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The Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ Implied in the Image of the Paschal Lamb in 1 Cor 5:7

An Intertextual, Exegetical and Theological Study


Jacob Paxy Alumkal

St. Paul uses the image of Paschal Lamb only once. What is the real meaning of this symbol in his theology? It symbolises the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ but with a different emphasis. What does he emphasize?
The aim of this study is to show the exegetical meaning of 1 Cor 5:7 in order to have an overt theological emphasis of the imagery used in this particular context. The linguistic analysis from a historical critical method is used here to arrive at its theological significance. The study propounds the meaning, reality and the significance of the Hebrew original Paschal celebration and its commemoration from Semetical, Hellenistical and Greco-Roman culture and as understood in the OT Scriptures of various periods. The result is quite different from the hitherto theological understanding of the symbol and its significance. Paul is the first NT theologian to use this symbol and others have followed him with varying degrees of understanding of this symbol. A comparative study on this is made in this book. It shows to what extent it is relevant for Christians in postmodern Europe and India.
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General Introduction


First Experience with the Passover

The most vivid picture of the Paschal Lamb in my mind is the Paschal Lamb made by my father when I was an eight year old boy. My father was also a professional decorator and once for the Holy Thursday liturgical celebrations he decorated the altar and the stage where the Holy Eucharist would be celebrated, with a Paschal Lamb. Since my parish church could not accommodate all the believers of the parish (around five thousand people) we used to have liturgical celebrations on the Holy Week in an open churchyard. My father made a Paschal Lamb out of thermocol. Its throat was cut and blood was flowing down directly over the tabernacle. This is the first vivid picture of the Paschal Lamb in my life. And my father explained to me that Passover Celebration is the greatest feast of the OT1 which indicates the total liberation of the Israelite from the bondage of Egypt. And in the NT Jesus Christ is our new Paschal Lamb. Of course I did not understand any more than these statements. And every year during the Holy Week my father used to read from the OT books of Exodus and Leviticus and from the NT the Gospel according to John. And this remains vibrantly in my memory even now.

Interest in Paul

As a discalced Carmelite I was really impressed by the teachings of our Holy Father John of the Cross....

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