Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

What's with the Lamb cake? Where's the Easter Bunny? Wait, Bunnies don't lay eggs…Could the real Easter symbol please stand up? 

Pascha, the feast of the Resurrection of the Lord, now Easter, is celebrated on the 1st Sunday following the 1st full moon of Spring, at least for Western Christians. This is about the same time as the Jewish holiday of Passover and the Pagan celebration of the spring equinox. The Seder meal served at Passover includes a hard boiled egg which represents the holiday offering brought in the days of the Holy Temple. Eggs as well as hares are also used by the Pagans, as symbols of new life and fertility.  This explains the Easter Bunny and Easter eggs, which are lovely and all, but they don't hold a candle to the meaning behind the Lamb! 

Let's go back in time, to when a wiry mountain man wearing animal skins for clothes, boisterously obsessed with one thing, rants on about a Messiah that is coming to save the world. People would travel for weeks just to get a glimpse of this guy. You are standing alongside the Jordan River to be passionately Baptized by him, to ready yourself for this Savior he speaks of. Then walks into the scene, Jesus. "Behold!" John the Baptist bellows, "The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29) John must have been crazy ecstatic to see Jesus, and positively honored to announce His presence. What I would give to have an audio of that moment.
Now let's take a look at what being called 'The Lamb of God' really meant. Before Jesus, the only way to approach God was through the blood of an animal sacrifice.  In the time of Moses, under Mosaic law, a male yearling without blemish, innocent, pure and gentle had to be sacrificed to redeem humans, to make atonement for their sins, and receive purification from ritual uncleanliness. It wasn't as easy, and they had to do it over and over. A lamb was sacrificed every morning and evening (Exodus 29:39). They were never truly finished.  Not until God sent us all His final sacrifice, without blemish, innocent, pure, and gentle…His Son! (1 Pet 1:19) Jesus said it Himself as His blood flowed out for us, in His final words, "It is Finished" (John 19:30) The debt of all of our sins past present and future has been paid through the sacrifice of God's own Lamb.

Suddenly I'm feeling rather foolish that I celebrate my Salvation with an egg. From now on, I'm going to make it known that I am a believer in Jesus, the Lamb of God and Savior of the world, by celebrating appropriately.  As far as my Easter table goes, it's going to be as easy as cake.

Please remember, BIBLE BAIT is written by a novice Bible study student, not a Bible scholar. If something doesn't look quite right to you, dig into God's word. The one thing I promise you is that you won't get bored!
Many thanks to my Bible study friends who proofread for me every week.