"This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!"
For a moment or two letís look beneath the familiar, hallowed words of the liturgy and expose their rich foundation.
Calvary was the perfect response to the perfection of divine justice. Finite men and women sin against the infinite God and divine justice, because of its perfection, demands an appropriate and therefore, in this case, infinite, response to that sin.
This means that we, finite creatures that we are, do not possess the currency with which to redeem ourselves. The situation would be and would remain hopeless were it not for two factors.
The first is that Godís mercy is also infinite and the second is that divine love which is of the very essence of the relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, permeates both His justice and His mercy.
Enter Jesus, the son of Mary and the Son of God. The second person of the Blessed Trinity...the infinite Word made flesh...Jesus, the only human being to possess the required currency of redemption.
And so the loving mercy of God found a way for divine justice to be respected and, what is more, it would be a one-time inexhaustible payment. It would be made by Jesus and on behalf of every one of us.
He could have accomplished it all with a simple prayer, on our behalf, for forgiveness. That, believe it or not, would have satisfied the demands of divine justice. But the Son of God chose to go through what would become His passion and death because it would always be seen as a proof of His limitless love for us.
Calvary was an integral part of the great seal of authenticity upon His Gospel, a seal made complete with His resurrection from the dead.
Yes, He died for our sins but not because He had to. Rather He did so because He wanted to...no matter how much He feared the agony to be endured.
Now this does not mean that He planned the whole thing from His betrayal onward. He did, however, see it coming and in spite of His fear, He made good use of it so that what might have been just another hodgepodge of pride, jealousy, injustice, cowardice, betrayal, torture and death became, in fact, the perfect act of love wherein nothing is taken and all is given. This, then, is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.