I would never want to have a “you’re wrong” discussion…Our dialog is part of the beauty of engagement and meditation on God’s Word, and it’s a lifelong process to delve into the incredible complexity of these topics! And you make very fair points.
And yes, I agree that all throughout the OT the lamb represented a sin offering including your reference to Abraham and the ram. And quite frankly we know Cain and Abel offered sacrifices, so the connection of sacrifice to our relationship to God goes back to the beginning.
I think there are many things to consider in scripture. Please bear with me while I pull up context. I would put to you that Israel, as a nation, was taught to understand the meaning of the Passover that would point to Messiah.
The judgment to be distributed at the Passover was on a sort of “world” scale. Firstborn Egyptians, firstborn animals, firstborn prisoners, “even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the cattle”(Ex. 11:5) were all affected by this judgment. And apart from the blood over the door, Israel and their animals would have suffered judgment. Passover is representative of the covenant relationship that the Lord put in place for Israel and distinctly set them apart from their captors. This redemptive act by God brought them out of slavery, and judged those who reject the true God. And He calls them to remember this event forever (Ex. 12:14) when He rescued their firstborn with the blood of the lamb.
‘Thus says the Lord, Israel is my firstborn son, Ex. 4:22
In the Passover ordinance God requires a perfect male animal. (Ex. 12:5)
We move forward to Jesus on this note. His crucifixion and resurrection took place on the very weekend of Passover further indicating His connection and link to this significant observance. He uses the elements of the Passover meal to establish communion. The Lord’s Supper was prescribed during the Lord’s Passover.
Paul indicates his knowledge of the association when he writes in 1 Corinthians 5:7-8
Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
As circumcision was the identifier of the people of God’s covenant, God would expect those who partook of the covenant meal of Passover to choose to be identified as such. It is a sacred observance filled with reminders of God’s rescue from death and deliverance. But it was offered as a choice to foreigners who wished to partake. I think that is extraordinary! Would it be as symbolic of God’s redemption or reverent or valuable if it was open to anyone who may bring in their own pagan rites or practices? God developed a call to reverence and significance that required outward and inward commitment. To take part in this covenant meal involved change and accountability.
God also knew there would be a “mixed multitude” of people who left Egypt with Israel (Ex. 12:38) so He implemented a system for dealing with this. The act was to bring in the other culture to be of the nation of Israel, not allow the nation of Israel to commit sin in the same way as the surrounding cultures.
Warren Wiersbe makes a great comment about the blood on the doorposts:
God promised, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” (Ex. 12:13) It isn’t sufficient simply to know that Christ was sacrificed for the sins of the world. We must appropriate that sacrifice for ourselves and be able to say with Paul, “The Son of God loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20)…"
This act of applying blood on the door frames would also remind Israel that they are not saved by their ancestry, or their own goodness.
The Israelites fed on the lamb (roasted whole so as to keep from breaking bones) to have strength for the exodus journey. And actually our discussion goes into the unusual topic of eating in week 14 of this study because Jesus tells His followers:
Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. John 6:53-55
John the Baptist did come from a line of priests, as we know that’s how his father served. So he would not have been without good knowledge of the writings of the prophets, and the covenant.
There is a discussion among theologians that John the Baptist’s declaration was a climax of “progressive revelation” from Scripture. It is summarized like this:
Adam and Eve were each clothed in animal skins (animals died) at the time of their sin. This required one animal for one individual.
In the Passover God decreed one animal for one family (unless it was a very small family then you could share with nearest neighbors).
Then at Day of Atonement God decreed one animal would stand for an entire nation.
Finally in the Day of John the Baptist Jesus was declared one Lamb for the world.
I think we could pull more, but this post is already quite long!
I hope this offers some food for thought. I appreciate your considerate posts.