Editor: This week is Easter Week, also called Passion Week and Holy Week. During each day this week, Every Day with God will focus on some of the events involving Jesus on the different days of this week, which ultimately led to His death and resurrection.
Read Matthew 26:17-30
On Thursday of Passion Week, Jesus instructed His disciples to prepare the Passover. Why was that so significant? What is the symbolism involved in the Passover Meal?
Early in the ministry of John the Baptist, he saw Jesus and cried, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29b). But why did John say that?
Our first answer to those questions comes from an event that occurred 4,000 years ago. Abraham knew God had promised to make him the father of many nations, yet God commanded him to sacrifice his only son by Sarah. So Abraham took his son, Isaac, up Mt. Moriah to offer a sacrifice. When Isaac asked about the lamb, Abraham assured him that God would provide the lamb (Genesis 22:6-8).
From that time forward, the entire Old Testament can be summed up with one question, “Where is the lamb?” Israel began its history as a nation 500 years later by following God’s instructions to place the blood of a lamb on the doorposts and lintels of each house. That same night, the death angel took the lives of all Egypt’s firstborn but passed over the houses that had the blood of a lamb on the door. For the last 3,500 years, Jewish families have meticulously prepared an annual Passover Meal to celebrate what happened that night.
For generations, Passover lambs were even raised in Bethlehem, just a few miles from the Temple. In those shepherds’ fields, a very special breed of sacrificial lamb was raised and nurtured to be brought to Jerusalem at Passover to be slaughtered to cover the people’s sins. Jesus, however, did not have His beginning when He was born in Bethlehem. Mary’s Lamb is the Lord of heaven, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father. He is the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8).
For Christians, Passover pictures a greater reality. In the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, God provided the perfect sacrifice that could take away sin through His death on a Roman cross. In fact, all the sacrificial lambs offered in the Old Testament point to Jesus Christ.
In Exodus, God said to take the lamb’s blood and put it on the doorposts and lentel of the house. The angel of judgment is coming through the land of Egypt, but “when I see the blood, I will pass over you” (Exodus 12:13b). They could have put a perfect living lamb outside that door, but it would have done no good.
Salvation does not come from the life of Christ but from the death of Christ. Salvation is not learning lessons from the life of Christ, but receiving life by faith in the death of Christ. The Bible says, “Without shedding of blood, there is no remission.” (Hebrews 9:22)
Adrian Rogers summarized all this for us: “Jesus came as He did, born of a virgin, to be what He was, sinless. He was what He was, sinless, to do what He did, die for our sins. And He died for our sins so that He, being what He was, might make us what we were not: children of God!”