“Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world”
The very first interaction early in the Gospel of John is this proclamation by John the Baptist as he sees Christ approaching.
It is a very unusual thing to call someone the Lamb of God wouldn’t you think?
Though out the Scriptures we see that God talks to us through various means. He speaks directly to some, through prophets to others, and through the actions of many. All of these events, as they unfold in the Old Testament are made new and fulfilled in the New Testament. This method of Gods teaching is referred to as Typology where things that happen in the earliest periods of salvation history are made known in the History of salvation in the fullness of time. Yeah, yeah, but what did the Pope have to do with it? Well, Pope means basically “Father” and one significant father in salvation history was Abraham.
Part 1: Genesis 22 it the recalling of the story referred to as the “Sacrifice Of Isaac”
There are some distinct parts of this story, and I can’t address them, the typology here is deep.
Abraham having previously not “Trusting God” implicitly has learned his lesson and learned that God keeps his promises. Especially concerning his One and Only Son.
He is asked to offer his Son Isaac up as a Holocaust on a mountain in the land of Mori’ah. A Mountain, in what is later to be called Jerusalem.
Isaac carries the wood for the Sacrifice up the mountain, asking, “Where is the Lamb” for the burnt offering. Abraham says, “ God will provide himself the Lamb”
Isaac is bound to the wood. Abraham fulfills his promise to God, but God stays his hand.
A Ram, is found caught in the thicket by its horns and Abraham takes the Ram and offers that to God.
This is where the traditions of men and Popes and stuff come in. Typological references. There is so much here, but here goes
Isaac is a “Type” of Christ, being offered to the Lord as a sacrifice, the ancient Rabbi’s believed that Isaac was, based on the text indicating that he carried the wood for the burnt offering up the hill, between the ages of 25 and 37. Remembering also that the very same hill that Isaac is carrying the wood up, Is the very same hill Christ was crucified on, I’m leaning on the age of Isaac to be more around 33, because this seems to be the way God works. The age of Isaac however is not disclosed. The important thing to remember is that Isaac is young and strong enough to climb up a hill in Jerusalem with enough wood on his back to burn at least a boy, but most likely a man. He is Strong. Abraham on the other hand is over 100 years old and not in his prime. It is the tradition of the Rabbi’s again that Isaac was a willing victim (like Christ) obedient to his father. The account we call “The Sacrifice of Isaac” was referred to for this reason by the Rabbi’s as “Aqedah”, or in English “Binding”.
The other typological references here is that of the Abraham saying “God will provide the Lamb” it is interesting that he calls the place “Yhwh Yir’eh” which translates “the Lord will see” but is understood as meaning, “ the lord will provide”. Provide what, he will provide the “Lamb” in answer to Isaac’s question. The lord did provide a Ram, which was put to death, a Ram stuck in the thickets by its horns. (Think crown of thorns). The understanding of those Popes, is that God would eventually provide the Lamb.
So in summery, what we have is Isaac age 33 or so carrying the wood of the sacrifice up the same hill Christ was sacrificed on where by Abraham and through him Isaac receive the promise of God. Typology.
Part 2: The Passover Instituted
The last of the 10 plagues, the angel of death and the institution of the Passover meal. The sacrifice of the lamb, the sharing and eating of the Lamb, and the marking of the doorway with the blood of the lamb in order that the sons of Israel be saved from death.
We must not three things especially important here
A lamb must be sacrificed; its blood must be spread on the lintel and doorposts of each house. And the Lamb must be eaten.
Nothing of the lamb must remain after the Passover, if there is it must be offered up to god in a burnt offering. It is sacred.
The Jews must be ready to leave after eating the lamb.
This ordinance will be observed forever.
There is a Christian tradition that the marking on the door, above and to the sides of the doorpost, is an image of the Cross-, and how the blood from the wounds of Christ would have fallen at Calvary (popes again). It is also important to note that the Lamb must be eaten (Not just until Calvary, but forever). The question to the Israel believer would be, if you do not eat the lamb, would you have been passed over? The typology here, the wounds of the Cross-, the eating of the Lamb, the Sacrifice, the sacredness of the Lamb, how it should be revered as sacred and not simply discarded, how the Jews must be ready to exit after the offering is complete. That this offering must be done forever.
Part 3 The Passover Sacrifice, the Tamid, the fulfillment of the Sacrifice of the Lamb.
In Leviticus, the Passover celebration is explained in detail. I will point out a few typological comparisons.
All the Jews would come to Jerusalem for the Passover feast, offering a Lamb at the temple. The blood would be drained from the lamb and sprinkled on the alter. From the side of the temple, after Passover, after lambs from millions of sacrifices was over, the temple would have to be cleaned, water would wash, mix with the blood and flow from the temple into the kidron valley. Water and lambs blood flowed from the side of the temple. Water and blood, flowed from the side of Christ. There is more typology here than I can mentions, the lambs being sacrifice over a railing, the Catholic tradition of receiving the Eucharist over a railing. The way the thousands of lambs were carried through Jerusalem on spits which looked like Crosses. The necessity of eating the Lamb, (John 6). Then we get to the TAMID.
The Tamid is the daily offering at the Jewish Temple of Bread and wine and a lamb, the offering was done morning, and evening (9am and 3Pm). The bread and wine are the bread and wine that was offered in Exodus 25. It is understood that the meal that Moses and the Elders ate was a meal of bread and wine (to much) Just think table of Presence. Every day at the temple, the offering of bread wine and lamb was made, typology of the Lamb of God, who comes to us in the form of Bread and wine, who was nailed to the Cross at 9am and gave up his spirit at 3pm. Year after year, day after day, Lamb, bread & wine. This was done all the way to 70AD when the temple was destroyed. The offering, the ordinance, which was forever, continues in the celebration of the Catholic mass, the offering of Bread and wine and Lamb (of God) each and every day. Each and Every Easter at Mass, the Lamb is eaten, the True Lamb, the True Bread that came down from heaven. So yeah, the Popes are responsible, not is a pragmatic way, but in a real theological way, Gods way.
Now, I rushed this so I will need to tweak it. I was in a hurry because it is Easter and I think it’s important that you get your Lamb. Or at least work towards it. There is so much more to this. The deeper you get into the mystery of the Eucharist, the source and summit of the Christian Faith, the more and more you have an understanding of Christ and the Beauty of his Church.