Tag Archives: Lamb of God

The Fat

All fat is the Lord’s. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations, in all your settlements: you must not eat any fat or any blood.
Leviticus 3:16b-17 (NRSV)

I am married to a fabulous cook. Anyone who has had one of Wendy’s amazing cheesecakes can attest to this. Just this past Saturday she made a Italian chicken and pasta dinner that I’m still thinking about it. When it comes to grilling, however, I am the grill master at our house. If we’re going to grill meat, then I’m in charge, from choosing the meat, to preparing it and grilling it.

I don’t claim to be great with the grill, but I’ve learned a few things along the journey. For example, if you’re going to choose a nice steak then you have to look for a cut which has good “marbling.” In other words, the fat runs throughout the lean and creates an effect that looks a bit like marble. It’s the fat throughout the meat that melts and creates a juicy steak. Fat makes it a “choice” steak.

In order for those of us in 21t century western culture to being to wrap our heads around the ancient  semitic sacrificial system, we have to understand the metaphors involved. To the Israelites, blood was synonymous with life. So when a sacrifice bled and died on the altar it was viewed a substitutionary death for the death God had prescribed to all humanity back in the Garden of Eden. That’s why Jesus is referred to as the “Lamb of God,” as His death on the cross was the substitutionary, sacrificial death for humanity – once for all.

Likewise, the fat of the sacrifice represented how good it was. Just as  a good cut of steak, marbled with fat, is known to be the best – so an animal’s fat was was made it a choice sacrifice. It was the “best.”

Today, I’m reminded of two things:

  • A sacrifice isn’t a sacrifice if it really doesn’t cost me a thing.
  • A sacrifice is giving my best, not my leftovers.

 

Chapter-a-Day Exodus 12

The Passover meal. When he sees the blood on the lintel and the two doorposts, God will pass over the doorway; he won't let the destroyer enter your house to strike you down with ruin. Exodus 12:23 (MSG)

Many years ago some friends came over and prepared a Passover meal to celebrate with my family. To this day, I remember how blown away I was as we went through the ritual of the meal. There were so many parts of the story and the meal that, metaphorically, point directly to Jesus, who would arrive centuries later.

I love the way God's message fits together. As I read about the blood of the lamb covering the doorposts of the Israelites and Death "passing over" those who were covered by the blood of the sacrificed lamb, I can't help but think of Jesus, the Lamb of God, who came to take away the sins of the world. Jesus, the sacrificial Lamb whose blood covers us and swallows up Death through the power of His resurrection.

I've known many people who avoid reading the Old Testament because it's not always easy to connect the history to our lives today, But, without the story of the Passover, it's hard to fully appreciate the depth of who Jesus was, nor the way God's plan is woven through history.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and rmommaerts