Dear Refiner's Fire...

What is your response to the following allegations?

Why Jesus Cannot be the Passover Lamb

I received an inquiry from someone who is a devout Christian and was truly concerned for my soul. He expressed his beliefs to me and asked as to why I didn’t accept Jesus as the Passover lamb of which John the Baptist declared: "Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world." I gave a brief response to answer his question and I thought it may be interesting to share this with some of you who are interested in comparative religious studies or simply curious as to why Jews don’t believe in Jesus.

It does baffle me as to why Christians assert that Jesus is an analogy of the Passover lamb as the Torah’s teachings concerning the Passover lamb directly undercut Christian theology. In brief Christian theology states that Jesus:

(1) "Was a lamb slain before the foundation of the world" - in other words, he was predestined to atone for humanity’s sins. (2) Jesus as a sacrifice covers all sins and salvation is dependent upon the sinner confessing his sins and resultantly the confessing sinner will be redeemed.

There are some BIG problems here for Christian thought....

1.) The Passover lamb was not a sin offering and resultantly never atoned for any sins. Thus if Jesus is the Passover lamb then he cannot atone for sins as well. The true atonement sacrifices in the Torah were not lambs but were goats and bulls and the Torah also stipulates that they had to be a kid (calf) or a female....

* Leviticus 4:21: And he shall carry forth the bullock without the camp, and burn him as he burned the first bullock: is a sin offering for the congregation. * Leviticus 4:23: "Or if his sin, wherein he hath sinned, come to his knowledge; he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a male without blemish."

Only one time was a lamb mentioned as an atonement but it was NOT the Passover lamb and Jesus still does not qualify to represent this particular lamb neither....

Leviticus 4:32: And if he bring a lamb for a sin offering, he shall bring it a female without blemish. The key word here is "without." The Christian Bible clearly says Jesus was whipped bloody, blood ran down his forehead from the Crown of Thorns, his beard was ripped out, etc. These alone would disqualify him, for he was NOT without blemish. Jesus was not a female neither thus he cannot qualify.

2.) The second point that Christian bring up is that Jesus is an atonement for all the sins of a confessing sinner. The problem here is that there aren’t any atonement offerings for intentional sin there are only offerings for unintentional sin (See Leviticus chapter 4). Therefore contrary to Christian claims, the sinner cannot actually be forgiven of all their sins. In conclusion, it is clear that Jesus does not qualify as an atonement, the Passover lamb imagery is meaningless and the idea that any atonement can cover all the sins of the world is contrived outside of the Biblical narrative and is completely non-contextual.

Of course I must make mention that even the idea of human sacrifice is anathema in Judaism. All of the ancient pagan faiths around Israel were human-sacrificing cults but the children of Israel were commanded not to commit such abominations. Human sacrifice was prohibited by Judaism but later became accepted and necessary by Christianity.

Our Response....

It always amazes us to see how far both Christians and Jews and all the other "religious" types will go to try to force Scripture to line up with their respective opinions! To keep the above in context, we have reposted it below and inserted our comments.

YOU WROTE:

In brief Christian theology states that Jesus:

(1) "Was a lamb slain before the foundation of the world" - in other words, he was predestined to atone for humanity’s sins.
(2) Jesus as a sacrifice covers all sins and salvation is dependent upon the sinner confessing his sins and resultantly the confessing sinner will be redeemed.

OUR RESPONSE:

Comment on point 1: This part of the Christian theology is correct. Yeshua was "predestined" - it says so in Isaiah 53, and Matthew 16:21 shows Yeshua knew his fate.

Comment on point 2: Agreed. This is a proper statement of why Christian theology is wrong. A proper reading of the Brit Chadashah reveals Yeshua's sacrifice did not cover "all sins" as Christians teach (Romans 6), but that redemption is only for those who accept Yeshua's gift and obey YHWH (John 17:1-17), and live by the Word. It is a dreadful teaching indeed that Christianity teaches "Jesus died for all sins, past, present and future."

YOU WROTE:

There are some BIG problems here for Christian thought....

OUR RESPONSE: The problems of Christian thought are indeed "BIG" problems, but, there are "BIG" problems as well with the rationale this person is presenting to deny the Messiah. Let's check it out:

YOU WROTE:

1.) The Passover lamb was not a sin offering and resultantly never atoned for any sins. Thus if Jesus is the Passover lamb then he cannot atone for sins as well. The true atonement sacrifices in the Torah were not lambs but were goats and bulls and the Torah also stipulates that they had to be a kid (calf) or a female....

OUR RESPONSE: This is true, the Passover lamb was not a sin offering. But this person, and all Christians as well, have missed the point - which is that the lamb for the original passover was not even a sacrifice! The lamb was offered as a substitute, not as a "sacrifice"! The "angel of death" passed over the believing Hebrews when the lamb's blood was on their doorposts. So, though not a "sin" sacrifice, the lamb's blood was offered as a substitute, and the Hebrew first-born males had the chance to live. This is the connection. Yeshua was our substitute - and by believing and following YHWH's Torah to help us to lower our tendency to sin, and do our best to NOT sin anymore, we have the chance for eternal life. And this, of course was the point: eternal life. Yeshua did not die so we were "free to sin at will", He dies to offer us (eternal) life. Indeed, this was the purpose of the animal sacrifices for atonement - it was for eternal life. See our article. When a person was atoned by the blood of an animal, they were expected to go on with their lives trying to remain sin-free. The situation is no different with the Messiah.

YOU WROTE:

* Leviticus 4:21: And he shall carry forth the bullock without the camp, and burn him as he burned the first bullock: is a sin offering for the congregation. * Leviticus 4:23: "Or if his sin, wherein he hath sinned, come to his knowledge; he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a male without blemish."

Only one time was a lamb mentioned as an atonement but it was NOT the Passover lamb and Jesus still does not qualify to represent this particular lamb neither....

Leviticus 4:32: And if he bring a lamb for a sin offering, he shall bring it a female without blemish. The key word here is "without." The Christian Bible clearly says Jesus was whipped bloody, blood ran down his forehead from the Crown of Thorns, his beard was ripped out, etc. These alone would disqualify him, for he was NOT without blemish. Jesus was not a female neither thus he cannot qualify.

OUR RESPONSE:

This is interesting if this is really a "reason" for Jews to not believe in the Messiah, but we do hope Jews are not actually taught this, as it is downright silly! "Atonement was only by a female lamb and since 'Jesus was not female' he cannot qualify"? Seriously? Then why in Exodus 12, for the preparation for the one-and-only original "pass over", does it say:

Exodus 12:3 ...On the tenth day of this month, each man is to take a lamb or kid for his family, one per household - 4 except that if the household is too small for a whole lamb or kid, then he and his next-door neighbor should share one, dividing it in proportion to the number of people eating it. 5 Your animal must be without defect, a male in its first year, and you may choose it from either the sheep or the goats. "'You are to keep it until the fourteenth day of the month, and then the entire assembly of the community of Isra'el will slaughter it at dusk.

So here we have that the Passover offering was NOT a "female" and we read in verse 6 that the animal is not sacrificed, but killed. Additionally, it's not a correct statement, citing only Leviticus 4:32 that a sin offering must be a female animal because we see throughout Torah that atonement for sin is not so much the sex of the animal, rather what animal is required for the person or group or sin being atoned. (Leviticus 4:23 - a bull for a Cohen; Leviticus 4:13 - a bull for the entire community; Leviticus 4:22 - a male goat for a "leader", etc.) And in Leviticus 5:7, we learn that if a person can't afford a lamb, two doves or pigeons can be substituted! And, as we see in Leviticus 5:11, YHWH is even willing to accept from those who can't afford even a bird: "two quarts of fine flour for a sin offering"....

Leviticus 5:11 "'But if his means are insufficient even for two doves or two young pigeons, then he is to bring as his offering for the sin he committed two quarts of fine flour for a sin offering; he is not to put any olive oil or frankincense on it, because it is a sin offering.


And look at this:

Leviticus 12:8 If she can't afford a lamb, she is to take two doves or two young pigeons, the one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering; the cohen will make atonement for her, and she will be clean.'"

As is clearly evident when read in context, the "female lamb" is not the point! Yes, Leviticus 4:32 says a female lamb, for an individual's sin; but 4:28 says a female goat instead, for an individual's sin. When the Cohen sinned inadvertently, or the entire community sinned inadvertently, a male animal was used for atonement! (See Lev 4:1-4; 4:14; all the sin offerings for the clans in Numbers 7:12-87, the sin offerings of Numbers 28, to mention a few). So the use of the word "lamb" for the Messiah is entirely metaphorical. His substitution was for all, so it is appropriate that he was male, as the lamb of the original passover was a male.

About the "without blemish" issue: Again, this is metaphorical. "Jesus" was "without blemish" in that He was sinless. Yes, He was beaten bloody, but even in the animal sacrifice, the "unblemished" animal is slaughtered, bloodied, and cut apart! So by this reasoning, doesn't that "disqualify" the animal as it is now no longer "without blemish"?

And, oh by the way, let's not forget there was a "ram" in the thicket at the binding of Isaac (Genesis 22). That ram was a "male" which was the foreshadowing of the redeemer!

YOU WROTE:

2.) The second point that Christian bring up is that Jesus is an atonement for all the sins of a confessing sinner. The problem here is that there aren’t any atonement offerings for intentional sin there are only offerings for unintentional sin (See Leviticus chapter 4). Therefore contrary to Christian claims, the sinner cannot actually be forgiven of all their sins. In conclusion, it is clear that Jesus does not qualify as an atonement, the Passover lamb imagery is meaningless and the idea that any atonement can cover all the sins of the world is contrived outside of the Biblical narrative and is completely non-contextual.

OUR RESPONSE:

This is absolutely true - there is no atonement for intentional sin! But this is an argument against "Christianity", not that the Messiah did not qualify for atonement. Christians ignore or have missed the point that "Jesus" died only ONE TIME, and that once you understand this, you are obligated not to intentionally sin any more. But this imagery is NOT "meaningless", for the lamb in the original Passover also died only that one time. The problem with Christianity is they have glommed onto "grace" as if somehow they can sin at will, and "grace" covers their sins. Never mind the many scriptures in the Brit Chadashah which state otherwise.

YOU WROTE:

Of course I must make mention that even the idea of human sacrifice is anathema in Judaism. All of the ancient pagan faiths around Israel were human-sacrificing cults but the children of Israel were commanded not to commit such abominations. Human sacrifice was prohibited by Judaism but later became accepted and necessary by Christianity.

OUR RESPONSE:

Agree. That is why one must look at the situation for what it was, and not as a "human sacrifice"! First, as was pointed out above, the Passover lamb was not sacrificed and offered to YHWH. The lambs blood was a substitute for the humans. Second, Yeshua was not "human" in the same vein as we are. Yeshua's body was "human", but his qnoma (nature) was entirely divine. So, in that sense, if someone insists on calling His death a "sacrifice", was not a "human sacrifice". (Not to mention, Y'shua MARTYRED himself - against which there is no law!)

As the lamb of the original Passover, Yeshua was killed, not "sacrificed"! His death was, again, metaphorical. He was the sinless being who bore OUR sins, and died for us, so WE could be spared - that one time (Isaiah 53). Scripture says that the Messiah's death would be "like" a lamb led to slaughter (Isaiah 53:7); not that His substitution WAS a slaughter of sacrifice. The word "sacrifice" does not have to mean "bloody animal killing", but it can simply mean "in place of". Though the statement that human sacrifice "later became accepted and necessary by Christianity" is largely accurate, we must say that this is only another example of the error of Christian theology, and not a justification for denying that "Jesus" was the Messiah.

For those who insist Yeshua is NOT the Messiah for whatever reason, please read Isaiah 11 and Isaiah 53! The chapters aren't that long, but they're powerful, and those with "eyes to see" will understand. The Bible says what it says, but the "religious" have always and will always twist the meaning of certain passages. That is why it is very important for each individual to READ ALL OF THE BIBLE for themselves - from start to finish; not just peck around in it and then pretend they are knowledgeable scholars.