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The Lamb We Slaughtered: A REACH Update

By Daniel, Team Eurasia

Sitting down and eating a meal for the last time with beloved friends.

Showing servanthood by “the washing of feet.”

Witnessing the slaughter of a lamb.

Sounds like something taken straight out of the gospels, right? But this is something that our team witnessed this Easter week… and yes, we literally slaughtered a lamb.

In any other year, a normal Easter week for me consists of practicing for my fellowship’s “Behold the King” Easter drama. I played the role of Jesus the last two years, before that I played the role of Judas, and before that I helped backstage, and before that I was a filler in the crowds as a child. I look forward to this opportunity every time because of the beauty and power that this drama displays, reminding us of the scandalous love, ultimate sacrifice, and absolute victory that Jesus brought to the world on that hill called Calvary. This is the first year I was unable to participate in “Behold the King.” I am very sad that I am unable to help display this presentation of the good news, but this year God has shown me “Easter” from a new perspective.

The Blood of the Lamb

On the Wednesday before Easter, the guys were summoned to go help a man load a lamb into his car. Yeah, we also thought that was a strange request, but we listened and drove to a field in the middle of nowhere. There we met the owner of the herd of sheep. He did not speak any English so we just followed him and we were prepared to help him. He walked into a pen and grabbed a lamb. He took the lamb out of the pen and tied its legs together and laid it beside an olive tree. The lamb didn’t really fight back a lot. It just went with the flow. At this point I was prepared to help lift this animal into the car, but out of nowhere the man pulls out a large knife. No! No! Surely this isn’t happening, please don’t…. He said a short prayer in the local dialect and then quickly took the knife to the lamb’s throat. I stood there with my jaw open, shocked, witnessing the life of this innocent little lamb drain out of its body. The ground under it becoming a river of scarlet. Yep, that just happened. I’m still stunned. The lamb became still and the river ceased as it slowly absorbed into the ground. Its life was gone and we now had the job of butchering it. To do so the man hung the lamb from a winch on the olive tree. After butchering the lamb we realized that we were going to be doing the same thing to a second lamb. This time, as the same series of events unfolded, I could only see this lamb as Jesus. He was separated from the others and led to the slaughter. I heard it cry it’s last breath “It is finished” and saw its life fade out while the crimson blood was poured out on the ground. I thought to myself “Oh! precious is the flow; that makes me white as snow; no other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus.” I stood in awe. Not because of the shock of seeing death, but this time seeing the love of God. There hung the lamb from that olive tree, body broken and blood spilled.

Washing of Feet

There is a man named Zac who lives in a small remote village. He and his wife run a small hotel and they need do it without employees because of the small profit margin. Zac has been a believer for several years and he was just recently diagnosed with cancer. Because of his illness, he has not been able to work as much, meaning that his hotel was slowly falling into disrepair. His wife also has some health issues making it difficult for them to even keep up with the day-to-day chores. Our team left the city where we live, and have been living with them for a week and a half to help them restore their hotel to the proper conditions and to help with the day to day tasks. To be honest, the work was not always easy nor was it always fun and the hours were long, but it was so beautiful to see our team practicing something that Jesus did just several nights before his crucifixion. The King of Kings, the Big Cheese, the Head Honcho, the Big Kahuna bent down and humbled himself by becoming a servant to his disciples by washing their feet. He then commanded them: “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” This is living the Kingdom of God. A kingdom where a true leader is a servant, to truly live is to die to self, and to live a rich life is to give generously. This is God’s “upside-down” kingdom. Seeing our team serve Zac with labor and Zac serving us with hospitality and wisdom was truly a glimpse of heaven where we as God’s people put others first and ourselves last.

During our last day at Zac’s place, we asked him if he would like to have communion with us. It was Thursday before Easter, just as Jesus had the last supper on the Thursday before his crucifixion. Zac is still young in his faith and did not really understand a lot about communion. We got some bread and rose water. Rose water was the reddest drink we could find at his house and for some reason it is a special local drink. We talked about how Jesus broke the bread with his disciples to help us remember His broken body and how he poured out wine to help us remember His blood was poured out for us. We also talked about the lamb that we slaughtered and how much that helped me see Christ’s sacrifice for us. This Easter week was unusual for me, but God still shows himself in an amazing way.

Team Eurasia is living on a Mediterranean island, building relationships with students at an international university. The students they work with are predominantly Muslim, and many are being exposed to the gospel for the first time. They spend their days investing in friendships, leading an English club, and helping with weekly bible studies.