by Pam Buzbee
Scripture: Exodus 12:1-14
In early January, I had lunch with a friend. During the conversation, I asked about her children. One lives in Athens, GA, with her family. She said, “This is a really busy time of year for them right now because their ewes are having their babies. They sell them for Easter and Passover when they are 3-4 months old.”
My mind started whirling thinking about these baby lambs and their moms. She said the ewe would have one or two lambs and sometimes needed help with the delivery. Sometimes a mom would reject her baby and another ewe could be tricked into taking on the feeding of a second one. And then these precious little fluffy, white babies would be sold, “sacrificed,” whether for a kosher ritual for Passover or to become someone’s Easter dinner.
In Exodus 12, we hear the story of the Jews’ exodus from Egypt. They are told to first take a lamb “without blemish” and “slaughter it at twilight.” The blood from this lamb was to be placed on the doorposts and lintels on the houses so the angel of death “will pass over you.”
The ewes may have gotten help in giving birth to their baby, but Mary had only Joseph. The ewes may not have known when their lambs were taken, but Mary did. This year on Maundy Thursday I think of Mary. On this evening, her baby boy, her perfect lamb, had gathered with his disciples to celebrate the feast of Passover. The next day her son was to be the “lamb without blemish” who gave his life as the once-and-for-all sacrifice. Where was Mary during this meal? Did she know who her son had grown up to be? Did she know what was to happen the next day? We know how the story ends but for Mary, Good Friday became the darkest day of her life. Her lamb had been sacrificed.
Prayer: Lord, when we are in the depths of pain and sorrow, help us to remember that we may not know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future. Amen.