The Lamb Who Takes Away the Sins of the World

Passover in the Dawson householdTonight my grown kids and I celebrated our own little version of Messianic Passover.  This year was a bit different, in that we did it nacho-style, and my son is now old enough to take more of the lead in this special celebration.  Due to the fact I’d put our little “order of service” together way back when the kids were young, and using a book about the Messianic Passover that I didn’t own, I have been unable to update the order to reflect the growing ages of my kids.  But it was only this year that they didn’t want to go running for the hidden leaven, or go searching for the wrapped broken piece of mazzo bread.  But there was something akin to pride and accomplishment when my son agreed to stand and pray twice during the proceedings, break the bread before we ate, and watch both kids each give their own verbal contribution as we’d clink each toast during the ceremony.

I asked them a new question this year as we identified the various items represented on the table this year.  The last question I normally ask is that of the special dishes.  The usual answer is that it is a reminder of the wealth the Egyptians showered on Israel as they fled the night of that first Passover.  But this year, I wanted to bring out another thought.  Both kids looked at me a bit blank as they admitted I had not asked this next question before.  “What do the special dishes mean on this side of Passover?”  After a moment of puzzled silence, I answered by saying that once we have been washed by the Blood of the Lamb, we are then made into vessels fit for service in the Kingdom of God.

Jesus Christ was born during lambing season, in the same region of Judah where the Temple flocks were kept.  This means He was born during the early Spring.  In the typical Hebrew household, a family was to take a lamb and have it live with them for an entire month before it was to be slaughtered and prepared for the Passover meal.  It would be during the slaughter that the lamb’s blood would be gathered, and then, using hyssop, applied to the door posts and lintel of the home.  33 years later, and one month after the Temple flocks had lambed, Christ would be beaten, whipped, and hung on the cruelest form of punishment the world knew at that time, a Roman Cross!  Even John the Baptist announced to his followers, “Behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world!”.

The Jewish day is from sundown to sundown.  God would put it in the Scriptures as “and the evening and the morning were a given day”.  The Jews also strictly observed the concept of Sabbath in those days, much as orthodox Jews do now.  Christ’s body had to come down off that cross before Shabbat was eaten, the celebration that we typically associate with Friday evenings today, but that was and in many households still is, the beginning of Sabbath.  So it was with great haste that Joseph of Arimathea got permission and removed Christ from the Cross and placed him in his own tomb.

Three days later, Mary and Martha, and another Mary would discover the great news we praise God for to this day, that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead!  In order to be in the tomb three days, and yet have Mary and Martha arrive on the first day of the week, meant that Christ’s death was actually on a Thursday according to modern time keeping.  Thursday night, Friday night, and Saturday night He was in that tomb, but Sunday morning. . . yes, Sunday morning. . . that great and glorious Sunday morning, Christ ROSE!!!  He conquored death and the grave!  The Lamb that was Slain lives forevermore and will one day return first for His Church, and later to set foot on the Mount of Olives to do battle one last time with that slimy serpant known as satan himself, of whom the capitalizing his name grants too much respect and honour.

The Lamb is Risen!  He has chosen to bear the scars of those nails as a reminder to us of the love that drove Him there.  The little lamb stuffy that graces our Passover table holds a tiny red heart that says, “I love you”.  we place this lamb on our table every year as a reminder of why Christ went to the Cross.  Jesus Christ could not bear to have our sin eternally separate us from Himself!  He willingly took our faults, our failings, our anger, our selfishness, and every thought word and deed that fell short of God’s holiness, and took it on Himself to pay the death penalty in our place!

If you don’t know this Jesus, I’d encourage you to read the Gospel of John this weekend.  Then talk to God, seeking forgiveness for your own sinful shortcomings, and ask to be washed clean by the Blood of the Lamb.  Then seek out a Bible-believing, Salvation teaching, Holy Spirit-leading church to learn more about the Lover of your soul and how you may show Him your love and gratitude in your everyday life.

Good Friday dawns shortly, followed by Resurrection Sunday!  Don’t miss it!