‘Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.’ ~ JOHN 1:29
One of the great ironies surrounding Easter is the tradition of feasting on roast lamb.
It’s a funny way to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. Whichever way you look at it, it makes no sense. Symbolically, thematically, metaphorically, it’s almost a bad joke. Here you have the faithful celebrating the fact that Jesus Christ has risen, Christ, the Lamb of God, the Shepherd, Whose mission was to guide His flock of lambs to the Kingdom of God, and how does everyone celebrate this joyous occasion?
By eating a lamb!
If that’s not bad taste, I don’t know what is. It may be tradition, custom, culture, sure, and one may be able to explain it in terms of the kind of food available at the time when the custom started, how mutton was the best way to end forty days of fasting, and a real treat. Or the fact that back then people believed that lambs were the only animals capable of not being possessed by the devil, hence safe to eat (true story); or how Pope Benedictine wrote a prayer for the blessing of the lambs in the 7th century (also true) and how a few hundred years later a whole roast lamb became part of the Pope’s Easter dinner, creating a tradition (according to the history books). One may explain all these things and many more in historical terms, piecing them together in ways that explain the incongruence in effect today.
But the bitter irony remains. The symbol representing the risen Christ and His followers ended up on the spit-and-roast on Easter Sunday, following the day of His resurrection.