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.
The sound must have been a maddening echo that haunted him at first, tormented by the rooster’s crow that mocked his empty proclamation of loyalty. For three days, his faith lay in the grave with the Savior’s body, darkened by the memory of his public desertion.
Slightly Obsessed #188: Freedom
He was shouting “Freedom” as he plowed his car at twenty-one miles an hour into the granite monument engraved with the Ten Commandments.
A video posted on the suspect’s Facebook page depicted the man in his car facing the monument as a women’s voice, presumably on a car radio, asked, “Where do you go when you’re faced with adversity and trials and challenges?”
Slightly Obsessed #187: He Reigns
Has a more beautiful declaration ever been written? Without that truth, we would have been forever lost to life. But because God had all authority firmly in His grasp, Satan had no chance of wresting the universe from Him. Because God reigns, Jesus could heal sickness, forgive sins, and conquer death. Because God is in control, evil was outwitted. Because He is Lord, there is power behind the words, “It is finished.”
Slightly Obsessed #186: When the Path Ahead Is Fearsome
The room was dark and shadowed, the only sound within its walls the rhythmic whoosh of the ventilator beside my son’s bed. I sat on an uncomfortable chair jammed into one corner of the room. In the faint light that fell from the window across the pages of the Bible I held, I tried to corral my stampeding fears long enough to find some comfort from God’s Word. Outside the door of his room, a cacophony of voices from the nurses’ station jarred our shattered nerves.
Slightly Obsessed #185: Clean
They were just turning down the lights in the sanctuary as I awkwardly slid into a seat near the back of the church. I was tired and soiled by the previous week. Life had been especially difficult, and I had not handled the pressure well. I felt completely unhinged spiritually and wholly unworthy to be in God’s presence. The worship team began with one of my favorite songs, and I hoped I didn’t look as vulnerable as I felt.
Slightly Obsessed #184: The Mark of Maturity
The infant finishes his bottle and smiles contentedly up at his mother. A trickle of milk courses down from the corner of his mouth. It’s a sweet scene because that’s what babies do. They are born with immature digestive systems and no teeth. Mother’s milk or formula are necessary for the child to survive and thrive. As they grow, their teeth begin to come in, their digestive abilities mature, and they can tolerate solid food.