Jesus was an observant Jew, so wouldn't he have eaten the sacrificial lamb on Passover?

Even if Jesus did eat the Passover Lamb 2,000 years ago, that should not placate us regarding the 20 billion of God's creatures who are abused for food each year. The way these animals are treated makes an absolute mockery of God, playing God with genetic breeding, mutilating of bodies without painkillers, and a complete disdain for every natural inclination and feeling of these animals, who are, remember, beloved by God and created by God with a capacity for pain and suffering. For complete details on the treatment of animals who are turned into meat, click here:  

Beyond this point, there is strong evidence, actually, that Jesus did not eat the Passover Lamb. This question is closely linked to the issue of animal sacrifice in general, so please read our response to the animal sacrifice question, which contains detail not included here. In fact, the evidence that Jesus did not eat lamb on Passover is one of the stronger arguments for his vegetarianism, as there were many vegetarian Jews in Jesus' day, and one thing that distinguished them was their vegetarian Passover meals.

We see Jesus eating on Passover twice in the Gospels: First, in the Gospel of John, chapter 6, Passover is at hand, and the disciples ask Jesus, "Where will we buy enough bread to feed all these people" bread being the Passover food of the vegetarian Jews of Jesus' time. Second, according to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the "Last Supper" was a Passover meal. Again, Jesus and his disciples celebrated with bread.

Some argue that he cast out the animal traders because they were sending animals to their deaths. Regardless, his action prevented some Jews from celebrating their Passover with animal flesh, which certainly tells us where he stood on this issue.

There are other Jewish "laws" that Jesus unequivocally rejects. For example, gathering grain or wood on the Sabbath was punishable by death (Numbers 15), yet Jesus gathers grain and heals on the Sabbath; adultery was punishable by death (Leviticus 20), but Jesus calls for nonjudgmentalism; and crimes were supposed to be punished in kind, "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" (Leviticus 24), but Jesus calls for forgiveness.

Jesus explains that each of these laws, although clearly stated in the Hebrew Scriptures, are not the law of God, but of sinful human beings. In the same way, there is nothing merciful or loving about dining on animal corpses. Eating meat is a product of human sin and violence. For more on this topic, please read our answer to the question, "Doesn't God call for animal sacrifice?"

The Nazarenes of  Mount Carmel
Copyright © 1999-2006. All rights reserved.

The Essene Numerology Chart | Ministerial Training Course