The sacrifice offered by the Jews before leaving Egypt, free from the clutches of slavery, is known as the Passover sacrifice. It was offered by the Jews the night before they left Egypt. It is considered to be an offering to God, who paved way for the Jews to rid themselves of their oppressive enslavement by the Egyptian emperor. Passover, therefore, hold a deep religious meaning for the entire Jewish community, as it signifies their freedom, and gratitude towards the Holy god. Read the article to know more about the Pesach lamb sacrifice, how it was offered and the deeper meaning that it holds.
What is Passover Sacrifice
As per history, the Jews offered lamb sacrifice at the command of God. It was offered the night before the Exodus from Egypt and was later eaten by the Jews on their special ceremonies, according to the directions given by the divine God. The blood of the lamb was sprinkled on the door posts of the Jews, in order to save them from the ten plagues of the God. The blood served as a sign to the angel of death, who spared the first born child in the house. The angel would pass by the houses of the Jews on seeing the sign, without causing any harm.
In the present times, the concept of sacrifice has come to be associated with the age-old rites and rituals that are followed during the Jewish festival. In the ancient times, the lamb used for sacrifice had to be a male, one year of age and free of any blemishes. Each family or society of Jews would offer one lamb together. In order to make the killing in pursuance of the proper objectives, it was mandatory to determine who would participate in the Passover sacrifice. Only those who were circumcised and clean before the law were allowed to participate in the sacrifice. The sacrifice was offered in the court of the Temple.
While even a layman was allowed to sacrifice the lamb, only the priest was supposed to collect its blood. The priests would hold a gold or silver cup in their hands to collect blood. They would assemble in a line, from the temple court to the altar. The priest who collected the blood would pass over the cup to the priest standing next to him and received an empty cup in return, to collect more blood. The process continued till the time the priest, standing last in the line, would sprinkle the blood on the altar. After the offering of blood was made, the lamb was hanged on special hooks and sticks and skinned. The skin of the lamb was also offered at the altar, by the priest.