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Jesus – the Passover Lamb!

By David J. Smith
April 26, 2008

Isaiah 53 prophesied of the coming Messiah who would take away our sins. That Savior was to be killed, picturing the lambs that were sacrificed late on the Passover day, which would eliminate the sins of the world. This section of scripture stated He would die a cruel death. He didn’t deserve to die because He had done nothing wrong! It said that He would be wounded and bruised, oppressed and afflicted, and die for our sins.

Jesus told the twelve disciples that one of them would betray Him to the Romans and leaders of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish council. The disciples wanted to know if it was one of them, but Judas had already made the arrangements. They went out to Gethsemane. Jesus wanted to pray in private, so He left the disciples a distance away. When He came back, He found them asleep. An angel came to Him to strengthen Him in this time of agony.

Judas finally arrived on the scene, and a large mob followed him with swords and spears, accompanied by the chief priests and elders of the people. They looked upon Jesus as a threat rather than the Lamb of God, who would take away the sins of the world. Jesus startled them by saying that He could pray to His Father, and God could send twelve legions of angels to protect Him!

Jesus’ statement also angered the chief priests. They captured Jesus and tied Him up for fear He would escape out of their hands. Caiaphas cautioned them that the scriptures said one must die for the people. He had been observing Jesus since His birth to determine if He was that ONE!

The high priests began to question Jesus. The disciples waited outside in the courtyard. When Peter was recognized as being with Jesus, he denied knowing Him. Jesus told Peter he would deny him several times before that long night was over. Annas sent Jesus to Caiaphas, the high priest. They went into the judgment hall, which was illegal to hold a night court! The Roman in charge, Pilate, asked about the accusations levied against Jesus. Basically, they accused Him of being involved in a plot to overthrow the Roman government.

Pilate asked Jesus if He was a king. Jesus point blank said that He was born to be a king, but that His kingdom was for a different time period – not right then ! Pilate found no fault with Jesus. He wanted to release Jesus to them as their king. The hysterical mob did not want Jesus released, instead they wanted Barabbas released, a known robber.

Pilate had Jesus scourged with a cat-of-nine-tails. A professional, using a whip with bone fragments attached to grip the flesh and tear loose the muscle tissue from the person’s bones, did the dirty deed. They placed a crown of thorns and a purple robe on Him – to mock His statements about being born to be a king. The chief priests stirred up the crowd by shouting, “Crucify Him, crucify Him.” Pilate wanted to release Jesus, but to no avail. The mob, driven by the jealousy of the chief priests, led Jesus away.

The soldiers did as they were told – crucify Him!!! The Romans placed a sign on the cross showing that Jesus claimed to be the king of the Jews. The chief priests objected, but to no avail. The soldiers divided up His raiment as the scriptures had prophesied long before.

From noon to 3:00 pm, darkness covered the area. Something unusual was happening. Jesus cried out a question: “My God, why have you forsaken me?” The Father had turned His back and let Jesus die to pay for the sins of the world. He could have intervened and saved Him from the humiliating agony that He was required to endure, but He didn’t. Jesus became that sacrificial Lamb to save the world!!!

Jesus changed the killing of a lamb to taking bread and wine that pictured His broken body and shed blood. We do this on Passover Day, late in the afternoon, to memorialize His death until He comes again. The Apostle Paul said we are to have a true heart – pure and undefiled from sin in order to take these symbols. Repentance FROM sin is a necessity before we take the symbols of Jesus’ broken body and shed blood, or we eat and drink condemnation to ourselves.

We are encouraged to judge ourselves and repent of whatever sin remains. By doing this, we will not be condemned with those who never repent.

Jesus came to “shed the blood of the everlasting covenant” that was made with our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We have all violated God’s spiritual Law that determines sin. The key is: we have been given an opportunity to have those violations forgiven IF we accept the sacrifice of the Lamb of God.

References:

Isaiah 53; Matthew 26: 31-32, 36-44; Luke 22: 41-44; Matthew 26: 47-54; John 18: 12-14, 19-40; John 19: 1-14; Matthew 27: 45-54; I Corinthians 11: 23-32; Hebrews 13: 20-21; Romans 3: 23.

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