Not all the blood of beasts,
On Jewish altars slain,
Could give the guilty conscience peace,
Or wash away its stain.
But Christ the heavenly Lamb,
Took all our sins away,
A sacrifice of nobler name
And richer blood than they.
We now look back to see,
The burden Thou didst bear,
When hanging on the accursed tree,
For all our guilt was there.
Believing we rejoice,
To see the curse remove;
We bless the Lamb with cheerful voice,
And sing redeeming love.
Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
The truth of salvation, full and free, through the blood of the Lamb of God, is the greatest and best news and truth in the universe. The angels in heaven long to look into these things (1 Peter 1:12); God who is angry with the wicked and sinners is willing to blot out our sins (Isa. 44:22) and does so freely by His grace; He willingly adopts us into His own family and seat us on high with Christ (Eph.2:1-7). All these are because of the infinite price paid by the Lord Jesus on the cross of Calvary!
An account of the Passover
For the Passover, God required a lamb, not just a full-grown ram or sheep, a lamb, soft and gentle and loveable.
We can well imagine the horror in the house, the bitter tears when it was learned that the loveable lamb must die so that the oldest son might live.
The process was all intensely personal and emotional. So it was at Calvary. There, Christ’s mother watched from the edge of the crowd, aghast. Faithful John’s face ran with tears. Up in heaven, God the Father entered into it all – the anguish, the pain, the broken heart. God had called for a lamb, and there He was, the Lamb of God, God’s Lamb, taking away the sin of the world (John 1:29,36).
Once the lamb was slaughtered, the blood of the lamb was carefully applied to the lintel and doorposts of the house. The family gathered inside while the lamb was roasted on the fire. The lamb was doubtless set upon a spit and placed over the open flame. LIkely enough, the lamb was impaled on two pieces of wood. One piece ran though the lamb from front to back to hold it in place on the cooking irons. The other piece pierced the lamb through from side to side. This allowed the body of the lamb to be turned in the flame. Thus, the lamb was actually impaled upon a cross of wood.
But there was more! it had to be consumed. Garnished with bitter herbs, the lamb was eaten along with tasteless unleavened bread. The whole process was designed to strike through every heart. It was intended to bring home to the Hebrews the cost of their salvation. In every house throughout all the land of Egypt that night, there would either be a dead lamb or a dead son. The hushed people, keeping the first Passover, realised that sin and death were dreadful realities. The radical character of sin called for a radical cure. As they ate the lamb, another lesson was learned – one we can take right over to Calvary. As the Lord Jesus, the Passover Lamb, gave HIs life for us on the cross, so now He gives His life to us to sustain us on our pilgrimage to the promised Land. Suddenly, a great cry rose toward heaven.The Egyptians, with their bursting pantheon of foolish idol-gods, knew nothing of redemption by blood. There was death everywhere – in the bedroom, in the barn, and in the Pharaoh’s palace. Death reigned, indeed.
In Goshen, the Hebrews were packing their bags. As they came out of their houses, the blood was still there. It continued to speak to them; only now it spoke of sins forgiven, of peace with God, of judgement averted. And, to this day and hour in this distant land and around the world, that blood still speaks. (With appreciation to John Phillips in his book “The view from Mount Calvary)
Crowned with thorns upon the tree,
Silent in Thine agony;
Dying crushed beneath the load
Of the wrath and curse of God.
On Thy pale and suffering brow
Mystery of love and woe;
On Thy grief and sore amaze,
Saviour I would fix my gaze!
Sin atoning sacrifice
Thou art precious in mine eyes;
Thou alone my rest shall be,
Now and through eternity!
H. Gratton Guinness (1835-1910)