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  • Writer's pictureSteve McAtee

The Passover Lamb

Updated: Aug 4, 2020

By Amir Tsarfati

It's wonderful to be here. And I was expecting a much smaller crowd for the 5:00, and that tells Me how hungry the people are for the Word.

And this evening I was about to share with you about the Passover Lamb simply because A, we're about to partake communion and B because communion did not start out of the blue.

It was part of something way older in much more rooted deeply rooted in the Jewish culture. And I always say that communion is basically -- the focus has been shifted from the shadow to the substance. And yet we need to understand the shadow in order to grasp the full meaning of the substance.

It's funny because I was trying to look back in the Bible about the Lamb and the Lamb of God, God, the Lamb, sin, and all of that. We all talk about it. We all study the Bible. We all make the connection between the blood and the sin and the Lamb.

Everything makes sense to us, but going all the way back, we find that already in Genesis chapter 4, in the same chapter, we find both the word “sheep” and the word “sin” for the first time.

You will not find neither the word “sheep” nor the word “sin” anywhere before that. And both words appear in the same chapter, Chapter 4.

If you'll remember, it was two sons of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel. And we all know that Abel was the one who was tending His sheep. Cain was the one who was a farmer who worked the land.

And we know that God really accepted that which was given to Him by Abel and rejected the one giving to Him by Cain, and not necessarily because of the nature of the actual physical sacrifice that was given to God, but because God is not interested in that sacrifice which is not from the heart.

Everything that we do, if we don't do it from our heart -- we can give God a billion dollars, it won't matter. I mean, this whole thing is not about what we give; it’s the intention of our hearts and how we give it.

And it's interesting because in Genesis Chapter 4, in Verse 2, you can see the Bible says that “Abel was the keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.” Sheep; the first time you hear the word “sheep” in the Bible is right there, keeper of the sheep.

And it's interesting because later on, the Lord says in Verse 6, “So the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why you're so angry?’” Do you see? There was anger there. And then He said to him, “Why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door and its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” Wow!

For the first time, we hear that there is something called “sin,” that we can rule over it, yet Cain obviously was unable because there was nothing there that provided Him the ability to rule over His sin. And it's interesting; the sheep was accepted, yet the sin prevented Cain's offering from being accepted.

And then the next time we hear something connected to what we know in the Bible about a Lamb and about the love of God towards people is when we move to the same book, but in the 22nd chapter in Genesis.

In Chapter 22 we all know the story of how Abraham was taking His son Isaac to Mount Moriah. He is about to follow the commandment of God, which was really unthinkable at that time for him. But He was willing to do so to show and prove God how much He believes in Him and how much He loves Him. And He was about to sacrifice Isaac.

But Isaac was obviously not in the picture; He didn't understand what we're about to do. He was walking with His father and wondering if we're about to sacrifice something to God, where is that something? And Abraham answered Him and said in Verse 8, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb.”

And you see the interesting way because then when God answered Abraham, God said in Verse 12, “Do not lay your hand on the lad or do anything to Him for now I know that you fear God since you have not withheld your son, your only son.”

And I often wonder; Isaac was born after Ishmael, yet here we see that the angel is saying, “Do not touch the son. I now see that you did not withheld your son, your only son, the son of promise.”

It's amazing because if you had the Hebrew Bible, you would know that the same exact wording here, “your only son” is what John Chapter 3, Verse 16 is saying, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son.” The same exact wording.

It's those words, “Son that is the only one.” And you see that God is the one who is about to provide a lamb. As much as we want to please Him and bring to the Lord so much offering and sacrifices of praise and worship, eventually the ultimate sacrifice will not be coming from us towards Him and it will be coming from Him towards us.

The Lord will provide for Himself a Lamb, and that will be the Lord's way to show the world His love and His compassion and His way of reaching out to a dying, sinning world, to give them some sort of the only solution for their problem.

Always call the Gospel, the “gos-pill.” You know, you take that pill; you're a dying person, you take that pill, you have eternal life. That's it. Even if you die, you will not die anymore.

You understand? Our job is always to give that pill to others. Whether they take it or not; it's not of your responsibility, but our responsibility is to give them the pill, the “gos- pill,” amen.

And so here we are talking about the Lamb of God, talking about the fact that we already see from the book of Genesis hints regarding the fact that there is sin, and there is the sheep, and there is, of course, a God-provided Lamb, and there is a token of godly love to a dying world.

And then move with Me right now to an area 2000 years ago, an area right opposite of Jericho. And there's a guy called John, Yohanan, whom you call Baptist -- I don't think was a Baptist, by the way, but that's between us. The rumor is that he was a Jew, and he's baptizing people and calling for repentance.

And suddenly, he sees Yeshua, Jesus walks right in front of him and the first thing that comes out of His mouth is, “Behold, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” Now everybody is thinking yes, it makes sense the thing that takes the way the sin, the sacrifice takes away the sin, the Lamb that takes away the sin is what we have on Yom Kippur and Day of Atonement. No. If you ever read the scriptures regarding the Day of Atonement.

The Day of Atonement was something that was given to Israel, the nation of Israel, the sins of the nations of Israel. Here, “Behold, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the whole world.” You see? Jesus is nothing limited to certain people in a certain area.

It’s for the whole world.

And if you really think about it, the only Lamb that matches this description is the Passover Lamb. Because if you remember, the angel was telling the people of Israel that they should take a lamb, a year-old unblemished lamb and keep it in their houses -- right before they had the Exodus from Egypt, for four days.

And then He said, “If you put the blood after you sacrifice, after you slaughter it, if you put that blood of that innocent lamb on the doorposts, on the two doorposts, the Lord will send the angel that will pass over the houses where the blood is.”

In other words, it's not about you being a Jew or a Gentile. It's about whether you have the blood of the lamb on the doorposts of your house. That is the Lamb of God that John referred to when he looked at Jesus. Anyone that will have the blood of this lamb, no matter where he lives, no matter who he is, and what he was born, what religion he had, anyone that will put his trust in the Lamb of God, and that blood of that lamb will be on the doorpost of his heart will be passed over when judgment comes. Isn’t that amazing? When you think about it, about this whole thing of being the Lamb of God, that being the Passover Lamb, that now makes total sense.

It's amazing because when the according to Exodus 12, Verse 13, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” That's why we call it Passover.

Jesus is the reason for the passing over. Jesus is the Passover. Passover is not for Jews only. If you really think about it, every one of you, if you sit here and you believe in Jesus Christ, the judgment will pass over you. You're all celebrating every day Passover. That which John could see and pointed as the Lamb of God, that Passover Lamb is in your house, in your hearts, in our lives every day.

And when we celebrate Passover or when we take communion, we're not there to learn new things. We're there to remember the things that were done. You know if there is one thing that is interesting regarding Passover it’s that the Jewish people did not have any calendar until the day they left Egypt.

The Lord said to Moses, “Moses I want you from now on -- in Exodus 12, Verse 2 -- this month shall be your beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you.”

In other words, from now on the history of the Jewish people will be recorded in a calendar, and this event will mark the beginning. And I want you to celebrate it every year. Every year you must remind your children and all of you as a nation. Remember the day I took you out of Egypt.

And then came 2,000 years later and Passover on the Upper Room, and Jesus is telling the disciples, “This thing, do in remembrance of Me.”

Yes, remembrance; we're here to remember and not to forget. Because if there's one thing that God always warned the people around the world and the people of Israel, “Do not forget I am the one who took you out of Egypt. I am the one who led you through the desert. I am the one who had you entering into the promised land. I am the one who fought for you. I am the one who sustains you. Do not forget.” And every day we have to remind ourselves; it is not about us; it is about Him. We are not strong enough and perfect enough by ourselves. Apart from Him we can do nothing, but in Christ, we can do all things, amen!

And so we come to the point where we understand that it's the remembrance; it's the commemorating of a specific event that we come together. We remind each other that the greatness of God manifested both in the Exodus of the Jews from the land of Egypt and the Exodus of every sinner from darkness into His marvelous light.

You know it's a great advantage to be a Jew knowing the Hebrew language because to be honest, with you, you really understand so much more when you know that language. And I know that once you get to heaven, you'll have some Hebrew classes there. I'll be having my coffee while you go through that, and it's not gonna be Starbucks, just for the record.

But I do want you to know that once you know the Hebrew language, you get so much treasure, so many treasures that are hidden there. One of them is the simple fact that the word “sacrifice” in Hebrew, “qārbān” is from the same root of the word “to be close,” “to be near.” That intimacy, which is there in the scriptures, you know, didn't just take a lamb and slaughter the lamb within 10 minutes.

They had the lamb in their houses for four days, from the 10th to the 14th of the first month.

You know when you have such a very cute animal; I don’t know if you've ever had a chance to pet a little lamb, but it's really the most innocent animal you can find.

It'll do whatever. It'll follow you wherever. It will -- there's not even a shred of malice or anything bad in that little animal. And you look at it, and you become friends with it, and you start developing feelings towards it. it's -- it's a nice animal, smelly but nice. (Laughter)

And for four days your kids are playing with it. You hear that the “baa” thing, and -- and you're you know you get used to it. Four days; you become best buddies. You tend to like it and you see this is a very cute animal, innocent. And on the fourth day, it had to be slaughtered by you. Interesting. You will never be able to appreciate the sacrifice unless you had a close intimate relationship with it.

Jesus didn't come and died on the cross ten minutes after you arrived. It was three years that He had to walk here on earth. Three years that showed everyone that He is indeed also the unleavened bread when He broke the bread because there is no sin in Him.

But they had to inspect that. They had to see that. They could realize that only if they spend time with Him. And that intimacy is so important to the understanding of the sacrifice given and made by the Lord.

In Psalm 145, the Bible says -- in Verse 18 the Bible says, “This the Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.” The Lord is near, “Caro qārbān,” the same word.

He is near all that call upon Him, but not just call upon Him because they belong to a certain religion, not all who call upon Him because that's their duty to; those who call upon Him in spirit and in truth, amen.

Okay, it cannot be more clear than this. He says, “Those who call upon Him in truth,” truly, from the heart.

And in Isaiah 29, in Verse 13, the Lord had some very harsh words to say to the people of Israel that were so religious and they were holding the teachings of the rabbi's higher than the Word of God Himself.

And the Bible says in Verse 13, “In as much as those people draw near with their mouth and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me and their fear towards Me is taught by the commandment of men.” Jewish people, yet God says it's not enough to come near Me only with lips and words when your heart is far gone.

If there is one thing that God wants it’s our heart. If there is any sacrifice that God wants, it's a sacrifice given from the heart because His sacrifice for us was His only begotten Son, whom He loved so much. And so we see that this intimacy continues.

I would like to consider three things right now so you understand. 2,000 years ago, there were two Passover Seders celebrated. One that Jesus celebrated with His disciples, and one that everybody celebrated with their own families.

It's a Passover thing; it's a traditional thing; you have to come! The whole family sits around a table. The whole point of Passover; it’s to teach your children what God did to the children of Israel when they came out of Eg n mattresses on the table. There were no children or women or anything around. Nobody was asking their traditional questions.

Jesus summoned them the night before He will become the true Passover to show them something. Look, there are traditions where men expect the families to be all-around a table, but I'm going to redefine to you what family is all about. And I will redefine to you what Passover is all about. And let's move from the shadow to the substance.

Amazing! Two Passovers were celebrated that same holiday season. And He is there with His disciples. And the Bible says, “That the following day -- in John 19:14 -- the following day was the preparation day for the Passover.”

In other words, when He had the meal with His disciples it was the night before. He became the actual Passover when the rest of the nation sat around a table with their children.

Did you know that they were also two that were called Jesus? Now I remember when I first was handed a New Testament, because, you know, I came to the Lord through the Old Testament. I don’t know if I told you that. I didn't have a New Testament, and all I needed to know was in the Old Testament anyway.

People are asking me, “How come you believe without the New Testament?” And I said, “well, excuse me; but Jesus never ever even given one sermon from the New Testament.” It wasn't even written at that time. But you understand, all I'm trying to say is that the New was concealed in the Old and the Old is revealed in the New. But I could see; I could see it was all over there. And it's quite amazing because when I was handed the New Testament in Hebrew, and I went all the way to the story of Matthew 27, Verse 17, “Whom do you want me to release to you, Pilate asked. Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Christ.”

I saw it in the Hebrew; Yeshua Bar-abba or Yeshua HaMashiach. I said “What?” And then I searched, and apparently in the early Greek manuscripts of the Gospels, His name is Jesus, but it was a common Jewish name -- Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Christ. That's why he asked it this way. “Who do you want me to release, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus was called the Christ.”

And of course, everybody wanted the one who is Barabbas. They felt comfortable the name bar-abbas; means the son of the father. Here we have “Jesus.” He is the son of the father. He is okay with us. Men always will choose whatever makes them feel comfortable. He made them feel way more comfortable.

Having Jesus around, still alive, would make them feel sinful. Having Jesus Barabbas around is great. We want him. They didn't understand they fulfill prophecy, obviously, but all I'm saying is that up until today, people choose the Jesus they want. They stay away from the one who is the true holy Son of God, amen.

And it's interesting because you see that there were two sailors. You see that there were two Jesus' before the people, one who is Barabbas, and one who is the Christ. And then there were two lamps; the regular Lamb of God, that according to Exodus 12, Verse 5, “Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year.” And in 1 John, Verse 1:19, we hear about Jesus, “That indeed you are redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without a spot.”

You have the regular lamb; that was never enough because it had to be sacrificed every year. And you had for the first time and the only time in the history of planet Earth, the Son of God given to us and is as the Lamb of God sacrificed on that cross shedding His blood for remission of sins for the whole world forever.

So who do we choose? The tradition; traditional lamb the one that everybody does every year? Or do we put our trust in the one and only?

You see; those questions are needed to be asked. What type of a holiday; what type of a Seder, or any festival, are you interested in? A one that it you are searching for eggs and bunnies all over? Ones that you are crazy about shopping? One that you're so stressed that you're almost getting a heart attack instead of celebrating the birth of Christ?

Where is our focus? On the traditions of men and what the world expects you to do and how the world needs you to celebrate? Or is it that you celebrate it with the family of God around the substance and not the shadow anymore?

Choose the Seder you want to celebrate. Choose the Jesus that you want to follow. The Jesus that the crowd wants because it makes them feel okay with their lifestyle? The Jesus that yes, his name is the son of the father, but it's not our Father, which is in heaven. The name is right, yet it's just the wrong person.

Or do you choose the one who is giving you a narrow path, but a path to eternal life.

And what lamb do we want to bring as a sacrifice? What lamb is it that we want to bring before the Lord? Something that every year will never be enough? Something that was supposed to be a foreshadow of Christ, or is it Christ Himself once and for all after having been sacrificed is now seated at the right hand of the Father interceding for us forever?

You see; these are the questions that we need to ask ourselves.

2,000 years ago Jesus in the Upper Room sat there with His disciples. I often try to think about what went through their mind? You see; we're so used to, you know, 2,000 years later, we know what communion is. We know what the wine and what the unleavened bread is all about.

But for them, it was all new. For hundreds of years, if not more than, that Jews celebrated the thing of the shadow, and suddenly He comes and just nailed that right on them -- that it is time for you to celebrate the substance.

“This bread is My broken body for you. That which you're about to drink resembles the blood that I am about.” They didn't even know He's about to be sacrificed. They don't understand He's about to be crucified the following day. Jesus knows everything.

You know, if anyone wanted Jesus not to die is Satan. Think about it. When Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, Jesus said to him, that was amazing Peter, son of Jonah. Blessed are you for flesh and blood did not reveal that to you but My Father in heaven did. There is no rabbinical teaching that would teach you that I am the Messiah, the perception of what Messiah and who Messiah is all about is certainly not what I'm here to represent.

But in a couple of verses later when Jesus feels comfortable sharing with them about His end, it is Peter says, “No.” Almost rebuking Jesus, “you should not speak like that. you're not about to die.” And then what does Jesus answer? “Get behind Me, Satan.”

Only Satan doesn't want Me to die because he understands exactly what My death is all about, what My blood is all about, and how death cannot stop Me. I will resurrect, and that blood has the power for eternity all over the world forever and ever.

This is the “Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.” We should rejoice every day that we know the Lamb, and instead of sitting here and being gloom and doom about the fact that Jesus died, yes, He did die, but guess what?

He resurrected! He is alive! And even the death of Christ was necessary. Can you imagine if the Jews would have accepted Jesus 2,000 years ago? I can tell you one thing; we would have never shared Him with you! But God knows everything.

And the Bible says in Romans 11, “Through their fall in order to provoke them to jealousy, salvation was given to the Gentiles.” Amen.


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