John not only recommended Christ as the Lamb of God, but also as the Lamb with the dove (1:32-33). The Lamb takes sin away from man, and the dove brings God as life to man. The Lamb is for redemption, to redeem fallen man back to God, and the dove is for life-giving, for anointing, to anoint man with what God is, to bring God into man and man into God, and for uniting the believers in God. Both are needed for man to participate in God. The dove is the symbol of the Holy Spirit, whose work is to bring God and join God to man. The Lamb, on the negative side, solves the problem of man’s sin; the dove, on the positive side, brings God to man. The Lamb separates man from sin, and the dove joins God to man.
John recommended Jesus as the Lamb with a dove, not with an eagle. It seems that some Christians have an eagle instead of a dove. A dove is not large and wild. A dove is small and gentle. The dove here signifies the Holy Spirit and is for life-giving, regenerating, anointing, transforming, uniting, and building. The dove is not for power but for life. A dove has no power; it is full of life and insight. The Bible appreciates the dove’s eyes, for the most beautiful part of a dove is its eyes. In the Song of Songs, the Lord praises His seeker for her doves’ eyes (1:15). The dove is not a symbol of power, but of life. A dove is lovely, small, and full of life.
When we come to John 12, we shall see that the Lord Jesus likens Himself to something even smaller than a dove—a grain of wheat (12:24). A grain of wheat is neither for outward appearance nor for power. A grain of wheat, which is full of life, is for the reproduction and propagation of life, for the multiplication in life. Thus, the Gospel of John is a book of life, not of power. The Lamb is not for power, but for redemption. If Jesus had come as a lion, no one could have put Him on the cross. However, He came as a little Lamb who was led to the slaughter and killed for our redemption (Isa. 53:7). What a difference between life and religion! Religion is for power, for movements, and for great leaders. Life needs a Lamb for redemption to remove all sinful things and a dove full of life to impart life, regenerate, anoint, transform, unite, and build. Then God will have a house, a Bethel. We all must see this.