Exodus 12:5, “Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats…”
“Without blemish” is the Hebrew word “tamim” (Strongs H8549). It’s also translated as “perfect”, or “upright”, or “blameless”. The lamb we use at Pesach is supposed to be the best we can find. This is not the time to shop at the local Bent n’ Dent, or Larry’s Discount Lamb-Chop Chop-Shop. This offering is supposed to represent our family’s best in the same way Messiah Yeshua represented YHWH’s best.
What if I told you there was a perfect man, a man without blemish, without whose righteousness all of humanity would have been doomed to destruction? That man, of course, is Noah. Genesis 6:9, “These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.”
Noah was not alone. Abram fits that same description: Genesis 17:1-2, “When Abram was ninety-nine years old YHWH appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.”
David also described himself as hitting that standard in 2 Samuel 22:21-25:
“YHWH dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me. For I have kept the ways of YHWH and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his rules were before me, and from his statutes I did not turn aside. I was blameless before him, and I kept myself from guilt. And YHWH has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness in his sight.”
Suddenly this idea of blameless seems a bit subjective. Noah got drunk as a skunk and naked as a jaybird. Abram impregnated Sarah’s handmaid. David was a bit of an adulterous murderer himself, it turns out. How are they described as blameless!? Those three examples are pretty famous but they aren’t alone. Zechariah and Elizabeth, John the Baptist’s parents, as well as John himself, were all considered righteous and blameless (Luke 1:6, Mark 6:20). Simeon (Luke 2:25) who witnessed Yeshua’s circumcision, and Joseph (Luke 23:50) who lent Yeshua his tomb for a few days, are also described in these terms.
Are we called to this standard, or are these folks supernatural over-achievers?
Deuteronomy 18:13. “You shall be blameless before YHWH your God…”
Psalm 119:1 “Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the Torah of YHWH!”
Philippians 2:11-16, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.”
Regardless of our circumstances or era of existence, every generation has been offered a means of becoming blameless. Blamelessness doesn’t require a functioning sacrificial system, as we can see with Noah and Abraham. It never required a Temple, as David proved. It didn’t even require Messiah to come to earth, as the aforementioned New Testament heroes were all considered blameless even before his death on Pesach.
So how then does this work, exactly? It only works because Messiah pre-existed creation, and has always been the mechanism of our blamelessness.
Paul writes about this truth in the opening of his letter to the Colossians,
Colossians 1:13-23, “He [YHWH] has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For through him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.”
Once we are made blameless, through our active faith in YHWH through the eternal pre-existent Yeshua, we are then called to continue walking blamelessly. Pesach gives us the opportunity to demonstrate what Paul called “continuing in the faith” by practicing the ritual that symbolizes what makes us blameless in YHWH’s eyes. Many would claim that Pesach was “fulfilled” with Messiah, and so there’s no need to celebrate Pesach or any feast for that matter. There’s not even a need, they’d say, to watch the moon cycles, or engage in any form of Holy time-keeping anymore. All of these “Old Testament” behaviors risk law-based salvation, they’d say. Paul addresses this exact concern, a concern common to Christian’s even in back Paul’s day.
Colossians 2:16-17, “Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Messiah.”
Since Heaven is not subject to the limitations of earth time, “it is finished” from that perspective. We are already blameless from that perspective. We are already one with Messiah and the Father from that perspective. But from our limited perspective on earth, Pesach, the feasts, and the entire Holy schedule still remain as a shadow of things to come.
The shadow of the plan of salvation is cast forward, from BEFORE creation, and everyone from Noah to us remain in that shadow until we ourselves are made permanently blameless upon Messiah’s return.
Revelation 14:2-5, “Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as first-fruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless.”
I want to be in that number, when the saints go marching in.