‘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 borders on 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, let alone a contradiction in terms, 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 etc . . . Or the fact that people on those days 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) that persists to this day. We can explain everything in historical terms, piecing it together in ways that explain today’s incongruence, but the irony remains, and it is foul: the symbol that represents the risen Christ and His followers ended up on the spit-and-roast on Easter Sunday, making a mockery of His resurrection and fools of those who live by His word.