Two Lambs

Last year, when I was in Israel with a tour group, our guide mentioned that the Bible tells us that Jesus asked Peter and John to make arrangements for the Passover, (Luke 22:8) but it does not say anything about what Jesus was doing prior to the Passover Meal. If Jesus followed Jewish traditions associated with this meal (which he likely would have because he was Jewish), our guide (who knew something about these things because he was also Jewish), said that Jesus, as the head of the community would have been responsible for preparing the lamb for the meal.

He would have gone to the market and purchased a lamb without blemish. Then he would have taken that lamb to the temple where he would have slaughtered it. The lamb’s blood would have been caught in a basin and then poured out at the base of the altar as an offering to God. The fat and the kidneys of the lamb would be removed and offered to God as a burnt offering.[1] If he needed any help, there would have priests there to help him. Then he would have taken the slaughtered lamb to one of the many community bonfires on the outskirts of Jerusalem where he would have roasted the lamb.

What thoughts must have run through our Lord’s mind as slaughtered that lamb? He was slaughtering a lamb that pointed to himself, the Lamb of God who would soon take away the sin of the whole world. In that moment, the Passover Lamb gave its life as a reminder that, one time in the past, it was the blood of the lamb that caused the Angel of Death to pass over. Within hours, the Lamb of God would give his life and his blood would cause the Angel of Death to forever pass over all who believe in him.

The Passover Lamb and the Lamb of God together. One is the sign. The other is the reality to which the sign points. And it is all for you. The Lamb of God came to save you, heal you from all of your sin and shame and give you a life with him that last forever. With the blood of the Lamb marked on the doorposts of your heart, you will be safe from death and free to live an abundant life with Jesus.

It’s Maundy Thursday.

[1] Argile A. Smith, Jr. “Preparing for Passover,” Lifeway (Available at:; accessed March 24, 2016).

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