The household pet quickly becomes a central part of the family in many homes, bringing pleasure to young and old. A faithful dog or cat is at your side giving unconditional love. Watching them romp and play brings laughter and joy. Those with a dash of mischief create problems mixed with interest.
Our son, Lee once owned a loyal dog named Kenwood. His Husky and German shepherd mix blended the strengths of both breeds. He was a “one man dog!” In a couple of occasions the housing arrangements made it difficult for having pets. So, we became guardians of Kenwood; but he roamed often, discovering the location of his master. He may not have been a blood hound; but he had the nose of a tracker! Kenwood loved yard sales. Well, his version was more of the variety we see in gardening season, signs posted reading, “Pick Yourself.” He went in yards and picked up anything our son might want, dragging home tools of assorted shapes and sizes, to surprise his master. Lee shares a story about once hearing a strange sound in the distance; getting closer he observed Kenwood dragging a shovel on the pavement! I guess he was a “kleptodogiac!” Another characteristic he displayed to Lee revealed his loving heart. If Lee experienced stress, Kenwood laid his head across Lee’s legs and showed he cared.
Did you know the lamb sacrificed each year at Passover, by the Israelites, often lived as the family pet? (Exodus 12:1-6). The busy family saw him grow, standing firmly on once wobbly legs. They witnessed his growing appetite and stubborn independence. The lamb depended on them for everything; his care and protection rested in their hands. When the Passover observance approached each member of the family eyed the lamb feverishly. They knew he must die; imagine their sorrow!
How could God ask for such a sacrifice? We must remember the reason for the Passover feast and worship. When God’s people were slaves in Egypt He said to Pharaoh, “Let My people go!” He refused God’s demands; and plague after plague fell upon the nation in God’s judgment. The final curse came in the form of the death of the first born in every Egyptian family, and even the first born to animals of the land. The cries of sorrow rang out across the country. God’s people were instructed to kill their lambs, taking blood from the dead carcass and to apply it to the doorframes of their homes, where the roasted lamb sacrifices would be eaten. (Exodus 12:6-9).
Why were they commanded to smear blood on their homes? “And the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt,
Their sacrificed lambs took the place of their firstborn. God provided a way for their deliverance. He provides for our salvation. He sent His firstborn Son, His only begotten Son, to become the Lamb of God, (John 1:36). He laid down His life on the altar of Calvary to become God’s perfect sacrifice, “but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:19 NAS).”
What does God ask in return? He desires us to live for Him, becoming living sacrifices (Romans12: 1-2). It is our reasonable response to His sacrificial love!