In the scriptures we’re given this picture of Jesus as the Lamb of God. What is that about? Well the Hebrew mind contemporary to Jesus would have understood this image without hesitation. In the book of exodus we’re told a story of Moses freeing his people, the Israelites, from slavery in Egypt. Moses goes up to Pharaoh and asks for his people to be set free and of course Pharaoh said sure Moses I don’t really need them… no way. Pharaoh wasn’t about to just give up his nation of slaves. God sent nine plagues upon the people of Egypt to persuade pharaoh. The ninth plague was the death of the first born of every household except those who had slaughtered a lamb and painted their door with its blood. So when the spirit of the Lord passed by to take the children he would pass by the Israelites because of the blood of the Lamb. The lamb was slaughtered to save God’s people from death… see a parallel?
So the Jews celebrate the “Passover.” Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples (the last supper). It is a meal that symbolizes the Jews freedom from slavery. Jesus showed His disciples at this Passover meal his emblematic role as the Lamb of God. At the time when a Jew would hold up the wine and say “this is the cup of the covenant of God, the blood of the lamb” Jesus made a drastically radical statement. Jesus said “this is the cup of the new covenant in my blood which is poured out for you.” Luke 22:20
Jesus died a sacrificial death. If you remember from our story of Moses, because of the ninth plague the Jews were made free (not without having to wander in the dessert for forty years). There are a lot of parallels that can be made between Jesus story and the Passover story, too many for just one Blog post. But I want us to see that the Death of Jesus is about freedom. Have we been freed? Are we wandering in the desert waiting for something to happen? Or have we gone back to Egypt to suffer?