Reconciliation + Sacrificial Lamb Comparison


Good evening!

I was listing to Catholic Radio a few months ago and heard a beautiful analogy discussing the “Lamb who takes away the sins of the world.” It was fantastic!! … but now I’m having trouble finding its origin … I wanted to read more about it, but can’t find much. If someone can point me in the right direction, I would be GREATLY appreciative!

Here is the gist:
Jesus, as the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world, dates back to the Jewish sacrifice that is celebrated during Yom Kippur. In the Old Testament, the Jewish people were told to find a lamb. They would take this lamb and place sticks on its back - the sticks symbolizing their sins. They would then send the lamb out into the wilderness to die - a sacrifice taking away their sins. Jesus then became this lamb for us … our sticks are the cross in which He was crucified - taking away our sins.

If anyone has the Biblical reference, Yom Kippur description, or Catholic teaching on this, I would LOVE to have more info.

Thank you very much!!!

God bless,


Sounds like the rite described in Leviticus 16. However, it was a goat, a scapegoat, upon which the sins of the people were placed and driven out into the wilderness. No mention of sticks on its back.


The bit about the victim with the sticks on its back sounds like the story of Abraham and his son Isaac. When God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, “Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together.” (Genesis 22:6)


I just finished reading “Jesus of Nazareth” by Pope Benedict. He says (according to John’s Gospel), Jesus’ Last Supper with the disciples was on Thursday evening but it was not the same night as the Jewish Passover feast. John’s Gospel chronologically looked like this:

Thursday evening: Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples.
Friday: The vigil of the feast (not the feast itself) Jesus’ trial and execution.
Saturday: Rest in the tomb.
Sunday: Resurrection.

According to this chronology, Jesus dies at the moment when the Passover lambs are being slaughtered in the Temple. Jesus dies as the real lamb, merely prefigured by those slain in the Temple.

Pope Benedict then goes on to explain the reasons that John’s Gospel is chronologically correct.


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