Let’s go back to the time of the Jews’ slavery in Egypt.
On the tenth day of Nisan, the first month of the Hebrew calendar, the Lord told Moses and Aaron to have every man select a year-old lamb without blemish according to his household. On the 14th day of Nisan, the lambs were killed at twilight, and some of the blood was placed on the doorposts and the lintel of the houses where the lambs were eaten according to the Lord’s direction.
Later that night, the Lord passed through the land and struck all the firstborn of man and beast, sparing only those who had placed the blood on their doors and followed the direction of the Lord.
Following this event, Pharoh finally let Moses and the children of Isreal go.
For a thousand years, the Jews paid memorial to this event as directed by God in the book of Exodus. They would select a lamb, examine it for blemish, remove all yeast/leaven from their homes (yeast is compared to sin in the bible. A little bit changes the whole loaf), and sacrifice the lamb.
Then Jesus walked the earth.
Did you know that the day He road into Jerusalem, Palm Sunday, was the tenth day of Nisan? The day the lamb was selected.
After his arrival, Jesus was confronted by the chief priests, scribes and elders as he taught in the temple. They quizzed him and attempted to find fault in him.
Examining the lamb for blemish.
Jesus also cleansed the temple of the money-making schemes and ways in which those in authority were holding forgiveness hostage, stating they had made the temple, “a den of thieves,” rather than it’s intended, “house of prayer.”
Cleaning out the yeast.
Jesus was crucified on the fourteenth day of Nisan at the third hour. This is the same time the lambs would be tied to the alter for Passover. On the ninth hour, Jesus died. At the same time the lambs were killed for Passover.
Sacrificing the Lamb.
When He died, the veil of the temple that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place tore in two from top to bottom, signifying the opening up of direct communication between all people and God.
With His ultimate sacrifice, Jesus accomplished what the old testament sacrifice system never could; perfect forgiveness of sin.
As we near Easter Sunday, it is crucial to take seriously the responsibility of being perfectly forgiven as a result of Christ’s bloodshed and death. To be bold in our faith, in our drawing near to the Lord, and in our stirring up of one another in love and good works.
Thank you to Chastity Julson of the New Underwood Community Church for covering this subject during Wednesday night Bible study. Her recommended reading on what I briefly covered above is as follows:
Choosing the Lamb
Luke 19: 41-44
Examining the Lamb for Blemish
Cleaning out the Yeast
Sacrificing the Lamb
“Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29
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