Today if we search on the internet for “a perfect lamb” we can find many recipes for the perfect leg of lamb. There are 3 easy steps to the perfect lamb roast or 5 dos and don’ts to make the perfect lamb chops. While these recipes are probably good, when we speak of a perfect lamb in the context of the Passover festival, we mean something else entirely.
How to Choose a Passover Lamb
Exodus 12: 5 The animal you select must be a one-year-old male, either a sheep or a goat, with no defects. 6 “Take special care of this chosen animal until the evening of the fourteenth day of this first month. Then the whole assembly of the community of Israel must slaughter their lamb or young goat at twilight.
Each family was to choose a one-year-old animal, be it a sheep or a goat, with no defects. It couldn’t be sick or lame or deformed. This animal was to live with the family from the 10th of the month to the 14th. This would allow the family to observe the animal to make sure it was perfect.
A young animal like this would be in the prime of life and cute. The children of the family could certainly become emotionally attached to this animal. If this happened, it would be hard to see the animal killed for sacrifice.
Jesus, Our Passover Lamb
John the Baptist called Jesus the lamb of God. John 1: 29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
On the 10th day of the same month as Passover, Jesus rode into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday) and then was examined by people at the temple and in the government. Pilate pronounced that he found no fault in Jesus. Luke 23: 4 Pilate turned to the leading priests and to the crowd and said, “I find nothing wrong with this man!” Jesus, a male in the prime of His life, was pronounced to be without defect.
Jesus was loved by many of His followers, and they were saddened and disappointed at His death. They didn’t understand that Jesus was the perfect lamb sacrifice that would redeem them from sin. Jesus had tried to explain this to His disciples at the Last Supper, but they didn’t understand. Matthew 26: 24 For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago.
Later, the writer of Hebrews would give us insight into Jesus’ death on the cross. Hebrews 9:26bBut now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice. Some scholars think Jesus died at the same time as the Passover lambs were sacrificed, others say Jesus died a day later. Either way, the timing of Jesus’ death on the cross is significant. To hear more about a perfect lamb, listen here: