Behold the Lamb!

LambsDid you know that Passover starts with the selection of the lamb? It’s true. The rabbis actually refer to this as a great miracle and it is commemorated on Shabbat HaGadol.

What is the great miracle? That God provided the lamb.

But what exactly is the Passover lamb? We know that it is a memorial of the Exodus, but it is also more than that. It is a peace offering.

You see, there are five types of offerings in the sacrificial system – the burnt offering, the meal offering, the sin offering, the guilt offering, and the peace offering.

The peace offering was an opportunity to share in the table of the LORD. It symbolized a shared meal between the offerer, the priesthood, and God Himself. The peace offering represented peace and mutual goodwill between God and the person bringing the peace offering. It represented fellowship between God and man. – FFOZ Torah Club 1, vol 3, page 413

During the Second Temple period, over a million people would converge on Jerusalem for the festival of Passover. One of the first things they had to do was secure a perfect lamb for their sacrifice.  So they went to the temple and waited their turn to speak with a priest to purchase an unblemished lamb. When they finally get to the priest, he points to a lamb and cries out, “Behold the lamb!”

Repeatedly throughout the 10th of Nissan, year after year, men heard the cry “Behold the lamb…behold the lamb” declared over the cacophony of bleating animals, laughter, and the conversations of the myriads of men waiting to secure their lamb. So when Yochanan the Immerser (John the Baptist), son of Zechariah the priest, saw Yeshua and cried out, ‘Behold the Lamb of God!’ don’t you think everyone around him understood what he was declaring?

But the Torah says the lamb must be without spot or blemish. So the Israelites took the lamb into their dwelling and spent three days inspecting it, to ensure its perfection.

After Yochanan pronounced Yeshua as the Lamb of God, Yeshua lived with the Israelites for three years in public ministry, allowing them to inspect Him. The gospels are the record of that inspection. They testify that Yeshua is the Perfect Lamb who brought peace, goodwill, and fellowship between God and man.

 

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