Nisan 10 – “The Price of Special”

“This is the day that the Lord hath made – let us rejoice and be glad in it!”

We are ‘special people’ – the Lord called us His ‘peculiar’ people. Some of us are more peculiar than others but we won’t talk about that today! The word ‘peculiar’ can mean strange or odd but it also means “uncommon, unusual, exceptional, extraordinary, unique, special’. We are special unto the Lord! – and there is a price to be paid for special.

Shabbat HaGadol! – the Great Sabbath! The Sabbath just preceding Pesach. Tradition says, according to Alfred Eidersheim, the noted Austrian Jew, who converted to Christianity, and lived from 1825 – 1889, that the 10th of Nisan, fell on a Sabbath at the time of the Exodus. (Ex. 12:5). It was probably around the year 1446 BC.

Nisan 10 was the day to ‘put up’ the lamb. I believe it was a Sabbath the year Y’shua was crucified. This is in keeping with a Wednesday crucifixion. Some say the crucifixion took place on Thursday. Whichever it was we know it wasn’t Friday! This was to be ‘a lamb of the first year (could have been as young as eight days) without spot or blemish’. Interestingly enough, it could be either a sheep OR a goat. You don’t hear much about them using goats but it was permissible.

Flavius Josephus, the famous Jewish historian, whose Jewish name was Yosef ben Mattias, born in AD 37 or 38, gave a good account of the number of people in Jerusalem during Pesach. He gives a number between 2,565,000 thousand and 3 million! That means counting the lowest computation of one lamb for every ten persons, at least 256,500 lambs were slain every Pesach! This was done over a very short period of time in the afternoon of Nisan 14. The Pesach celebration – the Seder – was a private home celebration rather than a public event. There were to be no less than ten around the table and no more than 20. The lamb was to be roasted on a spit made of pomegranate wood.
Pomegranates refer to kingship!

Now let’s put ourselves back into that picture – it’s the 10th of Nisan and I want to talk more about “lambs”. Just think of bringing that little fella into your home and carefully tending it, feeding it, watering it, making sure the younger kids were kind to it and looking over every inch of it to make sure there was no blemish. The kids may have fought over it to see who was going to get to take care of it the most – or they may have fought over who was going to have to clean up after it!

Four long days went by. The lamb by now had become part of the family. Just when you are really used to it – Dad takes it to the Temple and slits it’s throat! The law decreed he had to use a very sharp knife and do it just right. The knife must be very sharp and could have no knicks in it. Even ‘tho God demanded them to kill the sacrifice animals, He wanted it to be done in the most humane fashion possible. (I’m so glad I didn’t live then!) That had to be a ‘special’ lamb. It had to be treated just so.
And then look what happened to it.

Y’shua was special! He was God’s only Son. He left the glories of heaven to come to a dirty stinking old poverty filled planet to live amongst sinfiul men in a dusty hot desert. To be watched over and whispered about. Even the circumstances of His birth was in question. The other kids could have even called Him names and made fun of Him. His family was poor; His parents could only afford to pay for turtledoves for the sacrifice at His 40 day Presentation at the Temple. He gladly and willingly came to endure it all for the sake of “the joy that was set before Him.” They have called the Jews Christ-killers for 2,000 years but that’s a lie. Nobody killed him – He simply lay down His life – like the little innocent lamb that never did any body any harm – He just let them take Him away to the Cross.

He paid the price for being “Special”.
Would you like to guess how many times the word “lamb” appears in the gospels? Everybody knows that famous quote, “Behold! the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world.” Well, that’s it! John said it at the baptism in the Yarden or Jordan and again the next day when he saw Him approaching. Twice. In the four gospels. It is written 27 times in the Book of Revelation. And who was it that wrote the Book of the Revelation? John, again. Cousins sometimes can be closer than brothers and in this case it was only John, His cousin, who recognized Him as the Lamb. We see that the Lamb will be very much in view in these last days. Let’s be like John and know Him for who He is.

We can know Him – because He is special!

So what’s in it for us? God said we are His “special people”. We are to be spotless and without blemish. We are peered at and whispered about. If everybody loves you – something is wrong! Y’shua said we would suffer, too. “Count it all joy when ye come into divers temptations”
Is that what it says?

You might be tempted but you don’t have to give in to it. Like the old saying goes, Maimonodes I think,”You can’t stop the birds from flying over head but you don’t have to let them build a nest in your hair!” Go ahead – be Special! Be one of God’s peculiar people. Accept the price He paid for you with His death and then pay the price to live for Him. He only asks for everything you have – for the rest of your life!

Is that special enough?

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka
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