Posted by: Heather | March 30, 2010

Shadows of the Messiah – Passover #3 – The Inspection


Exodus 12:5-6  Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year:  ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:

And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month:  …

If you’re just joining me in this study, you may read the introduction post here, and part 2 here.

In the last study, I discussed how the lamb for the Passover sacrifice was chosen.  It was chosen by the head of the family, and it was kept at the home for 4 days to be inspected for any blemishes (Exodus 12:3).  The Israelites could not sacrifice a lamb that was deformed in any way, and they were only allowed one lamb per household (or two households if they were small families).

Just as this special lamb was chosen by the father of the household, so was Jesus chosen especially by the Father to be the ultimate Passover lamb.  He chose one lamb to redeem His family…those that would take refuge under His blood.

During these 4 days, a special eye was kept on the lamb to be sure there was no deformity or blemish.   Jesus came to Jerusalem, hailed by the people as a king, on the 10th day.  On days 11-14, He came under intense scrutiny (inspection) by the religious leaders of that day.  One of his first acts upon entering Jerusalem was overturning the tables of the merchants in the temple (Matt 21:12-13, Mark 11:15-17, Luke 19:45-46).  Immediately the chief priests and teachers of the law began looking for a way to kill Him.  But, since they were afraid of the people, they bided their time a bit longer.

In Matthew (chapters 21,22,23), Mark (chapters 11, 12), and Luke (chapter 20), we find further inspection of Jesus by both the Pharisees and the Saducees.  The Pharisees and Saducees often clashed in their philosophies, both religiously and politically.  However, they were united in their desire to rid Jerusalem of Jesus.  They all tried to trap Him with questions, looking for any chance to arrest Him.  However, being amazed at His insight, they were unable to find any fault with Him.  They still wanted Jesus dead because of His harsh condemnation of them, but again, fearing the people, they felt they couldn’t arrest Him.

After this interrogation by the religious leaders, some of the Pharisees even came to faith in Christ.  However, they wouldn’t confess it for fear.  (John 12:42-43).

As Jesus gathered with His disciples to eat what we often call ‘The Last Supper’, the plot to have Him killed was taking its final shape.  Judas Iscariot, as His betrayer, left the scene to consort with those leaders that wanted Jesus arrested.  Jesus is then able to spend some time with the remaining disciples instructing them before His arrest (John 15-17).   When Jesus pulls apart to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane, this is where the arrest takes place.  Judas brings the soldiers and officials with him to complete the betrayal.

Jesus is then brought to the Sanhedrin (the Jewish Supreme Court – John 18).  He is put on trial, in the middle of the night no less, again to find a way to kill him.    Annas, the father-in-law of the high priest Caiaphas, sent Him to Caiaphas and the council.  (Matthew 26:59-66, Mark 14:55-64), who condemned Him to death for saying He was the Son of God.

The final inspection was that of Pilate (Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23), the governor.  Pilate took Jesus before Herod.  Convinced of His innocence, he tried to get the people to change their mind about crucifying Jesus.  However, they would not be appeased, and Pilate washed his hands before the people to signify he would bear no responsibility for His death.

Jesus endured the most intense inspection, but still proved to be without spot or blemish.  No fault could be found in Him.  We are redeemed “…with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” I Peter 1:19. Pilate said in John 19:4 “I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him”. He alone, without sin, was worthy to be the spotless lamb!

Another aspect of inspection that is very important to the Jews during the feast of Passover (Unleavened Bread), is the removal of all leaven from their homes for the entire week.  They search their homes diligently to find any crumb of leaven that may be hiding in a corner or crevice.  In the Bible, leaven is also represented as sin.  Yeast spreads throughout bread, and causes it to rise.  Even so, sin can spread throughout our lives until there is no part untouched.

This is surely applicable to us as Christians, because we are to examine ourselves continually, and strive to remove all sin from our lives, with the help of Christ.  May we be willing to subject ourselves to examination under the light of God’s Word daily, to equip and perfect us according to His will.

In the next study, I’ll compare the Passover lamb being slain with the crucifixion of Jesus.  I pray this series is a blessing to you.  It has been such a blessing to me to realize how perfect God’s plan is, and the steps He’s taken to make sure it’s perfect, even down to the last detail.

God bless you today!

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