The Lamb of God - The Centerpiece of Passover
|By:||Wayne Hilsden||Category:||Not Categorized|
|Date:||Sunday, April 15th, 2007||Topics:||Yeshua, Sin, Salvation, Passover, Moses, Messiah, God, Forgiveness, Exodus, Egypt|
Passover comes from the Hebrew word, “pesach.” The root verb means to “pass over,” or “to spare.” In Exodus 12:21 we read: “Then Moses …said to them, ‘Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover Lamb.” Passover and the lamb are inseparable. Without a sacrificed lamb there is no Passover to celebrate.
Originally the lamb was the centerpiece of the story. In the verses that recount the redemption from Egypt (Exodus 12:1-13, 21-23, 28-41, 50-51, 13:1-2, 15) the word “lamb” is used five times, the pronoun “it,” referring to the lamb, is mentioned twelve times. The “blood” of the lamb is mentioned six times. Various parts of the lamb are mentioned another four times. This is in contrast to “unleavened bread” which is referred to four times and the “bitter herbs” only once.
Yet, the lamb only plays minor part in the Haggadah (“the retelling”) of the Passover Seder. Today, the central items you will find at the Seder table are:
- Matza (unleavened bread)
- An egg
- Bitter herbs
- A sticky mixture of fruits and honey
- A shank bone
The “shank bone,” which is the only obvious physical reminder of the Passover lamb, is often replaced by a chicken wing, or chicken neck (Ashkenazi homes, especially.)
In a typical Haggadah (non-Messianic) there are only brief, passing references to the slaying of the lamb. Often, there is not even a mention of the sprinkling of the blood on the doorposts and lintel of Jewish homes to save the firstborn from the Angel of death.
In the redemption of Israel from Egypt the lamb of God was their salvation. As followers of Yeshua, how much more should we remember Yeshua at Passover, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). He is the reason for the season. In the words of Rabbi Saul, “For indeed Messiah, our Passover Lamb, was sacrificed for us.” (1 Corinthians 5:7)