Archive for April 1st, 2010

Slaughtered Sheep (Do not click here if you are squeamish!)In Part I of this series, we examined Lamb Selection Day, and in Part II, we examined the preparations for Passover. In Part III, we delved into the Passover Banquet, now called the Seder. Tonight, in Part IV, we will examine the passover sacrifice.

Origins

The origins of sacrifice in Hebraic tradition, and so, too, for us, goes back hundreds of years before Moses and the Exodus to the time of Abram. In Genesis 15, we read:

After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision:
“Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”

But Abram said, “O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”

Then the word of the LORD came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.” He took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars – if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”

Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15:1-6)

In this passage, God has promised to protect Abram and to reward him. In Abram’s culture, the two most important things one could have were children and land – because these were the only things that could carry on as a legacy to future generations. Nothing else could truly serve as a reminder to future generations of people the worth of a person and his or her life.

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