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the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world;' a lamb without blemish and without spot. The paschal lamb was to be one of the flock. Christ, the Word who was made flesh, and dwelt among us, was taken from the midst of the people, being in all things made like unto his brethren." The sacrifice of the passover differed from other sacrifices, in being a public act of the whole people: it was to be slain by
“ the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel.” The chief priests, and the rulers, and the people, were consenting to the death of Jesus. The blood of the passover was, at its first institution, to be sprinkled upon the lintel, and the two side-posts, for the protection of the people; and in the subsequent celebration of the paschal sacrifice, “ the priests sprinkled the blood, which they received of the hand of the Levites.” a It is by the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ, that our consciences are purged, and protection and salvation obtained. The passover was to be eaten by the Israelites, in the character of travellers, with their loins girded, their shoes upon their feet, and their staff in their hand." They, for whom Christ is sacrificed, are compared to strangers and pilgrims, and are commanded to stand, having their loins girt about with truth, and having on the breast-plate of righteousness, and their feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.' The Israelites were to eat the passover in haste. We are to give diligence to make our calling and election suresh and to flee for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us. The passover was to be sacrificed only in the tabernacle, and afterwards only in the temple at Jerusalem. Neither could it be that Christ should perish out of Jerusalem. The month, and day of the month, on which the passover was to be sacrificed by the Israelites, is laid down with accuracy. And, on the very day on which the passover ought to be slain,and on which Christ celebrated the paschal feast with his disciples, he endured his agony and bloody sweat: and he suffered death upon the cross, on the day when, at least, the scribes and Pharisees, and some of the principal men among the Jews, did “eat the passover.”
r John i. 29, 36.
s i Pet. i. 19. See Isai. liii. 7.
d Exod. xii. 11.
1 Pet. ii. 11. f Eph. vi. 15. 8 Exod. xii. 11. 2 Pet. i. 10. i Heb. vi. 18. k Deut. xvi. 5,
6. 1 Luke xiii. 33. m Luke xxii. 7. 'Εν ή ΕΔΕΙ Θύεσθαι το πάσχα. n John xviii. 28.
Another peculiarity in the paschal offering is the time of the day, at which it was appointed to be slain. “ The whole assembly of the congregation shall kill it in the evening ;"° or, as the expression is rendered in the margin, between the two evenings.
The time designated by this expression is sufficiently clear, from a comparison of other passages in which it is found. The term, evening, was taken, with considerable latitude, to indicate the whole time, between the declining of the sun from noon and its setting: and the period was divided into the former and the latter evening. Thus the same time, described by St. Luke in the words, “ the day began to decline,”' is denominated by St. Matthew, evening: and from the account given by St. Matthew himself, it is evident, that he is speaking of the former evening : for after the miracle, which he describes, is performed, some considerable time elapses before the second evening of the same day comes, when Christ, having gone up to a mountain apart to pray, was there alone." The comparison of these two corresponding accounts proves, that, in the time of our Saviour, at least, the term “between the two evenings” did not
• Exod. xii. 6.
mean, as has been supposed, the period of 'twilight, that intermingling of light and darkness, which takes place between the setting of the sun, and the obscurity of night. The traditions and customs of the Jews shew also what interpretation they put upon the words. For the second daily sacrifice was commanded to be continually offered “between the two evenings;»t. and it is known, that the lamb was slain between the eighth and ninth hour of the Jews; and offered between their ninth and tenth hour." Josephus also expressly states, that the evening sacrifice took place about the ninth hour:* and that the paschal lamb was slain from the ninth to the eleventh hour.
When any thing, then, was commanded to be done “between the two evenings,” it was usually performed at the ninth hour, the point of time equidistant from the beginning and the end of the whole period.
Now, at the very time appointed for the sacrifice of the paschal lamb, between the two evenings, Christ our passover was sacrificed
The scene of suffering began at the
s Aben Ezra on Exod. xii. Parkhurst's Heb. Lex. in verb.
+ Exod. xxix. 39. Numb. xxviii. 4.
u Talmud tract. de pasch. cap. 5. See Godwin's Moses and Aaron, p. 133. Kidder. Demonstr. of the Messiah,
* Ant. xiv. 4, 3.
y Bell. Jud. vi. 9. 3.
third hour of the day.” And at the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. "
Many other circumstances of resemblance have long since been observed, between the type exhibited in the passover, and Christ the antitype. The comparison which was made, as early as the second century of the Christian æra, between the particular mode in which the paschal lamb was prepared in roasting, and the manner in which the body of our Lord was fixed to the cross, may, perhaps, appear too fanciful to be insisted on. But when we find, that the covenant of the passover was made with those who ate the flesh of the lamb; and the gospel covenant with those who embrace the true faith, or, in the language of Christ himself, who “ eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood :”e that, as the whole lamb was to be eaten, so the whole doctrine of Christ is to be embraced without reserve: that, as no one, who
4 Mark xv. 25.
• See Bochart: Hierozoicon, Par. Lib. II. cap. I. Witsins de æcon.
Fæderum, Lib. IV. cap. ix. 35...38. d Justin Martyr Dial. cum Tryphone, p. 259. B. e John vi. 53.