Tonight, I can’t let go of the haunting sound of a bleating lamb. It started this morning as I listened to one of my favorite pastors, Chip Ingram, in his Living on the Edge Podcast. He shared the story that Nathan used to bring David to repentance, the story of a beloved lamb stolen and butchered. I couldn’t help but imagine the plaintive bleating of the lamb being killed.
That sound echoed in my head today as a thought about this being Thursday of Holy Week (the day that corresponds to the day when Jesus last celebrated Passover with a meal focused on the killing of a lamb) led me to google the timeline of Jesus’ last week. The website I found noted that around 3 pm on Thursday of Holy Week (or Nissan 14)–almost exactly the time when I was reading about it–the Passover lamb would be killed for the seder, the meal memorializing salvation from the angel of death, the last plague God used to bring about their release from Egyptian bondage. I imagined again a lamb’s cry.
When I walked out of a special communion service tonight, I looked toward the fading sunset to see deep purple, charcoal and red streaked across the sky. Who could ignore the symbolism of royalty, darkness and blood on the horizon? I imagined Jesus walking into the garden with his disciples as the sun sank beyond Jerusalem, blazing God’s glory across the sky the last night before His crucifixion. I pictured Peter, James and John going further into the garden with Him as the shadows deepened and then the night growing ever darker as He left them behind, falling to His knees in agonized prayer. The bleating cry of the scapegoat, a lamb walking to slaughter, rang in my ears.