Lamb of the Free (8)

Rillaro points our that Jesus is most basically seen in one sense as the passover lamb. In the chapter currently under consideration, we see in detail passover is not an atonement ritual. He summarizes:

  • the Passover does not have an atoning function , but the first Passover is depicted as having a protective ( pesaḥ ) apotropaic function , anchored as it is in the standard non – sacrificial ritual ingredients and procedures for warding off a threat , applying blood on a house with hyssop branches . All subsequent Passovers function as sacrificial commemorations of this event , celebrated by feasting on a unique type of ( non – atoning ) thanksgiving well – being offering . (64)

This chapter is good because it looks at the difference between atoning and non atoning rituals and what function they served in the Jewish cultic life. Earlier regarding sacrifice Rillaro gives the following image that:

  • At its most basic level , then , Israelite sacrifice is about preparing sacred “ food ” for God to consume ( metaphorically ) and sometimes for worshipers — priests and lay – to consume ( literally ) with God . The burnt offerings are solely for God to consume , but the well – being sacrifices ( discussed in the next section ) are consumed by God , the officiating priest , and the offerer . Risking oversimplification , the dwelling place is a divine residence outfitted with a sacred kitchen and dining space as well as a takeout restaurant ( for laity ) . Sometimes God is the only one being served a meal ( burnt offerings ) and sometimes lay Israelites , priests , and God are all dining together ( well – being offerings ) . As we will soon see , and worth noting briefly in this context , the notion of im / purity comes in as a criterion for who is fit to enter / access the holy restaurant and dine with God . And atonement comes in when this sacred kitchen and restaurant gets contaminated and needs to be purged / disinfected (51)

Next time I will press further into Rillaro’s discussion of COVENANT – INAUGURATION AND COVENANT – RENEWAL CEREMONIES