Slightly Obsessed #027 "Killing The Lamb" (Wednesday Devo) by Pamela Thorson on 2013-03-27 11:56:03
On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves…
You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole
assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight.
Exodus 12:3, 6
His name was Ferdinand. My brother and I called him “Fergie.” That was our first mistake. The next mistake was to treat the Black Angus calf like a pet dog. We petted him, fed him out of our hands, played with him, and even rode him as he grew.
Our folks kept telling us that he wasn’t a pet. “We’re raising him for slaughter,” Mom reminded us. “Don’t get too attached to him.”
We had been given fair warning. But he was just so cute and fun we couldn’t help ourselves. When Fergie was grown and fat, our parents kept their word and had him slaughtered. It was pretty traumatic for us to have our “pet” wrapped and stored in the freezer. I remember grieving and wondering why something so beautiful and sweet and innocent had to die.
Israelite children went through a similar trauma every year. The slaughter of animals for their food and hides was commonplace, and they would have known about the sacrifice of animals associated with the Jewish worship. Once a year, though, during the feast of Passover, the sacrifice became very personal.
When God instituted the feast of Passover and freed Israel from the slavery of Egypt, He gave them specific instructions. The command was for each household to take an unblemished male lamb and let it live with them for four days. Jewish tradition tells us that the Passover lamb not only lived with them, it was named, petted, played with, and adored for those four days. The family was charmed by its innocence, taken in by its cuteness. They ran their hands through its soft, white wool and chuckled at its antics.
Then it had to die.
It seemed so sad, so wrong. Why did the lamb have to pay for the sins of the family? The little animal was blameless. It had done nothing to deserve death. The Israelites must have had heavy hearts when they shed the blood of the innocent one in a solemn ritual they performed each year.
God didn’t do this to be cruel. He wanted them to feel the sacrifice, to understand the grave price for sin. Generations before the coming of The Lamb of God, the gospel was preached in every blood-soaked little body that lay upon the altar to pay for the sins of humanity.
Jesus’ coming fulfilled and ended the need for atonement, thankfully. This week we remember once again the awfulness of our transgressions and the precious life that was sacrificed to remove the dark blot on our souls. It was unfair that He had to suffer for us, but it was a sacrifice He willingly gave to cleanse and redeem us. Such a high cost. Such a beautiful Lamb. How much He must love us!
About Pamela Thorson:
Pamela Thorson is a licensed practical nurse, author, and full-time caregiver. She pioneered in the homeschooling movement from 1982-2006 and authored her first book, Song in the Night, in 2008. She resides in the Northwest with her family.
Slightly Obsessed #197: Are We Spiritual Darwinists?
Two secular scientists recently stumbled upon evidence challenging their evolutionary assumptions. Do we subconsciously doubt God's power and quietly live a similar Darwinian existence? Are we ready to be challenged to believe in His power to intervene in our lives?
Slightly Obsessed #229: When Pain Is a Good Thing
The pain takes us down and drives us to our knees. We long for relief, for a way out. But in the secret place of suffering, we discover that pain is our friend.
Slightly Obsessed #228: The God of the Grateful
My world had just fallen into a pit. We had a young daughter, four other children, and no insurance. I was so sick that I didn’t even know if I could get to the doctor for tests. Despair rolled over us in waves.
Then God spoke.
Slightly Obsessed #227: Release the Beautiful
As we smiled at the people we met on our walk I wondered at the social custom that requires face-to-face congeniality on a bike path among strangers who would soon be in our respective cars fighting over a lane change. It’s easier to be mad at people when we can’t see their faces.
Slightly Obsessed #226: Triune
In its most basic element, our very existence mirrors His Godhead in trinity. Each person enters time and space as three: body, soul, and spirit.
Slightly Obsessed #225: Why Lightning Doesn't Strike the Wicked
The popular radio host was on a rampage, vehemently damning God. He crowned the diatribe by flinging a challenge at God to strike him down at that very moment. He smugly interpreted heaven's silence as proof that there is no God. But what was really happening?