Spring is finally here!
We opened the windows, cracked open a bottle of chilled white wine, ate salad on the porch and went for a walk in short sleeves. I could not believe how gratitude came so much more naturally in the sunshine. Thank you Lord for the sun!
As I type, it is currently raining… But it is not snow so my heart will rejoice! :)
Sun and cadbury eggs will do it for me every year… I love Easter. I love the egg coloring, the egg scavenger hunts, the ridiculous bunnies and baskets and even that horrific cellophane grass that seems to linger in every nook and cranny until Memorial day.
And then this.
How is it that after 13 years of private christian education and even more years of Sunday school did I never understand this? Perhaps it was taught and perhaps I was too busy day-dreaming of boys and swim meets (or both at the same time if I’m honest :))… But now, wow. This is just way too cool to not talk about here with all us urbanites raising our hallelujahs in preparation for Easter!
You see, last week was “Palm Sunday”. Yeah, I know, the term doesn’t exist in the bible. It’s basically titled in many versions “The Triumphal Entry” where the Israelites took palm branches and went out to meet Jesus shouting “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!” (John 12:13)
I knew about Palm Sunday, but what I didn’t realize was when it took place and why that really matters at all.
So, to really understand the significance, we have to go back to Exodus, where God gives his people their very first holiday:
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, 2 “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. 3 Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. 4 If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. 5 The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect,and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. 6 Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. ~Exodus 12:1-6
The fourteenth day of the month– Passover. Five days prior (the 10th day)– they chose the lamb.
They were to choose a perfect lamb, one without defect, one that would be fully sufficient to feed their family, not too much or too little, but absolutely perfect and fully sufficient. One that met both the physical needs of the people’s appetites and every requirement of the Lord. This lamb’s blood would cover their door posts, and in turn cover them and cause death to pass over their homes. They would not taste death, they would be passed over! What a lamb!
Perfectly fully sufficient.
Fast forward to “Palm Sunday” or “The Triumphal Entry” or “The Week Before Easter” or whatever you like to call it ;-). John 12:1 says “Six days before Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany…” The text goes on to say in verse 12 “The next day, the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him….”
So if I’m doing the math right… “The next day” is the 10th day of the month of Passover!
The 10th day!
It’s the 10th day people!
The 10th day– the very day the people were commanded by God waaaaay back in Exodus to choose that lamb, that perfectly sufficient lamb… The lamb they would slaughter who’s blood would cover them. The lamb who’s death would allow their own to be passed over. The lamb who would meet every need their physical hunger had and would meet every single requirement of the Most High.
So perfectly, fully, sufficient.
When Jesus rode on that donkey while the people cheered and waived their branches in his honor– effectively calling and therefore choosing him their king– their lamb was chosen. Okay, so He was chosen long before that by God, but the significance still amazes me. The symbolism of Him standing as that lamb, slaughtered, his blood covering our sin so death would pass us over…
Maybe this has been obvious to everyone out there but me, but I got it last weekend.
It clicked. I get it.
He is THE Lamb.
The fully sufficient one.
The Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. ~John 1:29