The Blood of the Lamb

The Blood of the Lamb

Christians are impressed that it was the blood (!) Of the lamb which saved the Jews in Egypt. Well it was. But it means something quite different than the meaning that Christians have read into it. In fact the blood of the lamb represents the precise opposite of the Christian claims for Jesus. It is the Jewish rejection of Jesus together with their rejection of all idolatry that saves the Jewish people.

We must ask ourselves. What did the blood mean to the Jews in Egypt? Why was the blood meaningful to God? And how did it save the Jewish people?

Answer: The Egyptians venerated the lamb. They couldn’t associate with anyone who herded sheep for the purpose of eating them (Genesis 43:32, 46:34, Exodus 8:22). For the Jew to slaughter the lamb it was an act of faith. Not in the lamb; but of faith in God. It takes courage to be different. First the Jew had to disengage from the Egyptian influence in his own mind, and then the Jew had to overcome his fear of the local population which would not take lightly to his slaughtering of their object of veneration. But if God commands, the Jew obeys. And God in His infinite mercy rewards our obedience even though it belongs to Him before we gave it to Him.

The blood of the lamb on the doorpost was a statement. The blood was a declaration that when you pass this doorpost you will no longer be in Egypt. Perhaps the geographical address is still Egypt, but the ideological location is far removed from Egypt. The blood on the doorpost proclaims that the people in this house have faith in God and in God alone. The destroying angel went through Egypt, but the homes with the blood were not “Egypt”.

So that’s the Passover lamb.

Today it is the Jew’s Mezuza that is the symbolic equivalent of the blood of the lamb. Wherever you see the Mezuza on the doorpost you can be sure they don’t worship the lamb in there. The Jewish home remains a bastion to faith in God and loyalty to His Law despite all of the extreme pressures that the worshipers of the lamb brought to bear in an effort to get the Jew to abandon his faith in God.

Ultimately, our rejection of the idolatrous influences of the nations around us will pay off. Those who hope to God, trust in Him, and in Him alone, will not be shamed (Isaiah 49:23).

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30 Responses to The Blood of the Lamb

  1. Thomas says:

    Great post (and the last one, knock knock, was breathtaking in its clarity).

    Just a small typo on this article:

    “And most Orthodox Jews would agree that the blood of the Passover lamb was a foreshadowing of Jesus’ blood.”

  2. Hi Thomas
    Thanks for the compliments
    that sentence is not a typo. The blood of the lamb represents not what the Jewish people worshiped but what they rejected – be it the forces of nature, Jesus, or any other idol that the populace around them had devoted themselves to. The blood of the lamb showed loyalty to God – and a rejection of the concept that we are subservient to the lamb. So yes – the blood represents Jesus together with all the other idols that Israel rejected throughout history in her loyalty to God.
    Thanks again
    Your Pharisee Friend

  3. uriyosef says:

    Powerful!!!

  4. Melissa Anderson says:

    Interesting that you parallel the Jewish rejection of Egyptian pagan practices with the Jewish rejection of x-tian idolotry. Apparently there is a lot borrowed from Egyptian mythology that seems to have a direct influence on x-tian theology. See http://paganizingfaithofyeshua.netfirms.com/no_1_original_saviour_gods_orisis.htm

  5. I beg to differ. The concept of “Foreshadowing” implies a certain legitimacy and credance to that notion. That there is such a concept, where is there such a concept that a certain mitzvah “foreshadows” a future event? What does foreshadow mean? that its going to happen? No. Nobody says that its going to happen. Additionally, as far as Jesus’ is concerned, I think it is a huge mistake to give him any particular credance, idolatrous or otherwise. Did he exist, did the events in the NT take place as they are described? I strongly disagree. If that is true then the very fact that anything can foreshadow a fictional account is rather ludicrous. That said, I think the statement on its own terms is very misleading. Idols are inanimate objects, at best, at worst they are living entities. However, from a western, Christian stand point, you basically said that all of Orthodox Judaism agrees with a fundamental doctrine of Christianity. Yes, you’ve explained it, but on the surface that is not what you said. I took three double takes, and re-read the sentence about 6 times. Its misleading, even if your meaning is explained.

  6. Daniel
    Jesus is fictional but the Christian faith in him is not – it is a reality – a reality that exerted itself with murderous force against our people to move us from our faith in God. Our loyalty to God will ultimately save us – and it is this loyalty to God – which includes rejection of Jesus together with the rejection of every fictional claim of the idolaters – that is “foresahdowed” in the blood of the lamb. In any case – I changed the wording on the basis of your criticism – thanks and Chag Sameach

  7. David Rasbold says:

    With all the prophecies in the Bible, from Genesis to the prophets, about the messiah coming and the details of each prophecy so clear, what makes you believe that this Jesus could not be the messiah? I am very interested to read your answer.

  8. danielpaulk says:

    Jesus could not be the messiah because of the following :-

    Main function of Messiah is to bring everlasting peace prophesied in scriptures. To make it clear that Jesus is not the messiah Jesus said to the Jews,” “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Mathew 10:34) Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.” (Luke.12:51) The person who says I have come to bring division, I have come to bring sword the messiah? Or was Jesus telling a lie while he was really the messiah?

    First he divided Jews into two group, (i) Jews who remained Jews who worship only Yahweh. (2) Jews who worship Jesus also as God along with Yahweh. Then he divided this Christians into innumerable denominations/fractions, to our astonishment even the Christians don’t know how many denominations/fractions they have. And each fraction of Christianity says all other fractions are wrong, fraud. Some Christians even says Pope is the Antichrist.They themselves don’t know which fraction is the right one? Can you say which fraction is the right one? On what basis do you say this Jesus is the messiah?

  9. ‘The Egyptians venerated the lamb.’ Evidence apart from Rashi please?

    We know they worshipped the ox and heifer forms, and virtually every other creature under the sun. We also know that ‘every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians’ which is a somewhat different, and that Moses warned ‘for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians’ – that doesn’t necessarily imply veneration, perhaps strong distaste.

    Second, Egyptians frequently ate the meat of the animals they worshipped.

    Third, why would the sacrifice of a bullock or goat (both also revered) have been any less iconoclastic?

    The great god being slain in the 10th plague was not a sheep god, it was Horus – the god of succession.

  10. Charles
    Whether the Egyptians venerated the lamb or not is not relevant to the thrust of my argument. This much is clear from Scripture – that slaughtering the lamb was something that the Egyptians could not tolerate – either for cultural reasons or religious reasons – Exodus 8:22. Slaughtering the lamb in Egypt was a departure from the Egyptian mindset – and putting its blood on the doorpost was statement to that effect. It certainly stood as a statement of obedience to God – which was also apart from the Egyptian mindset who would obey others but not the Creator of all,

  11. Charles
    Do you have Scripture to back your assertion?

    • One example of many.
      There was no lack of repentance in Hezekiah’s day, but by itself it was insufficient to forgive sins.
      ‘And the priests killed them, and they made reconciliation with their blood upon the altar, to make an atonement for all Israel: for the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be made for all Israel.’ (2Ch 29:24)

      • Charles
        N one disputes that with the availability of a Temple we ought to express our repentance with the act of offering – but where do the Scripture state that without a Temple a blood offering is still required?

        • Yeshua the High Priest stood before the Angel of the Lord, Satan accusing him of the sins that soiled his garments. (Zech.3)
          The Temple foundation had been laid, but not yet completed. (Zech.4)
          It is the LORD (who through the mouth of the Angel) rebukes Satan – the basis of the laying of another Temple stone – one by which all the land’s iniquity would be cleansed – lies in the future. So it is with all the animal sacrifices, they represented a hope for something effective in the future.
          Only through a Priestly King, who sits on His throne in an effective Temple, may sins be remitted. (Zech.6)
          Only those who have entered covenant with the Most High (and covenants were ‘cut’, indicating blood shed) may stand in His presence. (Ps.50.5)
          This of course included all the holy ones like Daniel who looked forward to the unique consummating atonement described in chapter 9.24-6.
          Why else has God withdrawn the heart of Yom Kippur for 2,000 years, and left a blank wall for those who reject His gracious provision?

          • Sharbano says:

            Zechariah 3 does Not say Yeshua, at least Not in the Hebrew.

          • True, I don’t wish to mislead, but Yehoshua/Joshua and Yeshua are both used of the son of Nun.

          • Charles
            So the “heart” in your dictionary is the physical blood or the belief in the blood. Well Charles – I’m not sure if I could have proven my point any better than you have. The heart of Scripture as a whole and of every component part, including the Yom Kippur service, is the relationship between God and His people – and He promised us that we are never left with a “blank wall” – He is always there for us – Ezekiel 11:16 and His promises hold true.

          • I do wish that last statement were true, but as it stands it’s a delusion, our relationship with Him can only be founded on a solid atonement. ‘When I see the blood, I will pass over you,’
            Here is the watershed between life and death.

            Yes, the blood of the Lamb is central, without it there is no seeing the pledge of God’s love, the vindication of His justice, the accomplishment of His Law and the sight of just how much He was prepared to give for us, first Jews and then Gentiles. It is not like the blood of Abel, it cries out for better things…

      • your assertion that Israel cannot atone for sin without “jesus blood” couldn’t be farther from the truth…Nowhere in the Tanach does it even hint that “jesus blood” is needed for Israel to receive forgiveness of sin from Hashem.

        The prophet Daniel stood righteous before Hashem without a Temple. He didn’t need “jesus blood” or jesus in any fashion on order to stand righteous before Hashem.

        Ezekiel 14:14 even if these three men–Noah, Daniel and Job–were in it, they could save only themselves by their righteousness, declares the Sovereign LORD.

        You see, Daniel received forgiveness for his sins INDEPENDENT of jesus during the first exile. He did this by praying and sincerely repenting before Hashem. Daniel 6:11 states that he even did this in the face of death! Clearly, Daniel knew that his sincere repentance to Hashem brought him back to righteousness.

        He was simply following the words of Jeremiah!

        The context of Jeremiah 29 concerns what G-d expects of us during the exile in order to merit the rebuilding of the Holy Temple. Consider what is said in Jeremiah 29:12-14

        Jeremiah 29:12. And you shall call Me and go and pray to Me, and I will hearken to you.

        Jeremiah 29:13. And you will seek Me and find [Me] for you will seek Me with all your heart.

        Jeremiah 29:14. And I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will return your captivity and gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will return you to the place whence I exiled you.

        G-d expected that the Israelites would pray to Him while in Babylon. The result of their prayers and repentance allowed them to return to the land and rebuild the Holy Temple.

        This is precisely what Daniel did…

        And this is precisely what Orthodox Jews do today! Hosea gives us a similar message:

        Hosea 3:4. For the children of Israel shall remain for many days, having neither king, nor prince, nor sacrifice, nor pillar, nor ephod nor seraphim.

        Hosea 3:5. Afterwards shall the children of Israel RETURN, and seek the Lord their God and David their king, and they shall come trembling to the Lord and to His goodness at the end of days.

        How do we return to Hashem if we do not have any sacrifices? Hosea tells us in Hosea 14:2-3!

        Hosea 14:2. RETURN, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have STUMBLED IN YOUR INIQUITY.

        Clearly, the subject of the next verse explains HOW Israel is supposed to RETURN to Hashem so that OUR INIQUITIES WILL BE FORGIVEN. Of course, the next verse explains just that!

        Hosea 14:3 Take WORDS with yourselves and RETURN TO THE LORD. Say, “YOU SHALL FORGIVE ALL INIQUITY and teach us [the] good [way], and let us render [for] bulls [the offering of] our lips.

        Even though we have stumbled in our iniquity and have been put into exile, we still have a means of returning to Hashem though our sincere PRAYERS. We take our words and return to Hashem by saying; “FORGIVE ALL INIQUITY.” Nothing in Hosea 14:2-3 indicates that we need the blood of animals in order to atone for our sins during the exile. And most importantly, NOTHING in Hosea 14:2-3 says we need the blood of jesus!

        This is why Daniel was able to stand righteous before Hashem, praying three times a day, despite the fact that he knew he would be thrown into a pit of lions if he continued to do so. Yet he continued to do so in the face of death! (Daniel 6:11)

        If the Jewish people did not need “jesus blood” to merit the rebuilding of the Holy Temple during the first exile, then why would we need it now?!

        Hebrews 9:22 is a false statement. It erroneously claims that “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin.”

        Lets take a look at II Chronicles 30:16-20 where it is HEZEKIAH’S PRAYER and NOT BLOOD which ATONES for the sins of the people…
        


        II Chronicles 30:16. And they stood in their station as was their custom, according to the Torah of Moses, the man of God; the priests sprinkled the blood from the hand of the Levites.
        


        II Chronicles 30:17. For there were many among the congregation who had not consecrated themselves, and the Levites were in charge of the slaughter of the Passover sacrifices for everyone who was unclean, to make it holy for the Lord.



        II Chronicles 30:18. For a multitude of the people, many from Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun, had not purified themselves, for they ate the Passover sacrifice not as it is written, for **Hezekiah had PRAYED**for them, saying, **”MAY THE GOOD LORD ATONE FOR**
        


        II Chronicles 30:19. anyone who has set his whole heart to seek God, the Lord, the God of his forefathers, though [he be] not [cleaned] according to the purity that pertains the holy things.”
        


        II Chronicles 30:20. **And THE LORD HEARKENED TO HEZEKIAH and HEALED the people.**



        The Hebrew word יְכַפֵּר is used in verse 18. It means ATONE! Here we see that in the case of Hezekiah’s passover, many of his Israelite guests DID NOT cleanse themselves with BLOOD according to the Law of Moses. In order to ATONE for the sins of his people, King Hezekiah PRAYED TO HASHEM that he should grant ATONEMENT for all those in his Kingdom who truly turned their hearts to Hashem. 

Now, to further expand on this…In verse 16, it clearly states that the Levites were in charge of sprinkling BLOOD to purify Israel as it is stated in the Torah of Moses…Now, verses 17 and 18 say that there were many in Israel WHO DID NOT PURIFY THEMSELVES WITH THE **BLOOD** AS IT IS WRITTEN IN THE TORAH! 

When someone disobeys a Law in the Torah, what do we call that? We call it a SIN! Here, there were individuals who SINNED by NOT being purified by the LEVITICAL PRIESTS OF THE HOLY TEMPLE with BLOOD! Now, according to Hebrews 9:22, the only way to ATONE FOR SIN is through BLOOD! But here, the sin that was committed was that they DIDN’T use blood for atonement…So how is this sin atoned for?

        According to Hebrew 9:22, it has to be blood! But is that how this sin was atoned for? NO! Their sins were atoned for in this manner:



        II Chronicles 30:18 **Hezekiah had PRAYED**for them, saying, **”MAY THE GOOD LORD ATONE FOR**
        


        II Chronicles 30:19. anyone who has set his whole heart to seek God, the Lord, the God of his forefathers, though [he be] not [cleaned] according to the purity that pertains the holy things.”



        II Chronicles 30:20. **And THE LORD HEARKENED TO HEZEKIAH and HEALED the people.**

        

The sin of those not purified with the blood was atoned for through PRAYER!

 Thus, Hebrews 9:22 is an inaccurate statement…

        And if you are still skeptical about atonement without blood, The Hebrew word יִּרְפָּא is used in verse 20 for the word “healed.” The root of this word is רְפָּא which means heal. Amazingly, this same root is used in Isaiah 53:5
        Isaiah 53:5. But he was pained because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; the chastisement of our welfare was upon him, and with his wound we were **HEALED.**

        The Hebrew word נִרְפָּא is used in verse Isaiah 53:5 for the word “healed.” This shares the SAME ROOT with יִּרְפָּא as shown above. In both cases, (Isaiah 53:5 and II Chronicles 30:20) a form of the word רְפָּא is used for the word “healed.”
        Clearly, there are circumstances in which atonement can be made through PRAYER, particularly when blood sacrifice is not immediately available…

        II Chronicles 33:9-13 demonstrates this same principle:

        II Chronicles 33:9-13: “And Manasseh led Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem astray to do what was evil, more than the nations whom the Lord had destroyed from before the Children of Israel. And the Lord spoke to Manasseh and to his people, but they did not listen. And the Lord brought upon them the generals of the king of Assyria, and they seized Manasseh with hooks and bound him with copper chains and brought him to Babylon. And when he was distressed, he entreated the Lord his God, and he humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. And he PRAYED to Him, and He accepted his prayer, and He heard his supplication and He restored him to Jerusalem to his kingdom, and Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.”

        Here we see that Manasseh used PRAYER to receive forgiveness of his sins as well. We see that when blood sacrifice is not available, prayer is a valid method of atonement for sin. Also keep in mind that under Manasseh’s rule, the kingdom of Judah was more idolatrous than it had ever been in the past! Clearly, Manasseh’s prayer served as a means of forgiveness/atonement without blood sacrifice and most importantly, without jesus!

        Here we have a cause and effect: King Manasseh says a prayer asking for forgiveness and G-d accepts his prayer and restores him as King of Judah. No blood sacrifice was used to atone for King Manasseh as there is nothing in the text that would indicate such.

        This proves that Hebrews 9:22 is a false statement. Blood sacrifice is not the only way to atone for sin. Your jesus has nothing to with our atonement.

        Shalom

        • Dina says:

          Yehuda Yisrael, it’s like what Rabbi Blumenthal says, the Tanach is the best countermissionary book ever written.

          Excellent comment, as usual!

  12. Dina says:

    Just following. Thanks!

  13. Charles
    Yes – the blood of the lamb is central – inasmuch as it represents rejection of faith in the lamb and it represents faith in God and loyalty to His commandment – to see who is delusional – just see how many times the word “atonement” is associated with the Passover offering

    • cpsoper says:

      Some blood sacrifices indeed do hold especial primary reference to making atonement, primarily the sin and trespass offerings (Lev.4.20.26,31,35; 5.6,10,13,16,18; 6.7; 7.7), whilst the burnt offering is often linked to atonement (Lev.1.4, 16.24). Of the 15 mentions of atonement on the great Day, most are tied to the sin offering, only one explicitly to the burnt offering.

      The Passover is itself primarily a sin offering. The analogy to the Lord’s appointed destroyer is manifest in Ezekiel 9, and in 2 Samuel 28.16 This avenger requires and demands satisfaction for the violated Law, and it is by this right he has claims not only all of Egypt, but also all of Israel. Only those covered by the blood sacrifice, and who remain within the lintels of the household covered are protected from his just execution.

      Beware all who read, if you rely on an inefficacious, bloodless atonement, ‘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’. You live unprotected, and the sword of Divine justice is stretched out above you.

      David upon seeing that Divine blade poised over Jerusalem, ran to what is now the Temple Mount. Once there he offered burnt and peace offerings. He did not offer an sin or a trespass offering. He said something else which foresaw the fusion of the monarchy and the priesthood, and which alone could take away the iniquity of the land in a day.
      ‘Let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father’s house.’

      הַדָּם הוּא, בַּנֶּפֶשׁ יְכַפֵּר

  14. Cindy says:

    “The Arizal teaches that the whole concept of Passover provides the Jews with a method of rectifying Adam’s sin.” (Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, “Passover Thoughts: The Rectification of Adam’s Sin,”from “The Aryeh Kaplan Reader” p. 112, Mesorah Publications 1985.)

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