Tuesday, August 14, 2012

So that's why Jesus is the Lamb...

I want to take it back to the Old Testament to explain better. Let’s start with Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22) When God tested Abraham and tells him to sacrifice Isaac, Isaac asks where the lamb is and Abraham responds that God will provide the lamb.  (This is important!) And when the angel of God stops Abraham, God provides a Ram. So they are still waiting for the lamb.

Now let’s go to Exodus to the Passover (starting at Exodus 11)

The tenth plague was that the angel of death would pass over Egypt killing every firstborn. To be spared from the plague the Israelites were told to take an unblemished lamb, slaughter it at twilight, take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the door frame where they were to eat the lamb, that same night they were to eat the meat with no leftovers.  In Exodus 12:14 it says “and this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.” The Church teaches that when Jesus established the New Covenant with His death and resurrection, He didn’t abandon the promises made to the Hebrew people but fulfilled them.

Now let’s look at how Jesus fulfilled the Passover. Jesus is the Lamb of God.

On Palm Sunday as Jesus is arriving in Jerusalem, so are the Passover lambs. This is showing that Jesus is taking the place of the Passover lamb. Also every year on Passover the unblemished lambs were inspected before being given to the families. Now, you are probably thinking what does this have to do with Jesus? A lot actually. Jesus is the lamb, and just as the unblemished lambs where inspected, so was Jesus, by Pilate, the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders. Also, during the Passover meal Jesus celebrated the Last Supper. During the Passover meal, Jesus takes the unleavened bread, blesses it, breaks it, and gives it to the disciples saying, “This is My body,” showing that He is replacing the Passover lamb. And with the wine, blesses it, and gives it to the disciples saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which is poured out for many.” Now, the Passover lamb was to prevent pain and suffering of loss of a loved one for the Israelites. Jesus as the Lamb is to save the world from pain and suffering, to open the gates of heaven.

To Summarize: The Israelites had to eat the Passover lamb. It was not enough to that they simply sacrificed the lamb-- they were instructed to also eat it. When we have the Eucharist we also eat the lamb, Jesus the Lamb of God. So that is why recieving the Eucharist is not cannibalism-- we are not eating human flesh, Jesus, but the Lamb of God, Jesus. J

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