Jesus - our sacrificial lamb

SERMON TOPIC: Jesus - our sacrificial lamb

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 4 March 2006


Sermon synopsis: Why did John the baptist call Jesus 'the Lamb of God'? Which day was Jesus crucified? What is the link between the Communion celebration of the New Covenant and the Passover of the Old Covenant?
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Jesus - our sacrificial lamb

Ex 12:3 Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household … 7 Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs… 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt…

The Passover

Ex 12:21 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. 22 Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning. 23 When the LORD goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.

The Passover

Heb 9:22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

Passover lamb was slaughtered on Preparation day of Passover as was Jesus

Lk 23: 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. 54 It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.

Jesus – our Passover Lamb

1 Cor 5:7 For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.

Ex 12:13 … when I see the blood, I will pass over you.

Pleading the blood unscriptural – the blood in the Bible is never to protect us from Satan’s wrath (armour of God) but from God’s wrath

Jesus – our Passover Lamb

Luke 22:14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. … 19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

Jesus – our Passover Lamb

Ex 12:5 The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect…

1 Peter 1:18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.

Heb 5:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.

Without blemish

1 Peter 2:21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 22 “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”

1 John 3:5 But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.

Heb 7:26 Such a high priest meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.

Without blemish

Ex 12:43 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “These are the regulations for the Passover: … 46 “It must be eaten inside one house; take none of the meat outside the house. Do not break any of the bones.

John 19:33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. 36 These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,”

No bones broken

Acts 8:32 The eunuch was reading this passage of Scripture: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.” 34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.


1 Peter 2:23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.

Like 23:7 When he learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.8 When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform some miracle. 9 He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer.


John 19:6 But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.” 7 The Jews insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.” 8 When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, 9 and he went back inside the palace. “Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer.


The Roman day (like ours) is from midnight (+/ - 12 p.m.) to midnight i.e. night, day, night

Jewish day is from sunset (+/ - 6 p.m.) to sunset i.e. night then day

Gen 1:5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

Sunday is the 1st day of the week and Saturday (the Sabbath) is the 7th.

According to the Gospel writers, Jesus died at the ninth hour (3 p.m. our time) and was buried about sunset that same day, Luke 23:44, 45, 50-54; Mark 15:33-38, 42-47.

Which day was Jesus crucified?

Jesus rose on the 1st day of the week but the day he was crucified is not mentioned

Mark 16: 9 When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene…

People made the assumption that it was Friday because the following day was a Sabbath (assumed to be Saturday)

Mk 15: 42 It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body.

Which day was Jesus crucified?

John 19: 31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. (NIV)

Amplified: for that Sabbath was a very solemn and important one

KJV: for that sabbath day was an high day

Wesley's New Testament (1755): for that sabbath was a great day

New American Standard Bible: for that Sabbath was a high day

Sabbath was not the name of a day (the Jews numbered the days) but was used in the same sense we use “holiday” i.e. day of rest

Lev 23:4 ‘These are the LORD’s appointed feasts, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times: 5 The LORD’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month … 8 For seven days present an offering made to the LORD by fire. And on the seventh day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work.

A special Sabbath

As that was the week of the Passover, there were 2 Sabbaths (the Passover – the “special” or “high” Sabbath and Saturday

Matthew makes it plain that 2 Sabbaths had passed since Jesus was crucified.

Matthew 28:1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

On this verse nearly all translators have allowed tradition to control their translation. It is not "Sabbath" but "Sabbaths" in the Greek text.J.P. Green's Interlinear New Testament indicates the word for Sabbath in this instance, Strong's #4521, is in the plural form, i.e. there were 2 Sabbaths that week

The verse properly translated should read: " After the Sabbaths…"

Two Sabbaths

Matt 12:40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

3 days & 3 nights

Luke 24 tells us that on the first day of the week (Sunday), after Jesus arose, 2 disciples were walking to Emmaus and were greeted by Jesus, but they didn't recognize him. They told him what had recently happened and that it had been "the third day since all this took place."

The 3rd day since

Lk 23:54 It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. 55 The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. 56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.

Which day was Jesus crucified?

Lamb chosen on 10th day of Abib (Nisan) and slaughtered on 14th day of Abib

Exodus 12:1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, 2 “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. 3 Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. … 6 Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight.

Lamb presented on 10th day of Nisan

After the Lamb was selected they were to take it into their home for four days (11th, 12th, 13th, 14th) and examine it each day for flaws. However, this was eventually changed to mean the Priest in the Temple had to inspect and approve of this lamb, not the individual.

Which day was Jesus crucified?

Lamb examined

Triumphal entry (lamb presented) could not be on a Sabbath

11–14 Nisan: Jesus tested but they could not find fault with Him

Lamb examined

11th – 13th Nisan: Jesus tested but he “silenced them”

Chief priests and the elders

Authority of Jesus questioned Mt 21:23-27

Pharisees & Herodians

Paying taxes to Caesar Mt 22:15-22


Marriage at the Resurrection Mt 22:23-33

Expert lawyer

The Greatest Commandment Mt 22:34-40

Mt 22:46 No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.

By disciples

John 16:29 Then Jesus’ disciples said, “Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. 30 Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.”

Lamb examined

14th Nisan: examined at 3 trials

Sanhedrin (Illegal trial at night) - had to get false witnesses

Mt 26:59 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. 60 But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward 61 and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’”


Lk 23:4 Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.”


Lk 23:13 Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. 15 Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death.

They couldn't light a fire - Lev 26:2

They couldn't gather firewood - Num 15:32,33

They would be punished for not obeying the Sabbath - Jer. 17:27


The Israelites were not permitted to travel more than about 1,000-1,200 yards on the Sabbath. The distance between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives was also considered a Sabbath day's walk (Acts 1:12).

However, we have to determine what part of the mountain was being referred to. If you take a map of Jerusalem from Jesus' day and measure from the east side of the temple, through the Golden Gate, and then follow the road around the Kidron valley to the Garden of Gethsemane, which is located near the base of the Mount of Olives, you have already used up 800 yards (or 2,400 feet). If you go on up to the peak of the mountain you will find it measures about 1,200 yards (or 3,600 feet) or the distance of a Sabbath day's walk.


Therefore, the disciples couldn't have gone much farther on a Sabbath. Also, keep in mind if they arrived after sunset, at that distance they would have to stay put for the next 24 hours until the Sabbath was over or they would have traveled more than a Sabbath day's walk to go back into town.

According to a current map of Jerusalem, Bethany appears to be about 1 3/ 4 miles from the Temple on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives (on the opposite side of the mountain from Jerusalem). Therefore, when you hear of anyone walking from Bethany to Jerusalem, or back again, it could not have been the Sabbath because it was more than double a Sabbath day's walk. As will be shown, Jesus walked to Bethany to spend the night and returned to Jerusalem the next morning for several days just before the crucifixion.


Nisan 8th: Jesus travels from Jericho to Bethany

Jericho to Bethany: longer than Sabbath travel

Probably stayed at Lazarus' house in Bethany for the night after such a long journey. (Mt 20:29-34; Mk 10:46-52; Lk 18:35-19:28; Jn 12:1-2)

Nisan 9th: SABBATH

This is the only day in the week that could have been the weekly Sabbath due to all the work being performed on the other days and all the nights Jesus returned to Bethany.


Jesus goes from Bethany to Jerusalem for Triumphal entry (Mt 21:1; Mk 11:1; & Lk 19:28,29) : longer than Sabbath travel

All four Gospels mention, the disciples walking to Jerusalem from Bethany, branches [wood] being cut and Jesus riding on a donkey. These were all activities that were forbidden on a Sabbath.

Jesus went out of the city to Bethany for the night (Mt 21:17; Mk 11:11) : longer than Sabbath travel


Nisan 11th: Curses fig tree

Jesus goes back to Jerusalem early in the morning and curses the fig tree that is near Bethany (Mt 21:18,19; Mk 11:12)

longer than Sabbath travel

Nisan 12th: Debates in temple, Olivet discourse

Jesus spend the night in Bethany (Mk 11:19). Mark indicates that the next morning on the way from Bethany to Jerusalem they saw the fig tree withered on the way back to the Temple (the tree was near Bethany). Jesus went into the Temple courts (Mt 21:23; Mk 11:20, 21). This is the day all the Pharisees, Sadducees and others tried to trap Jesus into saying things that they could arrest him with. Jesus then gave the Olivet Discourse before leaving the city that afternoon while sitting on the Mount of Olives (Mt 21:23-26:1, Mk 11:20-13:37; Lk 20:1-21:5).

Jerusalem to Bethany: longer than Sabbath travel


Nisan 13th: Dinner at Simon in Bethany

Around sunset they leave Jerusalem and head for Bethany where they will be eating dinner at Simon's (Matt 26:6; Matt 14:3, John 12:1-8). Next day (but same day according to Jewish time) the disciples ask where to prepare the Passover. Jesus tells them where it will be and they go to make preparations in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem to Bethany: longer than Sabbath travel

Nisan 14th

Jesus and his disciples are now in Jerusalem eating their Passover shortly after sunset as God had instructed in the Exodus and Leviticus passages on Passover. Jesus retires to the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives. He prays while his disciples sleep till dark (John 18:3). He is arrested (Matt. 26:20-50; Mark 14:17-46; Luke 22:14-54; John 13:1-18:12). He is tried all through the night and hung on the cross and dies about 3 PM in the afternoon. He is buried before sunset (still the same day) because of the High Holy Day coming on for Passover (Nisan 15).



By counting backwards from the day of the crucifixion it is easy to see that several days in a row could not have been the Sabbath. That leaves only one day that could be a Sabbath: Nisan 9. It is also very logical that Jesus would have rested on this day after such a long trip and especially with all the activities of the coming week and especially the 10th which was one of the most important days of his life. If you add seven days onto the Sabbath of the 9th then you get Nisan 16th as the next Sabbath, which would mean there was a High Holy Day Sabbath on the 15th and then the weekly Sabbath on the 16th, i.e., back-to-back Sabbaths right after the crucifixion. Also if the 16th was a Sabbath then that made Nisan 14, the day of the Crucifixion, a Thursday.


Which day was Jesus crucified?

1 Peter 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

Rev 5:6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders … 9 And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.

Acts 20:28 Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.

Purchased by his blood

Rev 7:9 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” … 13 Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?” 14 I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Salvation by his blood

Heb 9:11 When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

Eternal redemption

Heb 9:23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

A sacrifice once for all

Heb 10:10 The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2 If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, 4 because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins… 11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. 13 Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, 14 because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

Law was a shadow, Jesus the reality

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