Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Lamb Of God

With Easter approaching, I can't help but have God on my mind.  He's on my pillow when I wake up in the morning.  He's in my bowl of cereal.  He's there all day.

There's so much to take in, to remember and acknowledge during Easter time.  Honestly, I should be thinking about him all year long but Easter time always seems extra special.  It's the same reason I think of my mom all day long on the anniversary of her death every year.  It just seems like a sacred time.

I love the rituals that churches hold during this holy week.  The prayer sessions, the palms, the washing of feet in some.  I'm not always big on rituals within a church because I think that they away from true worship but during this time of year, they seems so perfect.

You want to hear something funny? For the longest time, I never knew what people meant when they called Jesus the "lamb of God."  There were songs about it, it was in scripture and people included it in their prayers but I didn't know why they called him that, only that they did and it seemed like a term of endearment.

Then one Sunday I attended church where the pastor was talking about Passover and their customary rituals.  Families would slaughter a lamb and they would eat bread and drink wine to commemorate the first passover back during the time of the Egyptian plagues when they were told to kill a lamb and put its blood over their doors so that the angel of death would pass them over.

Then the pastor talked about the last supper and how Jesus asked his disciples to prepare a room for them and they ate bread and drank wine.  It's a very familiar scene but the one thing that was missing was the lamb. I'd never noticed that before.  Perhaps it was because I didn't know the customs of Passover but it seemed like a really big thing to miss.  They didn't eat meat at the last supper even though that was the custom and the reason was that Jesus was the lamb. He would be sacrificing himself soon enough so an additional sacrifice wasn't necessary.

It was eye opening and I wept openly right there in the middle of church.  Jesus was the lamb, the ultimate sacrifice who gave his life for my sins and for the sins of the world.  And now, every time I hear that expression, "the lamb of God", it has a whole new meaning.

5 comments:

  1. My goodness, I never realized that either! 12 years of Catholic school and no one ever bothered to explain that! I think that's why I agree strongly with your statement about rituals taking away from true worship. often we just repeat whatever the appropriate response is and don't even think about what we are saying. Thanks for teaching me somethin this morning! :)

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    1. There is SO much that I feel cheated out of by the Catholic church! They taught me about God in a weird way. It was like someone trying to make someone love Elvis by only saying, "Elvis is King and that is that" but then never bothering to play any of his music for them. If they would have just played some music, I would have learned to love him all on my own.

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    2. YUP...that is a perfect analogy. We were told "Believe this or else God will punish you." It was really hard growing up with that fear, as it stil1 resonates with me today. Somehow I don't think Jesus was trying to preach fear, especially to children. So much of His message is lost in man-made rules and rituals.

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  2. Interesting - mine is the opposite journey - I've spent most of my Christian life in a contemporary Church, and only recently started discovering the amazing power and life in the traditional rituals. Perhaps because the liturgy isn't second nature to me, it blows me away in places.

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  3. I'll admit, there are parts about the Catholic mass that I find stunning. Sometimes I go to the Monday Mass just to feel that ritual, the comfort that comes from that steady repetition. It's like a metronome, beating in a predictable rhythm that is so soothing.

    So I do get what you're saying. It's just that for me, I tend to get so caught up in the action, the ritual itself, that I forget who I'm really there to worship. I find that falling to my knees is quite effective for that.

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