The Anointed One Appears
The entire Old Testament has served to prepare the Jewish people for this moment in history. The prophets from years gone by have taught the Israelites to look forward to this moment. John the Baptist was sent by God to link the Old Testament times and the New Testament times. He announced that the Anointed One was coming, and prepared the way for the Messiah by telling people that they needed to repent of their sins.
John the Baptist draws many people to hear him. A delegation from Jerusalem is sent to interrogate him. This delegation asks him if he is the Messiah, or the Elijah, or the great Prophet. He denies being any of these people, and says that he is merely the one sent to announce someone who is much, much greater than he is.
When John the Baptist sees Jesus, he says, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” In the Old Testament, the Israelites were taught to look forward to God’s salvation through the rituals associated with the Passover. During the Passover, they remembered how the blood of a sacrificial lamb was used so death would not take them. John the Baptist tells his hearers that Jesus Christ is the final, perfect Passover lamb, the one who covers the sins of all who believe so that death will not take them.
John the Baptist had to become less, so that Jesus would become greater. John sent some of his disciples to follow Jesus, and these disciples brought others. Soon, Jesus had a band of disciples who believed in him. Jesus, who is the eternal God and also man, promised to reveal the eternal God to these disciples.