16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
–John 3:16 KJV
In Genesis 22 we learn of God’s test of Abraham:
2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
Since God had already promised to multiply Abraham’s seed through Isaac, Abraham expected God to resurrect his son after he sacrificed him. When Isaac noted that they had no lamb, Abraham assured his son that God would provide the lamb:
6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.
7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
Abraham knew that God would keep His promise, but he was wrong about how He would do so. Alternately, you could say that Abraham was right about the how, but not about whose Son God would resurrect. Either way, it was not God’s will that Abraham kill Isaac, and an angel of the Lord intervened just in time to stop Abraham. Instead, God provided a lamb snared by his horns in a thicket:
And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
Many years later in Exodus the theme of fathers, sons, and the blood of a lamb would return with the original Passover. In Exodus 11 Moses tells the Pharaoh about the plague that is about to transpire:
4 So Moses said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. 5 Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the female slave, who is at her hand mill,and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. 6 There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again. 7 But among the Israelites not a dog will bark at any person or animal.’ Then you will know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. 8
In Exodus 12 we learn how Israelite fathers are to spare their households from this plague with the blood of a male lamb without blemish:
3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house.
4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.
5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year…
7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it…
12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord.
God kept His promise to the Israelites, and they were spared the plague of the firstborn due to the blood of the lambs.
Moving forward many years again and John the Baptist first sees Jesus. He immediately recognizes Jesus as the Lamb of God:
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
At the time of Jesus the Jewish people still slaughtered lambs in observance of Passover, with the male lambs slaughtered on the day of preparation. Indeed, the Lamb of God, Christ, was crucified on the day of preparation (John 19:31). Like Isaac in Genesis, Jesus carried the wood for his own sacrifice (John 19:17). Like the ram caught in the thicket, his head was surrounded by thorns (Mat. 27:29, Mark 15:17, John 19:2,5). And like the male lambs in Genesis and Exodus He was without blemish.
It is by the blood of this Lamb that we are saved, and this is why we celebrate Easter. May God bless each of your households.