Passover Lamb

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (John 1:29)

John the Baptist made reference to the Passover lamb in his observation of Jesus. The ancient feast at once brought called to mind Israel’s deliverance from slavery in Egypt, and foreshadowed deliverance from sin, the most horrible of taskmasters. John pointed to the latter when he heralded Jesus. Jesus came to free us from our sins. He was the fulfillment of the Passover lamb; the true, the real, the anti-type.

The type, a lamb without blemish, pointed to the gentle innocence of the One to come. The lamb’s blood was painted on the header and sides of the door as a sign to the destroying angel; such households were not to be harmed. I think this pointed to accepting responsibility for the kill; in our case, accepting responsibility for our sins bringing death to the Messiah. That’s a part of the thing protecting us from God’s wrath.

“And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.” (Ex.12:8) The leftovers were to be burned up. The key word is “eat”. It was to participate in the subliminal virtues of meekness and innocence more than sustenance to the body. The real eating has nothing to do with the body ingesting food. It has to do with taking in the will of God and living by it; “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” (John 4:34) For the followers of Jesus the bitter herbs have to do with remembering the darkness where we came from, lest we fail to appreciate our newly found freedom.

Many of our Jewish neighbors will keep a specified celebration of  this feast. May they turn to the Lamb of God who takes away sins. Many of our neighbors who call upon the name of Jesus will invest their faith in empty liturgy with icons abounding. Remember what the Spirit revealed through Paul; “I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.” (Gal.4:11)

 

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