The Passover Lamb

Exodus 12:24-28

Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go, select lambs for your families, and slaughter the passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood in the basin. None of you shall go outside the door of your house until morning. For the Lord will pass through to strike down the Egyptians; when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over that door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you down.

You shall observe this rite as a perpetual ordinance for you and your children. When you come to the land that the Lord will give you, as he has promised, you shall keep this observance.

And when your children ask you, ‘What do you mean by this observance?’ you shall say, ‘It is the passover sacrifice to the Lord, for he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt, when he struck down the Egyptians but spared our houses.’” And the people bowed down and worshiped. The Israelites went and did just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron.

The passover lamb is the lamb that was slain in order to give life to the Chosen People. While the angel of death visited throughout Egypt, those whose homes were marked with the blood of the passover lamb were passed over. Death did not touch them.

This lamb that was slain actually gave identity to a people who had simply been slaves in Egypt. Now they were God’s Chosen People. They were set free from slavery, free to live a new identity, free to become a holy nation, God’s own people.

The power of this symbol was so important that even when the angel of death was not lurking about, the people of Israel were to celebrate this feast, to remember this night forever. The passover lamb was indeed the lamb of God whose blood worked wonders for God’s Chosen People.