At Jesus’ Table: Wednesday, Lamb

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household. If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbor in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

Exodus 12:1-8


When Jesus came to John to be baptized in the Jordan River, John recognized him with the cry, “Behold the Lamb of God, who comes to take away the sins of the world!” From this I believe we draw an idealized view of the lamb that is Jesus. We picture a white, wooly, innocent, gentle Jesus, meek and mild and lowly.

When God gave Moses the instructions for Passover in Exodus 12, Moses and the Israelites were to each take a lamb, the best and brightest young lamb they could find, a yearling without spot or blemish, one of highest value, and slaughter it. If you have ever participated in slaughtering any animal, you know it is bloody work. Blood and other bodily excretions can get everywhere. It smells bad. The Israelites are then told to collect this blood, bring it to their homes, and smear it around their doorways.

I worry that we have become too comfortable with the slaughtering of the Lamb of God. We have idealized views of Jesus’ crucifixion and, knowing the thrill of resurrection, we skip past the horrors of crucifixion. When we do this, we are in danger of cheapening God’s grace.

Have you considered the agony of Jesus’ execution? Are you uncomfortable considering his suffering? Do you want to skip over the crucifixion in favor of the resurrection?

Pray that you will experience both Christ’s execution and resurrection anew. Pray for a deeper understanding of the sacrifice made so that your sins can be forgiven.

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