Our society doesn’t think too much of victims. But without the willing victim-hood of God as the sinless Paschal (Passover) lamb , we who are called by his name would have no hope.
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. -Hebrews 9:28
What is a Passover Sacrifice?
Christianity cannot really be understood in any depth apart from a knowledge of the first five books of the Old Testament. Genesis and Exodus particularly are historical records of God’s actions in relation to human beings.
Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover. And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you. -Exodus 12:21-23
Why is Christ the Passover sacrifice?
Many of us have been taught to be nervous about referring to Christ as food. But Jesus called himself the living bread of heaven in John 6:33 and John 6:51. Hebrews 9 confirms without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins…So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many.
What we call the Last Supper of Christ was the last Passover meal celebrated by Jesus and his apostles before his crucifixion. It was served in accordance with the command in Exodus. It was at this dinner that Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper. When we partake of the bread and the wine in “sincerity and love”, we are drawn close to him and comforted as he promised we would be. Not that this is a new sacrifice. It is a remembering of what has been forever completed - the conquering of wrath and death for his beloved. Alleluia!
Verse 7 sums up the reason for our happiness:
Easter triumph, Easter joy!
This alone can sin destroy;
From sin’s power, Lord, set us free,
Newborn souls in you to be.
Dear Lord, what a wondrous victory you have won. It is so far beyond our abilities to comprehend. Open our hearts today to embrace your atonement. May we with all your saints rise at that glorious day. Through the merit of Jesus Christ, our Paschal lamb, our savior, deliverer, and king. Amen
“At the Lamb’s High Feast We Sing”, 17th Century Easter Hymn
1. At the Lamb's high feast we sing Praise to our victorious king, Who has washed us in the tide Flowing from his pierced side. Alleluia! 2. Praise we him, whose love divine Gives his sacred blood for wine, Gives his body for the feast Christ the victim, Christ the priest. Alleluia! 3. Where the paschal blood is poured, Death's dread angel sheathes the sword; Israel's hosts triumphant go Through the wave that drowns the foe. Alleluia! 4. Praise we Christ, whose blood was shed, Paschal victim, paschal bread; With sincerity and love Eat we manna from above. Alleluia! 5. Mighty Victim from the sky, Hell's fierce powers beneath you lie; You have conquered in the fight You have brought us life and light. Alleluia! 6. Now no more can death appall, Now no more the grave enthrall; You have opened paradise, And your saints in you shall rise. Alleluia! 7. Easter triumph, Easter joy! This alone can sin destroy; From sin's power, Lord, set us free, Newborn souls in you to be. Alleluia! 8. Father, who the crown shall give, Savior, by whose death we live, Spirit, guide through all our days; Three in One, Your name we praise. Alleluia! Notes: Hymn # 126 from Lutheran Worship Author: Bohemian Brethren Tune: Sonne Der Gerechtigkeit 1st Published: 1600's
Lyric source: Lutheran hymnal online