Who Was Given the Law of God?

Who Was Given the Law of God?

There are three biblical regulations, which relate directly to a study of the claim that Jesus was the ultimate passover lamb whose cosmic role is interwoven with the paschal commemoration and its symbolism. The Israelites must offer the blood of the sacrifice without leaven (Exodus 34:25).

The Israelites must not break any bones of the paschal lamb (Exodus 12:46). The Israelites must sacrifice the paschal lamb only at the place appointed by God (Deuteronomy 16:5-6). The Torah specifies that these ordinances are given solely to the Jewish people, who alone are commanded to sacrifice the paschal lamb. However, the Romans executed Jesus. It will not do to say that the Jews handed Jesus over to the Romans. Fulfillment of the commandments could only come through following the procedure set down by God.

The Law is clear: The sacrifice of the paschal lamb, without blemish and within the year of its birth (Exodus 12:5), is only ordained for the Jewish people (Exodus 12:14). To them alone is given the additional command not to break the bones of the paschal lamb (Numbers 9:12). Despite this fact, the supposed non-breaking of Jesus' bones in order to fulfill the commandment is credited by the New Testament to the pagan Roman soldiers (John 19:36). The Romans were never bound by the law, so that crediting them with fulfillment of a Passover commandment is irrelevant.

Not only was it incumbent upon the Jewish people alone to sacrifice the paschal lamb, but the geographic location for the shedding of sacrificial blood was specified. The paschal sacrifice could only be offered at the Temple altar (Leviticus 17:11, Deuteronomy 16:5-6). The Temple, itself, was situated within the city of Jerusalem. However, the New Testament locates the site of Jesus' execution outside both the Temple and the city of Jerusalem (John 19:20, Hebrews 13:12). In addition, the specific date for the paschal sacrifice is the late afternoon of 14 Nisan (Exodus 12:6). If the Last Supper were a seder, then the Synoptic Gospels' chronology would date the crucifixion on 15 Nisan.

© Gerald Sigal