“Behold, the Lamb of God!”

Mar 29, 2010 No Comments by

By Ron Ross, 26th March, 2010

It is staggering so many bible teachers avoid or totally disregard Passover when teaching the awesome truth of the Easter story.

As Jesus and His family observed the feasts, I wonder what He thought about when the Mary, Joseph shared Passover and its traditions. Think about Him being part of cleaning house and helping Mary remove every spec of leaven from their home. Did He enter into the question and answer process just like all the other children in His neighborhood?

The leaven represents the sin, which would call for His own loving and merciful sacrifice. The Passover sacrifice calls for an animal ‘without blemish.’ Exodus 12; 5 “ Your lamb shall be without blemish, a yearling male; you may take it from the sheep or the goats.” (See also Lev.22: 17-25; Deut 15:21; 17:1)

Jesus was that spotless Lamb. How illuminating it is when John the Baptist greets the Lord saying, ‘The lamb of God, who takes away the sins for the world” (John 1:29)

When the Angel of Death (The Destroyer) kills the Egyptians who are without His covering or protection (Gen 19:13-14; 2 Sam. 24:16; 2 Kings 18:35), the Israelites apply the blood of the sacrifices to their doorposts and are delivered (Exodus 12: 7, 13, 22 and 23)

This is at once a visual filled with joy and elation and I’m sure it also provokes believers to tears and intercession for the lost. The blood of the lamb is the only protection. The alternative is heart-breaking.

Through the Exodus account God issues warnings, even to the Israelites. He has commands which build the foundation for His love and protection. God cannot play favourites and He will not transgress His own laws to deliver favours.

He continues with those warnings today but so many think they’re OK. “I lead a good life,” they say.  “Everything will be fine!” God is all love and candy but they reason without respect for His holiness. I imagine conversations saying the same things even while Noah was nailing the boards for his boat!

Passover

The Lord warned the people to place blood on their doorposts and to stay indoors. Some explain the ritual in the light of the recently obtained freedom from slavery. They escaped the burdens of Pharaoh and found deliverance. Christ explains His kingdom within that kind of terminology. His Christian believers escape slavery in the fallen world to find a new life made possible by the shed blood of the Lamb.

The English word ‘passover’ is from the Hebrew ‘pasah’ used in Isaiah 31: 5 “Like flying birds so the LORD of hosts will protect Jerusalem.  He will protect and deliver it; He will pass over and rescue it.”

The Jewish Study Bible says, “The Israelites are to eat while prepared to leave on a moment’s notice. Passover offering, Heb ‘pesah,’ originally referred only to the sacrifice. Later it became the name for the entire festival, including the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (“Hag ha-Matzot)”  originally a separate holiday. In most European languages it is also the name of Easter (as in French ‘Paques’) The translation ‘passover’ (and hence the English name of the holiday) is probably incorrect. The alternative name ‘protective offering’ is more likely.”

Passover starts March 30 and Easter April 2nd. This year why not give serious consideration to the warnings and commands the merciful Father has given. It starts with removing leaven from our houses.

The Apostle Paul told us to present our bodies as ‘a living and holy sacrifice.’ (Romans 12: 1)  It wont hurt to start the cleansing process right there.

Another tip from the Jewish Study Bible is worth repeating: “The sacredness of these days is to be expressed by ceasing from work, as on the Sabbath.”

We should all check our schedules. Do we have time for the Lord over the Passover/Easter period? Where does He rate in our priorities? Our Father is no killjoy. You will be pleased to know cooking is allowed so the festival food might be prepared. I believe that condition is important because He wants us to fellowship with Him and with each other.

Oh and there is another very important phrase in Exodus 12: 24 “Observe this”

Have a blessed and observant time, beloved.

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About the author

Ron Ross worked as the first Sports Editor at WINTV. In Wollongong. He ran The Hamburger Hut an outreach and discipleship program for youth. He served with Youth With a Mission in Hawaii, Philippines and Australia. He was senior pastor of the Noosa Baptist Church, Queensland for 9 years. He reported news from Jerusalem for five years and is now the Middle East correspondent for United Christian Broadcasters and travels regularly preaching and teaching.
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