Thursday, September 8, 2011
"THE PASSOVER LAMB"
Good Evening to All!
Let me say that I know that this subject is coming at an "odd time" as it is no where near Passover, but my friend and I are taking a Bible Study that deals with the "Lord's Feasts", and right now we are studying the Passover.
I am really learning a lot and enjoying this Bible Study. It has really opened up my understanding. I never have really enjoyed studying the Old Testament. To me, even though I knew that it connects with the New Testament, I had a habit of looking at it as "history", and that was all.
With this Bible Study, it has changed my way of thinking. For example, when I read the account of the Crucifixion, I automatically generalized about the Jews being responsible. NOT SO! At least not in general. It was the Roman government (not the "people") the government meaning Pilate and a few Roman soldiers, and Jerusalem ( the Jewish religious and political leaders in Jerusalem, not the "people". As a matter of fact, the people who stood up and yelled crucify him were incited by the Pharisees and Sadducees to do so out of jealousy.
I have had this mistaken idea for many years. I'm so glad that it has been corrected.
Another thing I think is neat about this study is that I am now seeing the relationship between the Passover sacrifice and the Crucifixion.
Let me tell you the story.
Every man was to select for his household a lamb without spot or blemish. He was to select this lamb on the tenth day of the month. Then he was to observe this lamb for five days to make sure there was nothing wrong with him. There could be no fault (spot or blemish) found in this lamb.
On the fifth day, he was to bring the lamb to his doorstep and kill him. As he killed the lamb he would catch the blood in the basin at the foot of the doorstep then sprinkle the blood on both sides of the doorpost and above the doorpost so the entire entrance into the house was covered by the blood of the lamb.
This was done on the evening of the 14 day (twilight). Now remember, the Hebrew day begins in the evening at approximately six o'clock. The Hebrews killed the lambs at three o'clock in the afternoon on the 14th in order to eat the meal by six before the day of Passover feast ended. The family then entered their house through the blood-stained door where they were protected from the plague of death that was to move through the land.
Now here comes an interesting part. According to the instructions, the entire lamb was to be roasted and consumed. Nothing could be left over for the next day. In preparing the meal, not one bone of the lamb was to be broken. This instruction required that the lamb be roasted on a spit shaped like a crossbar so that its body could be spread open.
Although the family went inside the house and couldn't see the blood covering, they had faith that God would save them because of it. They were saved by grace through faith in the blood of the lamb which they could not see. Is this sounding familiar?
The prophet Isaiah spoke of the suffering this human lamb would experience. He wrote a very clear, graphic description, which is recorded in Isaiah chapter 53.
As the time came for the human lamb to be sacrificed, the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary and God came to earth in the manifestation of Jesus to live among us, go through everything we as humans had to endure and become the sacrifice for our sins. God sent one last prophet to help the people recognize Him, John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus. John introduced Jesus with these words: "Behold the Lamb of God!". (John 1:36)
In John 12:1 it says that Jesus came to the town of Bethany six days before the Passover. Since the Passover was celebrated on the 14th, this means that Jesus came to Bethany on the ninth. John also gives us more information to show that Jesus entered Jerusalem on the tenth according to John 12:12-13. He says that it was the next day when Jesus rode into Jerusalem.
In other words, He came into Jerusalem on the exact day that God told the Jews to set aside their lambs back in Egypt. Jesus was fulfilling in Himself the ultimate reality of the Feast of Passover.
As earlier mentioned the purpose of setting the lamb aside was to observe it to make sure that it was without spot or blemish. This lamb was to be offered to God. Since God is perfect, you wouldn't want to offer Him a lamb that was blemished (physically or with fault), so the Jews observed and tested the lamb for five days to make sure that it was faultless. The same was done to Jesus by the religious leaders. They questioned His authority, they asked Him trick questions hoping He would somehow give a wrong answer that they could use against Him. They did everything they could to discredit Him so that He would not be an acceptable sacrifice.
Of course you know the story, Pilate said he could find no fault in Him. (John 19:4). This all happened in that five day period from the tenth to the 14th while the Jews were checking their lambs for the sacrifice.
Jesus was crucified on the 14th ( the same day as the lambs) and to be even more precise the same hour of the day. At the exact hour when the Jews were preparing their lambs for sacrifice, Jesus was nailed to the cross. (9:00 am, the 14th), they were killed at 3:00pm, so that Passover could be completed before six pm which would begin a new day.
To summarize this, Jesus gave His total self to be roasted and consumed in the judgment fires of God as He died for our sins. The spit shaped like a crossbar on which the lambs were spread open pointed to Jesus hanging on the cross. All the other details concerning the death of the lambs happened to Jesus, the real Lamb of God. For example, His bones were not broken. Remember, God said not to break any bones in the Passover lamb (Exodus 12:46, Number 9:12; Psalms 34:20).
When a person is crucified, his body sags so that =he cannot breathe. This causes him to push himself up with his heels just long enough to take a deep breath. To hasten a person's death, a Roman soldier would break his legs; thus, he would not be able to push himself up to get air.
John records that the soldiers broke the legs of the two thieves , that were next to Jesus, but they saw Jesus was already dead, so they didn't break His legs.
God had specifically instructed the Jews to consume the whole lamb. Nothing was to be left over for the next day. (Exodus 12:10). This was also the case with Jesus. The Jewish religious leaders, not realizing they were carrying out God's plan, hurriedly had Jesus' body taken down before six o'clock.
The Passover lamb was a visual aid and dress rehearsal directing the Jews into the future when Jesus would come and establish the spiritual reality that the lambs could only symbolize. The blood of Jesus saves us from death and gives us the promise of resurrection.
The apostle Paul made this connection when he said, "For indeed Christ [Messiah], our Passover, was sacrificed for us" (1 Corinthians 5:7).
I know this was a bit long, but I felt that it was important to share just in case there are others out there like myself who had never seen the similarities of the sacrifices of the lambs and of Jesus in relation to the Feast. I never really studied the Feast "rituals and preparations before, so the commonalities never dawned on me.
I hope you found this as interesting as I did. Believe it or not, as long as this post was, I skipped over quite a bit. This chapter on the Passover of our Bible Study is quite in depth and VERY interesting.
Good Night to All and May God Bless,