The Lamb Without Defect
Christmas is oftentimes the season for feasting. Food plays a huge part in our Christmas celebrations, especially our Christmas dinners. It often involves stuffed turkeys, roast beef or ham amongst other things. If we think about it, food seems to play a prominent part in all our major celebrations. I have often said that this is biblical because in the Bible, food also plays a large part in the life of the Israelites.
In Exodus 12:1-13, we have the account of the very first Passover. This is a pivotal point in the history of Israel, as this is the last of the plagues that the Lord will unleash upon the Egyptians for their refusal to let the Israelites go. This is so important in their history that their calendar actually begins based on this event (v2). On that night, the Lord will “pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and [he] will bring judgement on all the gods of Egypt.” (v12)
To avoid the same fate befalling on the firstborn of the Israelites’ family, the Lord calls them to take a lamb for each family. This lamb must be “year-old males without defect” and this lamb must be slaughtered at twilight. The family is to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of their homes. On that same night, they are also to eat the meat roasted over the fire.
Because of this blood on the sides and tops of the doorframes, the Lord will pass over them (hence the name Passover) and “no destructive plague will touch” them when the Lord strikes Egypt. So, for the Israelites to avoid judgement from the Lord, a lamb without defect will have to be sacrificed. And in the midst of the Lord’s judgement, the people are to be feasting on this roasted meat (v8-10) and they are commanded not to leave any until the morning. The people are to celebrate the Lord’s goodness in passing over them in his judgement, because of the sacrifice of the lamb without defect. (v13)
Every Christmas, we are also celebrating God’s goodness in passing over us in his judgement, because of the sacrifice of the lamb that God himself provides. Jesus Christ is “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) Like the Israelites, we celebrate by feasting together. It is a day of commemoration – remembering God’s mercy in providing his Son, whose blood has covered us, allowing God’s judgment to pass over us. Let us remember that in the midst of all our celebrations and feasting this Christmas.
- Pray and thank God for Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who took our sins away by his blood, shed on the cross
- Pray that God will help us remember by his Spirit why we are celebrating this Christmas