen Aaron be the High Priest of Israel for 40 years. He had forever entrusted the High Priesthood to his descendants, and there is no lacking of belief that John the Baptist is the representative of mankind, and as the priest who has passed on all the sins of mankind to Jesus.
The Lord Jesus continued to say, “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force” (Matthew 11:12). This passage shows that Jesus has become the Savior of all people by having received the sins of the world through John the Baptist. Jesus has personally borne witness to the fact that John the Baptist had passed on all the sins of the world to Him. The Words in Matthew 11:12 bear witness that the sins of the world, all the sins of mankind, have been passed onto Jesus by giving Jesus the baptism. Believers in the gospel of Heaven, that is, the gospel of the baptism Jesus received and His blood, believe that Jesus went and died on the Cross, having completely taken on all their sins by His receiving the baptism. 
 
 
Testimony of Zacharias
 
Having heard the angel’’s message that God would grant him a son, Zacharias couldn’’t believe it at first. So, as punishment, he became a mute. Later on, upon seeing the Word of God becoming realized, he named the baby, John, as the angel had ordered. Then, his tongue became untied, and he was able to talk. Then, being filled with the Holy Spirit, Zacharias started praising God like the following. 
“Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:
‘Blessed is the Lord God of Israel,
For He has visited and redeemed His people,
And has raised up a horn of salvation for us
In the house of His servant David,
As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets,
Who have been since the world began,
That we should be saved from our enemies
And from the hand of all who hate us,
To perform the mercy promised to our fathers
And to remember His holy covenant,
The oath which He swore to our father Abraham:
To grant us that we,
Being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
Might serve Him without fear,
In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.
‘And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest;
For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways,
To give knowledge of salvation to His people
By the remission of their sins,
Through the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us;
To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.’
So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel” (Luke 1:67-80).
 
In this passage, the father made prophesies on what sort of a prophet John the Baptist would become in the future, and how he would carry out the priesthood. He also prophesied that John the Baptist would be a servant of God. Especially, he prophesied, “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins” (Luke 1:76-77). This passage prophesies about the gospel. Through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, John the Baptist becomes a witness to the Truth for those of us who believe in Jesus. John the Baptist told us that we have received the remission of sins by believing in Jesus’’ baptism and blood that is the atonement for our sins. In order to atone for our sins, Jesus took on all the sins of the world through the baptism He had received from John the Baptist. Also, John bore witness to the fact that he had passed on all the sins of the world by baptizing Jesus. In other words, through his witnessing, John the Baptist had us know about the salvation through the atonement for sins. 
Everyone gets to receive salvation from sins by believing in Jesus’’ baptism and blood. Also, through the witnessing of John the Baptist, everyone found out that Jesus was the Savior who has atoned for all his or her sins. If people had not known about the gospel of the atonement for sins which John the Baptist had given Jesus, how could people have been 100% certain that Jesus was their Savior? 
If a person does not know about the gospel Truth of the atonement for sins, there is neither salvation nor everlasting life for that person. If you were to believe in Jesus without knowing the ministry of John the Baptist, your faith would be an imperfect faith, and you would be leading an imperfect Christian life. You would be doing things such as relying only on doctrines mentioned in theology. However, if you know who John the Baptist is and the Truth of what sort of baptism he had given Jesus for salvation that has atoned for the sins of mankind, you will be saved from all sins by having faith in the Truth. 
In the Book of Genesis, stories starting from the days of no sin, of Adam and Eve, the first human being, through the days of Abraham who was a descendant of Seth and of Shem after Adam and Eve sinned, until the days of the descendants of Jacob are written. In the Book of Exodus, the beginning of the days of the Law is written. After crossing the Red Sea, the Israelites received the Commandments at the wilderness of Sin through Moses, and lived according to those Laws. 
And during these days of the Law, God gave the people of Israel the sacrificial system of the Tabernacle. God had them offer sacrifices in which the High Priest would pass on the sins of people by the laying of hands on the head of a scapegoat, and then through the death of the sacrificial offering on behalf of people, which atoned for sins . 
But, this age of the Law comes to an end with the onset of the age of grace; that is, with Jesus’’ receiving of the baptism. All the salvation promised by the atonement for sins during the Old Testament era came to an end with the baptism given to Jesus by John the Baptist. Through the baptism Jesus received, and the shedding of His blood, the sins of all mankind were remitted, and salvation from sin was perfected completely. 
The priest Zacharias heard God saying to him that He would grant him a son. For Elizabeth, the wife of Zacharias was old in age. It seemed impossible for an elderly woman to bear a child according to the human way of thinking. But the wife of Zacharias became pregnant and started bulging just as God had said. Six months after that, the Virgin Mary also started bulging from pregnancy. An angel appeared before Mary and said the same, “Blessed be the one who have found grace,” and Mary fell down flat on her stomach and said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). 
And so, having put on the grace of God, Mary received the blessing of giving birth to Jesus Christ. However, this incident of Mary, a virgin, becoming pregnant can only be called a blessing. In actuality, it was something condemnable under the commandment for those who commit adultery, according to the Jewish laws at the time. As it was back then, and even now, for a woman without a husband to bear a child is a great disgrace. It results in getting cut off from ever getting married. But, the grace of God had Mary enjoy the honor and glory, instead of having to bear the agonies of the flesh.
After confessing her faith, Mary started bulging from pregnancy. The fact is that Mary’’s conception of Jesus was carried out through the Holy Spirit just as the message that was delivered by an angel of God. Thus, through the body of the Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ, our Savior, was born. Mary wasn’’t a descendant of Aaron. She was a descendant of Judah. Joseph, who was engaged to Mary, was also a descendant of Judah. So, Jesus Christ was born into the family of kings. Because Jesus Christ is the King, He had to come through a house of kings. In the same chain of reasoning, because John the Baptist came as the last High Priest, he had to come from the house of High Priests, through the descendants of Aaron. 
God sent Jesus and before Jesus, He sent John the Baptist, the greatest prophet and servant of God. Only in doing so, the prophecies of the Old Testament get fulfilled, and it becomes possible for us to believe in God properly. Because the High Priesthood is something set eternally by God, the sins of the world had to be passed on by baptism to Jesus through a descendant of Aaron, and it was John the Baptist, as the last High Priest of mankind, who had carried out that work. 
Aaron was the first High Priest of Israel, and he was the elder brother of Moses. His great-grandfather was Levi (son of Jacob); his grandfather was Kohath; his father was Amram; his mother was Jochebed; and his elder sister was Miriam (Exodus 6:16-20). Aaron had sons named, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar (Exodus 6:23, Numbers 3:2). From the time when Moses received the calling of the exodus out of Egypt from God, Aaron helped Moses, who was slow of speech and slow of tongue, and Aaron spoke for him (Exodus 4:10, 7:10). Also, when the ceremony of making the covenant between God and Israel was being held at Mount Sinai, Moses, along with Aaron and his two sons and seventy of the elders of Israel, saw God, and they ate and drank there. This shows that they were formally representing the people of Israel (Exodus 24:1-11). 
Then, from the moment when God commanded them to build the Tabernacle for the people of Israel, Aaron and his four sons received the anointing from God and came to receive the priesthood, having been consecrated (Exodus 40:13-16). Aaron, as the first High Priest of Israel, carried out the priesthood for 40 years, and for this reason, the tribe of Reuben protested Aaron’’s authority as the High Priest. 
But, according to God’’s command, almond flowers blossomed on Aaron’’s rod representing the tribe of Levi among the twelve tribes which had placed rods; and it was proven that the priesthood was given to the house of Aaron by God (Numbers 17:1-10). When Aaron died at the age of 123, Aaron’’s garments were worn by Eleazar his son, and Eleazar became the High Priest in place of Aaron (Numbers 20:23-29). The writer of the Book of Hebrews bore witness to the fact that Aaron was the High Priest of the earth and that Jesus was the High Priest of Heaven (Hebrews 7:11-28). 
 
 
It Is Clear That John the Baptist Was the High Priest Who Could Give Baptism on Jesus’’ Head to Atone for the Sin of the World
 
Jesus bears witness to the fact that John the Baptist is the representative of all mankind. As it is written in Matthew 11:10-11, “For this is he of whom it is written: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You.’’ Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” John the Baptist carried out the priesthood of passing on the sins of mankind to Jesus, the sacrificial Lamb of God.
 
 
The Gate of Heaven Came to Be Opened from the Time of John the Baptist
 
When we set off to do a certain work, we prepare ourselves to do that work successfully. Likewise, in order to blot out the sin of the world, God had prepared John the Baptist first of all. Here is the evidence: “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the Prophets:
‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,
Who will prepare Your way before You.’
‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the LORD;
Make His paths straight.’’
John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel'’s hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, ‘There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit’” (Mark 1:1-8).
We will look further into John the Baptist, the preparer of the gospel of Heaven. If we read the Book of Malachi in the Old Testament, we can see that the priests at the time of Malachi were totally corrupt. For that reason, there wasn’’t a priest that was proper in God’’s sight among the Israelites prior to the coming of Jesus 2,000 years ago. Priests back then were so corrupt that they had discarded the statutes of the Word of God, the God-given sacrificial system, and His Commandments. 
And for that reason, God had to have a priest, His messenger, be born on this earth. So, God sent his messenger, and he was none other than John the Baptist, the preparer of the gospel of Heaven. John the Baptist was sent to this earth 6 months earlier than Jesus. Because God always used a representative priest to pass on the sins of people to a sacrificial lamb, He had to send John the Baptist. Thus, God sent John the Baptist and made him the representative priest of mankind. But, because John the Baptist could not be together with corrupt priests, he was pressing the Israelites for repentance all the while living alone in the wilderness.
In the Gospel of Mark chapter 1 verse 2, it is said, “As it is written in the Prophets: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You.’” However, the one shouting in the wilderness was also crying out the baptism of repentance that would lead them to receive the remission of sins. There were two types of baptism given by John the Baptist. 
The first one was the baptism of repentance he gave to the people of Israel, and this was a baptism that had people who had left God revert back to Christ who was the eternal propitiation for their sins. As a prophet, by making people realize that they are sinners headed for hell before God, John the Baptist gave this baptism of repentance to those who acknowledged and confessed their sinful existence. And so, people came before John the Baptist and received the baptism of water as the symbol verifying the fact that they are sinners before God.
The second baptism was the baptism John the Baptist had given to Jesus, and this was the baptism that had passed on all the sins of the world to the body of Jesus. John the Baptist bore witness for those who had received the baptism of repentance before God, to believe in Jesus who had taken on and carried away the sins of the world by the baptism. 
When Jesus was about to receive the baptism from John, He said to John the Baptist, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15). As it is written in this passage, the Words of the prophecy of God that says Jesus would take on and atone for the sins of mankind became realized. All people who believe in Jesus must believe in both the baptism and the blood of Jesus, and the gospel of the atonement for sins. Because John the Baptist, the preparer of the gospel of Heaven, had passed on the sin of the world to Jesus for all eternity by baptizing Jesus as an atonement suitable for the sins of the world, John the Baptist has made it possible for us to go to Heaven by having faith in Jesus. Jesus has become the Way to Heaven. Do you believe this?
In the Gospel of Mark chapter 1 verses 14-15, it is said, “Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.’” Gospel is “the good news,” and it is “euaggelion” in Greek. The news that Jesus took away all the sins of the world by having taken them onto His body when He received the baptism from John the Baptist for the atonement for sins is the gospel of Heaven. All the sins of the world had been passed on to Jesus through John the Baptist when Jesus received the baptism. 
The gospel atoning for the sins of mankind was the gospel of the baptism Jesus received and His blood of the Cross. The sins of the world refer to the sins all the people have committed in the world. All the people include you and they include your grandchildren who will be born in the future. Your sins refer to all the sins of your past, present, and future (they include not only the sins committed in the past but the sins you will be committing in the future), and they are for the sins of the world. Furthermore, the world doesn’’t just refer to Earth, but the beginning and the end of the entire universe. 
 
 
John the Baptist Came to Preach the Truth of the Atonement for Sins 
 
John the Baptist came carrying the Truth of righteousness, or the Truth of the salvation, by which God has atoned for the sins of mankind, as it is written, “For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him” (Matthew 21:32). John the Baptist came to preach the Truth of righteousness. John the Baptist was a prophet sent to the world by God so that he may lead all the people to righteousness. By passing on the sins of all the people in the world to Jesus, all the people received the remission of sins by believing in this Truth. By him having bear witness to ‘‘the gospel of the atonement for sins,’’ in which he himself had passed on all the sins of the world to the Lord, numerous people have received salvation from sin by believing and having faith in that Truth of salvation because of John’’s witnessing. 
In Matthew 21:32, it is said, “For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him.” Here, the phrase, “For John came to you in the way of righteousness,” speak of the work of John the Baptist, as the last High Priest of the Old Testament (Matthew 11:13), having passed on all the sins of mankind to Jesus by the baptism.
But why do you think the tax collectors and the harlots believed in the baptism of Jesus in which John the Baptist passed on the sin of the world to Jesus? We must think once more about why the harlots and the tax collectors received salvation from all their sins by having faith in the righteous work carried out by Jesus Christ and John the Baptist. And why did so many people suffer destruction by not having faith in this righteous ministry? The harlots and the tax collectors were typical people who had committed many sins. 
If it were the case that John the Baptist hadn’’t done the work of passing on the sins of the world to Jesus once and for all, the harlots and the tax collectors would not have received salvation from their sins which were thicker than the dark clouds and fogs. The tax collectors and the harlots believed in their hearts that the baptism Jesus had received from John the Baptist was a baptism for the atonement for all their sins, and thus, they received salvation. Also, they believed that Jesus was the Son of God, and that they received the everlasting salvation by having faith that Jesus was the sacrificial Lamb God had sent to save them from all their sins. 
If it had not been for the role of John the Baptist in the gospel of the atonement for sins, how could we have believed in Jesus and received salvation? You might say, “I do not believe in the baptism of Jesus, but still, I do believe in Jesus.” If so, do you think Jesus can be your Savior without your having faith that your sins have been atoned for by the baptism of Jesus? If that were the case, then Jesus died without having taken on all your sins by His baptism. Do you think you can be born again by believing in Jesus? Dear fellow believers, please think about it once gain.
In order to deliver you from your sin and punishment, God sent John the Baptist, and God had planned for Jesus to take on all your sins through John the Baptist. If God had decided to pass all your sins to Jesus by the baptism of Jesus, then you will never be able to receive the salvation by resisting the decision of God. If you were to oppose the gospel of Jesus’ baptism and His blood, then you would not be a redeemed person. Instead, by opposing the plan of God, you will be one of those people destined for hell. I hope that you will think through your own reasoning about what proper faith is, based on the Word of the Truth. 
It is correct that you receive salvation by believing in Jesus according to the plan set by God. What are your emotions like right now? I hope that you will throw away all your thinking and believe in the Truth that all your sins have been remitted through the baptism John the Baptist had given to Jesus. I pray that you will believe in the will of God that wants to save us by the water and the Spirit. 
If you believe that all your sins have been passed on to Jesus, you are the righteous, for you are without sin by faith, and the righteous who believe this go to Heaven according to the law of the grace of God. If you are unable to accept the fact that all your sins have been passed on to Jesus by John the Baptist, then it means that you have refused the salvation of God. Will you still refuse the way of righteousness John the Baptist had performed on Jesus? If you were to resist this blessing, you must realize that it would be like refusing all the plans of God entirely, and you will have become a wicked child, refusing the Truth with your own mind. 
Having baptized Jesus at the Jordan River, John the Baptist bore witness to Jesus the next day, shouting, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) Jesus received the sins of the world, and 3 years after having received the baptism, He died on the Cross as the price for those sins. 
A sin does not have any weight. It doesn’’t have color, smell, or shape, and it does not make sounds. Because one cannot perceive it through the senses (sense of sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch), people cannot feel it on their own. Do not try to rationalize through your senses or emotions that your sins have disappeared. Emotions change. But, because the Word of God, the Truth of Jesus having blotted out the sin of the world, does not change for all eternity. 
I am sure trust that you nowwill believe in the Word of Truth in which John the Baptist bore witness, saying, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29), and then feel it. Jesus bore witness for 3 years, saying, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), and bore witness that the atonement for the sins of mankind was the baptism Jesus received and His blood. He told those of us who believe to live a life as a disciple, spreading the gospel of Jesus’’ baptism and blood. 
Dear fellow believers, the Prophet Isaiah said, “That her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received from the LORD’’s hand double for all her sins” (Isaiah 40:2). Yes, this is true. Jesus has saved us by taking on you sins as well as mine through the baptism He had received from John the Baptist, dying on the Cross for their price, and being resurrected. The very first thing God did in order to atone for the sins of us human beings and to save us was the sending of John the Baptist. In order to save us sinners from sins, the fact is that God had first sent us John the Baptist, the ambassador of the King. The Bible says so. 
In the Book of Malachi of the Old Testament chapter 3 verse 1, it is said, ““Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,” Says the LORD of hosts.” It is the case that God had promised to send John the Baptist, a messenger of God, in the Book of Malachi of the Old Testament.
God had us human beings receive the atonement for sins through Jesus by John the Baptist, His servant. He passed on all the sins of the world to Jesus by the baptism. This is the way of making us prepare the way to Heaven by having us receive the remission of sins, and this is the way of salvation which has saved us human beings. And, there isn’’t any other way of salvation. The Lord said, “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6). 
That Jesus has atoned for all our sins by taking on our sins through the baptism and dying on the Cross, is the way and also the Truth that enables us to receive salvation. And believing this, we are able to gain new life. Did you also pass on all your sins to Jesus when John the Baptist passed all the sins of the world to Jesus by baptizing Him? Do you believe in this Truth? It was the plan of God, set by Him, and befitting to the Wise. If you refuse this, you can never enter into God’’s kingdom. To save you, God received the baptism of John the Baptist and atoned for all our sins. I hope that you believe in the way of salvation opened up by Jesus. I hope for all of you not to refuse the way to life.
“And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force” (Matthew 11:12). To suffer violence means that people who believe in the fact that all the sins of the world were passed on to Jesus when He had received the baptism from John the Baptist will boldly enter the Kingdom of Heaven by faith for they do not have sins. Now the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who believe that the sins of the world were passed onto Jesus through John the Baptist. Whoever believes in the gospel of the atonement for sins in which John the Baptist had passed on all the sins of the world to Jesus will receive salvation without fail. Fellow believers, who is the one that prepares the way to the Kingdom of Heaven for us? 
God saying, “Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me,” means that He had prepared John the Baptist beforehand so that we may enter the Kingdom of Heaven. By carrying out the work of passing on our sins to Jesus Christ, John the Baptist has made us the righteous without any sin and the children of God. He prepared us so that we may enter the Kingdom of Heaven. It is John the Baptist, a messenger sent personally by God, who had prepared the way on our behalf, so that we may go to the Kingdom of Heaven by his being the representative of each and every one of us. John the Baptist prepared the way for us human beings to be born again. 
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, ‘“I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?’” But Jesus answered and said to him, ‘“Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’” Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘“This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’” (Matthew 3:13-17). 
John the Baptist carried out the righteous work. The ministry of John the Baptist that he had passed on all the sins of the people of this world to Jesus was a righteous act. This is the gospel of the atonement for sins, and the righteousness of God as well as the way toward salvation John had witnessed. In order to receive the salvation, we must realize and believe in our hearts Jesus’’ baptism, His shed blood, and His resurrection, which make up the gospel of the atonement for sins. 
Also, Jesus perfected the righteousness of God with His baptism. Jesus completed the salvation of mankind by taking on the sins of the entire world through the baptism of John the Baptist, and dying on the Cross after having atoned for all those sins.
If we look at the Book of Hebrews, Jesus is said to be the High Priest of Heaven after the order of Melchizedek. He is without genealogy, and He isn’’t even a descendant of Aaron. Jesus Christ is not a descendant of Adam, but rather, He is the Son of God. And, because He is our Creator and the One who calls Himself “I am who I am,” He doesn’’t possess genealogy. But, He threw away the glory of Heaven and came to this earth in order to save His people. When the people He had created in order to bless them were gasping for life after having fallen into sin due to the devil’’s temptations, He came to this earth in the flesh of a man and received the baptism at the Jordan River in order to save mankind by atoning for all their sins. 
Let us read Matthew 3:15 together. “But Jesus answered and said to him, ‘‘Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’’ Then he allowed Him.” Jesus commanded John the Baptist, a representative of earth, to permit it to be so now. John the Baptist obeyed, saying, “Yes, I will make it so.” Thus, Jesus put forth His head toward John and was baptized. Just as the High Priest had performed the laying on of the hands on the head of a scapegoat to transfer all the yearly sins of the Israelites, as we can see in the Old Testament, in the same manner, John the Baptist passed on the sins of this world to Jesus by baptizing Him. 
 
 
Salvation from Sins Accomplished by the Principle of Representation
 
When one country signs a treaty with another country, that treaty becomes effective when the heads of state from both countries sign the treaty, each representing the people of his or her nation. Likewise, our salvation was accomplished under the principle of representation. Representing all mankind, John the Baptist passed on the sins to Jesus. And, Jesus received the baptism from John the Baptist. In the word baptism, there is the spiritual meaning, “to cleanse, to bury, to pass over, and to transfer.” In the Old Testament, when a sinner passes on sins to a goat through the laying on of hands, those sins were passed over to the goat and the goat had to suffer death in order to atone for those sins.
In Leviticus 16:21, there is a passage that goes, “Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man.” As it says in this passage, every year on the Day of the Atonement, Aaron performed the laying on of the hands by placing his hands on top of the scapegoat’’s head in accordance with the principle of representation on behalf of people, and just as Aaron had placed his hands, all the sins that were with the people of Israel were passed onto the goat through the hands of Aaron (Leviticus 16:20-22). Then, did the people of Israel have sins at that moment? No, they didn’’t. Under the same principle as this, through the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist, a representative of mankind, the will of God to atone for the sins of all humankind was accomplished.
In the Old Testament, the sacrificial animal received the passing on of the sins of people by receiving the laying of both hands (Leviticus 16:21). The baptism Jesus had received from John the Baptist at the Jordan River (Matthew 3:13-17) is of the same sacrificial offering of atonement. The Words, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15), has the same meaning as “I will fulfill all the righteousness in this world by taking and carrying on My back all the sins of the world by receiving the baptism from you.” And, “For thus” means “By you giving Me the baptism, and I receiving the baptism from you.” The words “For thus,” as mentioned here, is ‘‘οϋτως γάρ’’ in Hellenic. And these words have the meaning, ‘‘exactly in this way,’’ ‘‘most fitting,’’ or ‘‘no other way besides this.’’
Therefore, the phrase, “For thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness,” means that “it is fitting that I take on the sins of all mankind, of all the people, by way of the most fitting method, you performing the baptism on Me and I receiving the baptism from you all.” Put differently, the Lord is saying, “All people go to hell for they have sins. Everyone is suffering right now because of sin. They are getting harassed by the Devil. Because of sin, they are not able to receive the blessings. So, in order to bless all people so that they may enter Heaven, I must receive the baptism from you. You are a descendant of Aaron. So, as the representative of mankind, you should perform the baptism on Me on behalf of everyone. I will receive the baptism from you. In doing this, all the righteousness will be fulfilled in this world.” When Jesus told John the Baptist, “Perform the baptism on Me,” John the Baptist replied, “Yes, I will do so.” And then, John the Baptist laid his hands on Jesus’’ head and then took them away. Right at that moment, all the sins were passed on to Jesus Christ completely.
Was there ever an occasion when Jesus had committed a sin? No, there wasn’’t. Because Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit, He was born without sin. Neither did the Lord commit sin while in this world. We human beings are born with sin, but Jesus wasn’’t born with sin. While living on this earth, Jesus never committed one sin, nor did He ever make a mistake. Yet, why do you think Jesus had to die by being nailed to the Cross? 
In the public ministry of Jesus Christ, the very first work done by Him was the work of taking on all our sins by receiving the baptism at the Jordan River. Through the last High Priest called John the Baptist, the representative of all mankind, Jesus took on all the sins of all people. That was why He received the judgment and died on the Cross. This is what Jesus Christ, as He went about for 3 years, had meant when He, even upon seeing an adulterous woman, said, “Even I do not condemn you. Even I cannot pass the judgment on you. I must receive the judgment. I must die on the Cross in your place.” 
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus went out and prayed, “Not as I will, but as You will.” At first, He prayed earnestly, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me.” But soon, He willingly obeyed the Father’’s plan of salvation. Although Jesus wanted to avoid it if it were possible, and in the will of the Father, He gave it up, saying, “Not as I will, but as You will,” and then clearly prepared His heart. He knew that it was the will of the Father for Him to die. From then on, He was led away to Pilate’’s court, He was tortured, lashed by whips made for criminals under the penalty of death, until His whole body was torn, and even before He was hanged on the Cross, He was almost half-dead. 
To the question by Pilate, “Are You Christ? Are You the Savior? The Son of God?” Jesus answered, “It is I whom you speak of. It is as you say.” When Pilate said, “If You say the right words, I can release You. I have the power to do so,” Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above” (John 19:11), and stayed silent like a lamb before its shearer. 
Why do you think Jesus did that? The fact is that Jesus had to vicariously suffer the punishment of crucifixion, for He had taken on all the sins of the world by His baptism. Only when Jesus receives the punishment of crucifixion will the time of warfare against sin come to an end. Only then will people no longer suffer due to sin. Only then will all mankind be free from sin and be liberated from the slavery of sin, it is a case where Jesus stayed silent, like a lamb getting its wool shaved off. This is the gospel of Jesus’’ baptism and blood that has atoned for the sins of all mankind.
 
 
The Lord Has Atoned for All the Sin of the World Completely
 
In the Gospel of John chapter 1 verse 29, John bore witness to Jesus the day after Jesus’’ baptism, saying, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John the Baptist clearly gave Jesus the baptism that atoned for the sins of mankind. When Jesus came toward John the Baptist the day after Jesus was baptized, John the Baptist bore witness by saying to the people, “Please take a look at Him. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. You people, take a look at Him! He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” Because he had passed on all the sins of mankind to Jesus by the baptism, he himself was able to personally bear witness to the fact that Jesus was the Savior. “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) Jesus was the Lamb of God who has taken away the sins of the world. The Son of God came to this earth and took away the sin of the world.
In John 1:35-36, John the Baptist bore witness again as it is written, “Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, ‘Behold the Lamb of God!’” The Lamb mentioned here is in expression of Jesus as the lamb who has, as our substitute, become the sacrificial offering for all mankind, just like the sacrificial animal in the Old Testament that died on behalf of people. 
On behalf of you and me, the Son of God, our Creator, came to this earth and blotted out your sins as well as mine by His baptism and bloodshed. In order to take on and atone for all the sins—the original sin, personal sins, all the sins of trespasses, and whatever wicked sins that every single human being commits from the days of the Creation until the end of this earth, Jesus received the baptism from John and shed His blood on the Cross. 
Approximately 2000 years ago, Jesus had already blotted out all the sins of the world. We are currently using calendar years based on the birth of Jesus Christ who is the Master of history. As you well know, we refer to the dates before Christ as ‘‘B.C.’’ and the dates after His birth as ‘‘A.D.’’ (Anno Domini, that is, ‘‘in the year of our Lord’’). 
Because in A.D. 30, Jesus took on the sins of the world completely by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist, John the Baptist pointed out Jesus the next day and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) And again on the following day John the Baptist bore witness to Jesus, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God!” (John 1:36) John the Baptist bore witness to the gospel of the atonement for sins, saying, “Jesus took away all your sins completely. So your warfare is ended. You are without sin. No matter what kind of sin you may have committed, the Son of God took away all those sins.” 
Dear fellow believers, God atoned for all our sins by the baptism of Jesus. After having passed on all the sins to Jesus, John the Baptist bore witness, saying, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) John the Baptist bore witness to this Truth in order for everyone to believe in Jesus. It is written, “This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe” (John 1:7). This is the Word that appears in the Gospel of John. If it had not been for the witnessing by John the Baptist, how would people have known whether or not Jesus had carried away the sins of the world? Although the Bible says that Jesus died for all our sins, but it is John the Baptist who testified, “Having taken on the sins of the world by His baptism, Jesus has personally carried them away to the Cross.” 
John the Baptist was the bridge connecting the Old Testament and the New Testament. He was the servant of God who had made it so that all the Words of the Old Testament would be realized in Jesus. By believing this, I pray for you to receive eternal salvation. Because of the witnessing by John the Baptist and by those who are currently faithful, it became possible for all mankind to believe that the baptism Jesus received was the baptism of taking on the sins of all mankind, and as its result, Jesus had to shed His precious blood on the Cross.
I offer thanks to God who has allowed all our sins to be atoned for by sending us John the Baptist and Jesus.