The Passover Lamb
As the disciples follow Jesus’ instructions about finding a place to celebrate the Passover, they may have wondered how Jesus seemed to know exactly what was going to happen. How did he know that a man with a water jug would lead them to a house where a guest room was already prepared? If he knew such things, what else might be possible? Would he soon reveal himself as the longawaited Messiah and free them from the bondage of the Roman Empire? And when he did, what might their role in his kingdom be? I doubt that they had any understanding that in preparing for this Passover meal, they were helping to prepare for Jesus’ death. They could not have seen how Jesus would become the new Passover lamb.
When the Israelites were slaves in Egypt, God commanded that every Israelite household was to slaughter a year-old male lamb that had no defect, putting some of its blood on the doorposts and lintel of their houses. When the angel of the Lord saw the blood, he passed over the house and did not inflict the tenth and most terrible of the plagues: the death of the firstborn. The Israelites were commanded to celebrate Passover to remember how God led them out of slavery. When we see Jesus as the new Passover lamb, we acknowledge that his body was given for us, that his blood was shed for us. He is the unblemished one, the one without defect, whose blood on the doorposts and lintel of our hearts saves us from destruction and frees us from the bondage of sin.
Listen to “Lamb of God” by Twila Paris. You can find it in many hymnals, on YouTube, and where Christian music is sold.
Anne Knighten is a senior in the MDiv-Distributive Learning program at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. She and her husband live in Redlands, CA.
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