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Friday, April 2, 2010

The Paschal Lamb

                                                   "A Remembrance of Christ"

Each year during the spring, The Jews celebrate an event we call "Passover." Because it has become common, many if the truths have been passed over or even ignored. Why did John the Baptist declare with his first words of Jesus "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!"(?) Where did he get that idea?
In the spring of the year, The Jews would begin "cleaning house" in preparation for the Passover. Hence, we get the term "Spring cleaning." All levin or yeast had to be removed from the house, and that included all the dust and dirt. A little levin would be left for Papa to find when he did the grand inspection, and this was a tradition. The Father would select a young lamb and "bring him home" to live with the family during this week of "Celebration." This was no small thing, for it was commanded by Almighty God, to do yearly in remembrance of the Exodus from Egypt. Once the house was clean and the time was right, the lamb and the family would be locked in for the week. No work would be done during this week and this was family time. Squabbles would arise, there would be much discussion, and the children would play many games. This little lamb became a "pet" and the children and family would grow attached to it, much like we would a dog or cat, or any other pet one can imagine. Their minds would be "on God" and the Father would oversee the traditions of the family and would follow strict adherence to the Word of God.
On Friday around 6:00 pm, the lamb would be "slaughtered" for the sins of the family. Can't you hear the children begging, "Oh no Daddy, PLEASE DON'T KILL IT!" It had to be done, and the Father or one of the men would cut the lamb's throat and let the blood drain. There are many other symbols of Christ in the Passover. All of these can be read in a little book called "Christ in the Passover" by Moishe Rosen (Moishe is Moses in English).
The bread that was used plays a significant role as well. It was unlevined and it was "striped and pierced" and kept in a pouch. This pouch had three compartments: Upper, Middle, and Lower. The bread for the Passover would be pulled out of the Middle first and broken in half. One half of it would wrapped in a linen cloth and "buried" or hidden from the children so that it could be Resurrected at a latter time in the Passover. The hidden bread was known as the "Aphikomen."
There is much more to be said about this so I would recommend the reading of the book previously mentioned. Moving on to Jesus, the Jews were waiting for a Messiah, or Ha'Messhiach. When the lamb was slain, this was called the "atoning sacrifice" or "Atonement." This was the time the person realized they were "One" with God, or At-one-ment.
When Jesus walked on this Earth, He was the Pascal Lamb, the atoning sacrifice. He came to Earth to dwell with His family Israel - the children of God. We slaughtered Him! It was His Destiny and He did it because He loved us so much. Jesus was the bread of life and when we partake of communion bread we eat His flesh. When we drink the wine, we drink His blood. I do not believe this is literal, but it is a powerful symbol and remembrance of what HE did for us (me).
When Jesus died on the cross, He fulfilled the obligation of man's sin, the requirement of the blood. Sin brings death, and Jesus died for you and for me.
The "Aphikomen" would be raise from the dead, from the Secret Place, and the children and family would rejoice with great Joy because "He is Risen." Jesus is the Aphikomen.  Jesus was the Lamb. Jesus  was in and around the family when the death angel "Passed Over" the House. Without the blood of the Lamb, there can be no remission of sin. We are free to live, we are free to dance, we are free to Rejoice because of the the "At-one-ment" we have with the Lamb of God. Although we are free, this grace and mercy did not come cheap. The very best was offered up for you, and me.
"What wondrous love is this? Oh my soul. Oh my soul. What wondrous love is this? Oh my soul. What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss, to bear this dreadful curse for my soul?" All of our springs are in Him. HE is the fountain of Life Eternal.

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