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  • Sarah Raad

Passover

Christ is the Lamb of God – the perpetual Paschal Sacrifice offered for our SALVATION.

The Sacrificial Lamb (Josefa de Ayala)

I have been doing some reading about similarities between the Paschal Lamb of the Passover and the Pascal Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. Christ is the eternal sacrificial Lamb. He is the perpetual Sacrifice – Priest, Offering and Altar – for our salvation.


The similarities are beautiful…


Four days before the Feast of the Passover, the lamb is chosen and brought to the home… “Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family… Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight.” (Exodus 12:3-6). Palm Sunday, when Christ returned to Jerusalem, occurred four days before Christ’s death on the Cross, which occurred at twilight on the eve of the Feast of the Passover… “When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!’” (Luke 19:37-38). Christ – the eternal Paschal Sacrifice – was slaughtered at the same time as the Passover lambs that year.


The lamb had to be male and perfect and in the prime of its life. In Exodus 12:5, the rule is… “The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect”. Christ was the unblemished lamb, who was God made man killed at only 33 years of age during the prime of His life and being sinless, “Christ, (is) a lamb without blemish or defect. (1 Peter 1:19).


Every house was required to have their own lamb, “a lamb for an house” (Exodus 12:3) just as every soul must accept Christ as the Saviour of the World, where “it is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world.” (John 4:42).


The Paschal Lamb could have no broken bones either during its death or consumption (Exodus 12:8-10). Neither were Christ’s bones broken, even after His death… “But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out…. Now these things happened so that the Scripture would be fulfilled: ‘Not one of His bones will be broken.’” (John 19:33-36).


Any leftovers of the Paschal Lamb had to be removed from the city and burned and not consumed afterwards… “Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it” (Exodus 12:10). In the same way, although it was very unusual to remove the body of the executed victim from the cross on the same day as their death, Christ’s body was removed from the Cross and placed in a tomb OUTSIDE the city. “The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through His own blood.” (Hebrews 13:11-12).

The lamb is sacrificed in place of the first-born of the Israelites, just as Christ was sacrificed in our place “firstborn of many brethren” (Romans 8:29).

The blood sprinkled on the doorframes as part of the Feast of the Passover, formed the shape of a Cross, upon which Christ hung. “Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs.” (Exodus 12:7). “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!” (Romans 5:9).


Christ is the Paschal Lamb who freed not only the Jewish people, but all of us, not from physical slavery, as is commemorated through the Feast of the Passover when the Israelites were saved from Egyptian slavery, but from the slavery of sin. “For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14).


During the Feast of the Passover, unleavened bread that is striped and pierced, is eaten. This unleavened bread is without yeast, and yeast is used as a symbol of sin. Christ was flogged and those whips striped His sinless flesh and He was pierced, by the spear in his side after His death when all His blood drained out, just as the Jewish people emptied the Lamb of its blood prior to cooking it for the Feast of the Passover. “Instead, one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out.” (John 19:34).


In this way, Our Paschal Lamb is Food for souls… “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” (John 6:51).


"Lord, you are my God, I will honour you and praise your name. You have done amazing things; You have faithfully carried out THE PLANS YOU MADE LONG AGO." (Isaiah 25:1, emphasis added).


In the words of Scott Hahn in his book, “The Lamb’s Supper”… “The Lamb is Jesus. The Lamb is also a ‘son of man’, robed as a high priest (Revelation 1:13); the Lamb is sacrificial victim; the Lamb is God.”


For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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