"The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, 'Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away
the sin of the world!'"
In an article called "Cosmic Treason," theologian R.C. Sproul writes, "When we look at the ways in which the Scriptures describe sin, three stand out in importance. First, sin is a debt; second, it is an expression of enmity; third, it is depicted as a crime."
Sin is a debt we owe which we could never pay, to a God who is under no obligation to offer us terms to pay it back if we could. Second, sin is enmity. We, each of our own choosing, have lashed out at our Creator regardless of His beauty, kindness, and authority. Third, we are all criminals, guilty of breaking God's Law. Against Him we perpetrate these crimes. He deserves justice, just as we would were someone to commit a crime against us.
Paraphrasing John 1:29 with these terms helps us to consider more fully what Jesus has done. Look! The Lamb of God, who pays our un-payable debt, who comes and brings peace between sworn enemies, and who Himself, though innocent, is condemned and punished as guilty for the crimes and cosmic treason
of the world!