“Each day, offer two lambs that are a year old, one in the morning and the other in the evening” (Exodus 29:38)
Here we are at the final puzzle of Holy Week. As we lay out the pieces of Christ’s crucifixion on the table, we see sections and segments of clocks. Some pieces have numbers on them. Some have the hands of timepieces on them. Each is a section of the bigger puzzle that shows us how detailed our God is.
God gave specific instructions for the daily sacrifices that were to be given. Part of those instructions included the sacrifices of two lambs. Both lambs had to be one year old. One of the lambs was to be offered in the morning, and the other at twilight. These two sacrifices were called the Tamid. All the other sacrifices given each day were done at times that were spread out between these two sacrifices.
During the time of the Temple in Jerusalem, the morning lamb would be offered up at the third hour of the day. Following the sacrifice, the Temple trumpets would sound, and the Temple gates would be opened. Then at the ninth hour, the evening sacrifice of the second lamb would be made. When this last lamb was offered, the daily sacrifices were complete.
The significance of these two sacrifices are the final pieces of the crucifixion puzzle that we need as we close our thoughts on Holy Week. Mark 15:25 specifically tells us that “it was nine in the morning when they crucified Christ.” Nine in the morning was the third hour of the day for the Jews. The exact hour that the morning lamb was slain on the altar in both the Tabernacle and the Temple. But there is a second puzzle piece we need in order to connect the Old Testament sacrifice and the death of Christ. Matthew 27:45-50 tells us that on that Good Friday, “at noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Then in verse 50, Matthew writes, “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and gave up his spirit.” Three in the afternoon was the ninth hour. The exact time the evening sacrifice of a lamb was slain both in the Tabernacle and the Temple.
The sacrificial death of Jesus Christ began with the offering of the morning lamb and ended with the offering of the evening lamb. John the Baptist called Jesus Christ, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” Jesus Christ covered every sacrifice required by God. He was the true Tamid, for the word Tamid means continual, perpetual, always, and forever. Jesus Christ took away every sin that we could ever commit, once and for all time. His sacrifice on the cross made us completely free and forgiven.
The final puzzle comes together and as it does, we see the perfection of God’s timing was complete in the sacrifice of his Son. Christ’s sacrificial death gives us the eternal redemption we need when we place our faith in Him.
With our Holy Week puzzle complete, let us realize how much we have to celebrate this Resurrection Sunday! Darlene