When I’d hear the bell go off in school, I knew that class was done. Because we heard the bell every day, we were conditioned to react to this particular sound.
Something similar happened in ancient Israel. Twice a day, a priest would kill a one-year-old lamb. Some scholars say this sacrifice was marked by the blowing of a ram’s horn, or shofar. The ram’s horn harkened back to the ram that God provided in place of Abraham’s son Isaac as a sacrifice (Genesis 22:1-18). When the Israelites would hear the ram’s horn being blown, they would know that a priest was sacrificing a lamb, and they would have an opportunity to remember the mercy their loving God had given them. God provided for this lamb to take their place, giving its life so they could be made holy and enter into God’s presence in the temple.
This shofar blowing and sacrifice was a daily part of the Israelites’ routine and happened at the same time each day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon.
But there was another sacrificial lamb that aligned with the blowing of the shofar. When Jesus was put on the cross in the morning (Mark 15:25), it may have aligned with the first shofar blow and the first sacrifice of the lamb. People across the city would have heard the shofar, looked up, and known the first lamb of the day had been sacrificed.
Around noon, darkness fell across the land. Later in the afternoon, people heard the shofar blow a second time and looked up. This time, the darkness was lifted, the curtain in front of the Holy of Holies in the temple was torn in two, and people were raised up from their graves. And those who were near Jesus on the cross would not only hear the shofar being blown for the second lamb, they would also hear Jesus say, “It is finished.” • Naomi Zylstra
• Jesus is the Lamb of God, the perfect sacrifice that covers all our sins, not just for a few hours but for eternity. And because Jesus rose from the grave, everyone who believes in Him will one day be raised from the dead to live with Him forever. Consider taking a moment right now to remember Jesus’s sacrifice and thank Him.
• Do you have anything that reminds you daily of God’s mercy? Some people like to pray at particular times of the day, or wear a piece of jewelry to remind them of who Jesus is, or set an alarm on their phone as a reminder to pray and reflect on the gospel…
John saw Jesus…and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29 (CSB)