(Excerpt from Oh, Taste and See card #4)
For thousands of years Jewish priests performed over and over the prescribed Old Testament sacrifices in the temple in Jerusalem. From the strictest followers of the Law to the more casual, even cynical Jews, all grasped the ancient significance of the Passover sacrifice. Large flocks of lambs were birthed and shepherded on Bethlehem’s green hills; come springtime every family purchased their own lamb for the Passover sacrifice. On the first Good Friday, while Jesus stumbled carrying his cross outside the city as the true scapegoat of the Old Testament, thousands of fathers were leading their purchased spotless lambs into the temple for sacrifice.
As Jesus was hammered onto coarse timbers at 9:00 a.m., the first lambs were being offered. For the next six hours thousands of lambs were slaughtered, their blood dripping and splashing into puddles of crimson on the floors around the sacred altar. At 3:00 p.m. Jesus relinquished His spirit; a soldier pierced His right side. Blood and water spilled to the ground. In the temple, priests carried gallons of water to the altar, sloshing it over the scarlet stains. Blood and water flowed from the alter down a drainage system out the right side of the temple. With infinite precision, God gave yet another sign.