Exodus 12:3 – On the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family. (NIV)
That little lamb was the main course of the meal, a shelter from the death angel, and a representation of Jesus. Father God was very specific about how many would eat from it, how it was to be cooked, what was to be served with it, how to eat it, and what to do if any was left. I have to wonder if the Israelites fully realized what the next several hours would bring them. Had the experience of the plagues built their faith? Did their hearts race as Moses told them to be ready to leave? Were there questions in their minds about asking for the riches of Egypt? Or were they happy with a great meal but tired at the thought of having to make bricks the next day!
The “tenth day” of Easter week would have been the Sunday ride into Jerusalem and the Monday clearing of the Temple. The Gospels of Mark and Luke tell us of the day that Jesus cleared the Temple of the merchants (Mark 11:12 and Luke 19:45). Both of these writers also include a statement about how the leaders of the people reacted – they picked Jesus to die and started looking for ways to do it. The book of John (12:20 – 36) adds the details of Jesus predicting His own death and the Father answering Him as He prayed for glory to be given to God. Even though the people turned on Jesus this was also the time when they “picked” their lamb.
Exodus 12:3-6 is the story of the Passover. The Israelites were to pick a one-year-old sheep or goat on the 10th day and take care of it until the 14th day when it was to be killed at twilight. (God started a “new month” for them; so there was a civil calendar and a religious calendar.) This shadows the last five days. The “darkness over the land” now makes sense because His time before Pilate and the trip with the cross was done in the morning. There needed to be “twilight.”
Moses as a type of Jesus ate the Passover lamb and then led the people to freedom; so Jesus ate the lamb and then led us out of sin to freedom. The Gospel of John makes so many connections between Jesus and the lamb – His silence during the trials and no breaking of His bones. The only questions Jesus answered were ones that directly dealt with His kingship and His relation to the Father.
Jesus trials are even shadowed when Moses had his meetings with Pharaoh. Pilate, however, was at least making an attempt to let Him go (it was a weak attempt). As I read John I wondered how the Gospel writers got conversations between Jesus and Pilate; another question that has to wait until Heaven.
I wish I could remember whose sermon this came from but here is something to hold on too – It maybe Friday but Sunday is coming!