Sunday, March 23, 2008

Why Are Lambs A Symbol Of Easter?

Do you know how lambs came to be associated with Easter?

In the book of Exodus the Israelites were told to sprinkle their doorframes with the blood of a lamb, thereby telling the Angel of Death to "Pass Over" their homes during the killing of the first born. This Passover Lamb became an important factor in Jewish life. Subsequently, when Jesus Christ came, he was called "the Lamb of God," and the sprinkling of His blood would take away the sins of the world. For Christians, the lamb symbolizes Christ, and there is no more important animal associated with the celebration of Easter.

Sheep were domesticated over 12,000 years ago. Some of the most ancient written recipes include lamb as an ingredient. Sheep have been prized as a productive commodity. We use their wool for clothing, their milk for cheese and butter, their skin for parchment, their lanolin for weather-proofing, and their lambs for food. They do not require as much pasturage as cattle and are easier to maintain. Cortez and his Spanish soldiers first brought sheep to the New World in 1519. In the 1800s, range wars between cattlemen and shepherds led to bloody conflicts in the American west. Although Americans don't eat much lamb, to the rest of the world, it is a dietary staple. Lambs and sheep are truly a significant part of our cultural history.

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