Why is Jesus called the Passover Lamb?

by anonymous

Why is Jesus called the Passover lamb? Consider briefly the description of the Passover lamb that was a normal part of the feast for countless years after God gave Moses the command to keep this feast.

On the tenth of the Jewish month Nisan, the Passover lamb was led through the Sheep Gate for its journey to the temple. When it entered in, people would wave palm branches in all four directions and sing a Psalm known as the "Hallel". The Hallel for those of you who do not know is "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord". They laid palm branches down before the lamb as it walked. Consider this from the Word of God:

So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road;  others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out,  saying: "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!' Hosanna in the highest!" Matt 21:6-9

The Passover lamb was taken to the Temple for four days for a specific purpose: it was to be kept under close observation. Why? The Passover lamb had to be a spotless lamb. Around 50 separate tests were performed to insure the lamb's purity. On the fourteenth day of the month of Nisan, after the lamb was officially declared to be pure and free from defect, it was placed upon the altar at 9:00 AM. The lamb remained until 3:00 PM in the afternoon. At that time, the High Priest took a knife and slit the throat of the lamb and said "It is finished".

After the death of the lamb, it was taken and then thrust on a vertical pole. A horizontal pole was transfixed on this pole and the lamb was layed out on it so that its skin could be flayed. The skin on its back was removed to ensure one thing: that it was as pure on the inside as it was on the outside. The heart of the lamb was removed and all the blood was drained from it. In all of this exercise, not one bone of the lamb was broken.

After Jesus was lead into the city, He was watched closely by many in the temple area over the next four days. He said Himself that they could have apprehended Him at any time because He was in the temple teaching almost the entire week!

Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? "I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and you did not take Me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled." Mark 14:48-49

The Pharisees, Scribes, Lawyers, and Teachers of Israel examined Yeshua thoroughly, quizzing Him about the Law and trying to catch Him in His own words!

And they sought to lay hands on Him, but feared the multitude, for they knew He had spoken the parable against them. So they left Him and went away.... Then they sent to Him some of the Pharisees and the Herodians, to catch Him in His words. When they had come, they said to Him, "Teacher, we know that You are true, and care about no one; for You do not regard the person of men, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? "Shall we pay, or shall we not pay?" But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, "Why do you test Me? Bring Me a denarius that I may see it." So they brought it. And He said to them, "Whose image and inscription is this?" And they said to Him, "Caesar's." And Jesus answered and said to them, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they marveled at Him.....

Then some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him; and they asked Him, saying: "Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man's brother dies, and leaves his wife behind, and leaves no children, his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, "Which is the first commandment of all? Then Jesus answered and said, while He taught in the temple, "How is it that the scribes say that the Messiah is the Son of David? For David himself said by the Holy Spirit: 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool. Therefore David himself calls Him 'Lord'; how is He then his Son?" And the common people heard Him gladly. Mark 12:12-44

How do we know that Jesus passed all the tests?? Very simple. God Almighty Himself spoke from Heaven that this lamb was spotless.. that He was pure... that He had glorified His name in Jesus!

"Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name." Then a voice came from heaven, saying, "I have both glorified it and will glorify it again." Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to Him." Jesus answered and said, "This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself. This He said, signifying by what death He would die. John 12:27-33

This voice came for the sake of those who needed to know whether the lamb was pure... if Jesus had sinned with even His mouth, the Father would not have made this pronouncement!!! Two voices from heaven marked the sinless life of Jesus... one when Jesus entered His ministry at age 30. God said at that time, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." The voice of the Father does not speak from heaven like that if someone has committed sin! The first voice testified that Jesus had lived sinlessly for 30 years, up to the time of His baptism with the Holy Spirit at the River Jordan. The second voice came three years later, at the culmination of Jesus ministry. This voice testified once again that Jesus had not sinned during His public ministry. The lamb was pronounced pure by voice of God Himself!!

On the fourteenth day of Nisan, after Jesus had taken the Passover meal with His disciples the night before, faced betrayal in Gethsemane, and had endured a night long of anguish and torment at the hands of both Roman and Jewish officials, He was lead away to be crucified at the third hour. Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him. Mark 15:25

For those of you who do not know, Mark wrote from the Jewish perspective, and the third hour was 9:00 AM in the morning. [On a side note, the Apostle John used the Roman time system, and said that thetrial was still taking place at the 6th hour... which by Roman time was 6:00 AM.. thus placing the trial before the crucifixion exactly as would be expected]

Jesus hung on the cross from 9 AM to 3 PM, when according to Scripture, Jesus voluntarily yielded up His spirit as an offering and cried, "It is finished!". By dying so quickly, the Lord Jesus did not have one bone broken as did the other two men beside Him (crucifixions normally were long and they were expedited by the breaking of a leg bone to bring the onset of suffocation even sooner). Exactly at the same time that the High Priest slaughtered the Passover lamb of Israel, the Passover Lamb of the world was slain and cried "It is finished". According to the Scripture, the veil of the temple where the Holy of Holies separated the glory of God from the fallen humanity was split in two, from top to bottom. Jesus our Paschal Lamb has been sacrificed!! The sacrifice has been paid... now purge the leaven ... purge all known sin from your life... remove the idols from your household... prepare your home and family for the presence of the Lord! The veil has been torn.. the glory of the Lord is awaiting a resting place in the hearts of men and women today!