Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Beautiful Symbolism

I love symbols.  To me, it's like solving a puzzle or breaking a code.  When you understand the symbols, it opens up a whole new world of understanding.  Many times, in the scriptures, we are taught in symbols.  One reason is that symbols allow people to learn at different levels.  You can learn something from the symbol while someone else may learn something much deeper and richer.

This weekend, the Christian world is celebrating Easter, a celebration of the new life that our Savior brought in his resurrection.  At the same time, the Jewish world is celebrating the feast of the Passover.  I don't know how the Passover is celebrated in modern day.  I haven't studied that.  But, I have studied my own religion extensively, and a part of that has been some deep study of the Bible.  I have unearthed some rich symbolism in the Passover tradition.  I thought I would share some of what I have found with all of you, in a celebration of our Savior's resurrection this Easter.  I will outline some of the aspects of the Passover and then explain what they symbolize by going over some events in the last week of the Savior's life.

The Lamb is Chosen
In the Jewish Calendar, the Passover started on the 10th of Abib (a month that ran through part of March and April) with the selection of an unblemished male lamb.(BD Feasts) (Exodus 12:2-5)

The Lamb is Slain
On the 14th day of the month, the Lamb was to be slain by the whole assembly. (Exodus 12:16)

The People are Saved by the Blood of the Lamb
The people spread the lamb's blood on their door posts, showing that they take upon themselves the blood of the lamb.  The outward appearance of the blood caused the destroying angel to pass over those particular houses, so that they were safe. (Exodus 12:7,13)

The Feast is a Memorial Ordinance
They are told to eat the flesh of the lamb and to continue to practice that tradition as an ordinance and a memorial forever. (Exodus 12:8,14)

They Offered their First Fruits of Barley
This was not practiced with the first Passover, but was later added as a tradition.  The day after the sabbath they were to bring their first fruits of barley to the priest who would wave it before the Lord as an offering. (Leviticus 23:10-11)

In some ways, the above practices may seem like strange traditions but I will now share with you some of the events in the last week of the Savior's life.  Beginning with the 10th of Abib.

The Savior is Chosen as the Lamb of God
At the Savior's triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the people clearly knew who he really was and had chosen him as their Messiah.  The Savior himself said that if the people were not shouting and rejoicing, the stones would immediately cry out because they wouldn't be able to hold their peace. (Luke 19:35-40)  But more important than the people seeing him as the Messiah, the Savior himself had taken upon himself that role.  In the same chapter he enters the temple and cleanses it, rebuking those who were there by saying 'My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.' (Luke 19:45-46) This is significant in that he called it 'my house' whereas earlier he had referred to it as 'My Father's house' (John 2:16)  He now had taken upon himself the mantle of the Messiah, the Chosen One, the Lamb of God.

The People are Saved by the Blood of the Lamb of God
The Savior suffered under the weight of the sins of the world in the Garden of Gethsemane.  The suffering was so great that blood came out of his pores. (Luke 22:44)  This blood literally saved all of us, paving the way to be cleansed as we take his name upon us.

The Feast is a Memorial Ordinance
The Savior celebrated the Passover with his disciples at the Last Supper.  When he did this, he taught them of the symbolism, saying that the bread represented his body and the water his blood. (Luke 22:19-20)  We continue today to partake of the Sacrament in remembrance of him. (Other faiths call it communion or the Lord's Supper)  We will continue to keep this as a memorial ordinance forever.

The Lamb of God is Slain
The Savior was brought before the whole assembly.  When Pilate declared his innocence, his unblemished nature, the assembly cried out "Crucify Him!"  He was taken to Golgotha where he was Slain upon a cross. (Luke 23:21,23,33)

The Lamb of God Rises as the First Fruits of Those That Slept
On the third day after Christ was slain, the day after the sabbath,  Mary Magdalene came to the Savior's tomb.(Matthew 28:1) An angel came to her and said, "He is not here: for he is risen." (Matthew 28:6) As Paul says he became "the firstfruits of them that slept." (1 Corinthians 15:20)

As you can see, the Passover was filled with rich symbolism that taught about the Savior long before his birth. Prophets have always tried to point us to Christ. (2 Nephi 25:26) This Easter we have a special blessing, in addition to celebrating the resurrection of our Savior we are able to listen to the words of the prophet in General Conference. I feel blessed to have the words of prophets both ancient and modern. I wish all of you a Happy Easter! May we all enjoy the new life that comes this time of year in Spring as well as the rebirth that comes when we allow the Savior into our lives.


  1. Thank you for a great lesson and a reminder to remember Christ this weekend as we celebrate.

  2. I couldn't find the 'like' button so guess I'll just have to comment. Thanks for the Easter reminder and I will have to consider the symbolism of the lamb this Easter as I listen to conference. Keep dominating.


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