Slaughtering. While it was a very long time ago, it doesn’t seem so. I lived close to the ranching community of Paso Robles, California. I’d get my hair cut at Head Hunter Barber Shop. Like many men and women in Paso, one of the barbers raised a few head of cattle each year. He would take them to Brian’s Beef for slaughter. From their the beef went to various markets to be hung for a while, then butchered and sold. I enjoyed fresh, natural grain-fed beef while living there.
Growing up the son of a Welsh woman, I also ate a lot of lamb. Cattle and sheep are slaughtered. Slaughter, according to the dictionary, means killing for food.
People often think hunters kill animals. Actually, hunters slaughter animals for food.
Killing. During the time I spent in Paso, I worked at Camp Roberts in support of National Guard units who trained there. The largest unit that trained there where units of the 40th Infantry Division. One of my functions was to prepare weapons for use by these troops. While the chief aim of America’s armed forces is to protect the peace of our nation, to provide peace for its citizens, it also prepares men to kill enemy on a battlefield. Killing is defined as causing the death of a person or an animal.
Murdering. Basic to our society, and enforced through our legal system, is the injunction not to murder. Murder is defined as the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.
It is easily seen that there is a big difference between slaughtering, killing, and murdering.
Before the fall of the Temple, (Tisha B’Av – 9th Day of Av or 30 August 70 CE), when Roman legions under Titus retook and destroyed Jerusalem and the Second Temple, lambs were purchased four days prior to being slaughtered for the Holy Day of Pesach or Passover. During those four days, the lambs became attached to the families that would then slaughter them before the night of Pesach. See Exodus 12:3-6. These lambs were watched closely so that when slaughtered, they would be without spot or blemish, i.e., without defect, pure, perfect.
After the lamb was slaughtered, its blood was used to mark the doorways of the homes. It was then eaten in the evening by the family that had watched it for the previous four days. This Feast commemorates the night in Egypt that all who who were not so marked lost the first born of their family, which included the Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. It was after this that G-D’s people were released from their bondage to Pharaoh, and began their journey to their rightful homeland, the land of Promise, the land of Israel.
Fast forward a couple thousand years. No Temple. No sacrifice of a lamb can be made. Yet Pesach is still a very large part of our lives as People of G-D, both Christian and Jew.
Last Sunday many Christians celebrated what has become know as Palm Sunday. It commemorates the event of Yeshua entering Jerusalem, and people welcoming Him, crying out to Him, “Blessed is He that comes in the Name of the L-RD.”
There is a connection here. YeshuaJesus walked among us and we became familiar with Him. YeshuaJesus is The Lamb. His blood covers the doorway of our hearts.
This week many Christians will focus on the Crucifixion of Yeshua, and on Sunday His Resurrection. Many Christians don’t use the term Easter, rather call it Resurrection Day, as Easter is a pagan celebration that looks for the coming Spring Season.
Another connection that I made while watching that move, The Robe, is that, unlike the lambs slaughtered for Pesach, YeshuaJesus is G-D’s perfect, pure, unblemished Lamb and was murdered. We murdered Him.
We didn’t slaughter Him. We didn’t kill Him. We murdered Him.
Again, and this is important, the sacrifice of YeshuaJesus meant that, for those who believe in Him, His blood covers the doorway of our hearts, saving us from an eternal death.
Another connection. In the “Eucharist Service” or “Communion Service” that I attended as a kid, the priest would say as we knelt at the alter, “This is the Body which was given to you. . .This is the Blood that was shed for you.” For us. For our sins. It could just as easily be said, this is the Body that you murdered. This is the Blood you spilled.
We were all born spiritually dead. If we wake up, if we become aware of this, then we can turn to our L-RD, and as He was brought to life after three days of death in the tomb, we can be resurrected into a new life.
That Pesach occurs at the beginning of the Spring season is no accident. It is with intent. Spring illustrates the new growth that sprouts from the ground that lay dormant during the Winter. Life from Death.
L-RD Bless, Keep, Shine. . .