The Paschal lamb or Passover Lamb
A sacrifice that takes a special place in the total sacrifice ritual was the Paschal sacrifice, the Paschal lamb or Passover Lamb. The paschal sacrifice was installed before the exodus from Egypt took place. In contrast to the meat of the sacrifices, the flesh of the paschal lamb was eaten at home. In Egypt, just before the exodus, the Israelites had to smooth the blood of the lamb on their doorposts so that the tenth plague in Egypt would pass their homes.
The sacrificial lamb had to be picked out several days in advance, and had to be slaughtered at night. Each family in Israel had to participate in this ritual. But later, in the country, only those who had acceded to the Covenant could eat from it. It was expressly stipulated that no leg were to be broken of the sacrificial lamb.
The New Testament tells us that whole symbolism points to Jesus. John the Baptist calls him “the Lamb of God” (John 1:29). In the book of Revelation, Jesus later is also indicated as such (Revelation 5: 6). Of the believers are said to (Revelation 7:14) “have made their robes white in the blood of the Lamb,” in all its seeming contradiction it is a stunning imagery. The white robes are a symbol of (given) justice, and made white by the blood of Jesus means that they obtained righteousness through Jesus’ death on the cross. It refers directly to the rescue in Egypt through the blood of the paschal lamb.
In Revelation 19, the “marriage” between Christ and his bride, the church is spoken of as “the marriage of the Lamb” (verse 7 and 9). From the records of the Gospels, it can be seen that Jesus died on the cross at the time when the Easter lambs were slaughtered. John points out that of him “no bone is broken” (John 19:36).
And from him counts also that every part of his body (the whole Christian community) has to participate of his flesh and must be justified by his blood (see Chapter 16, “Bread and Wine”), but that only they which have acceded to the Covenant can participate. It is clear that the symbolism of the Passover lamb looks outstanding on the sacrificial death of him who will protect us for the next ‘plague’, the judgement.
“On the morrow he seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold, the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29 ASV)
“And they sing a new song, saying, Worthy art thou to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou was slain, and didst purchase unto God with thy blood [men] of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation,” (Revelation 5:9 ASV)
“And I say unto him, My lord, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they that come out of the great tribulation, and they washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Revelation 7:14 ASV)
“7 Let us rejoice and be exceeding glad, and let us give the glory unto him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8 And it was given unto her that she should array herself in fine linen, bright [and] pure: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they that are bidden to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are true words of God.” (Revelation 19:7-9 ASV)
“For these things came to pass, that the scripture might be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.” (John 19:36 ASV)
Next: Redemption #5 The perfect sacrifice
Dutch version / Nederlandstalige versie: Verlossing #4 Het Paaslam
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