from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The lamb sacrificed at the first Passover.
- n. Jesus.
- n. See Agnus Dei.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Alternative form of Paschal Lamb.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The most probable solution of the question lies in the legitimate and widespread custom, according to which, when the fifteenth of Nisan fell on the Sabbath, as it did in the year of the Crucifixion, the paschal lamb was killed in the evening hours of the thirteenth of Nisan and the paschal feast celebrated on this or the following evening, to avoid all infringement of the strict sabbatic rest.
Oesterly and Box think that this is a survival from an earlier time when a part of the paschal lamb was kept to the end and distributed, so as to be the last thing eaten.
Thursday, while, according to the Synoptists, the Jews ate the paschal lamb on Friday, is not irreconcilable with the above statement.
We shall call attention here only to the best-known specimen that has been preserved, the pentaptych in the treasury of Milan cathedral the central division of this is ornamented by this process with the paschal lamb and the cross.