Bay 3 - The 'New Alliance'

Panel 08 - Passover sacrifice/marking the lintels of the faithful

Lower right, a man slits the throat of the paschal lamb.To their left one can see a vessel (blue glass) ready to catch the blood. Above and to the left, another figure, carrying a vessel of blood, uses it to write the Greek letter "Tau" on the lintel of a stylised building.

In Exodus 12, God tells Moses that he will slay the firstborn of every family of Egypt, but that the Children of Israel should each sacrifice an unblemished lamb and with its blood mark the doorposts of their houses, so that the curse will not fall upon the faithful. In the minds of medieval Christian exegetes, the obvious associations of the blood of an unblemished lamb (like the Agnus Dei) playing a salvific role made this episode a natural antetype for Christ's sacrifice on the Cross. In Exodus 12, Moses is merely instructed to mark the door-posts and lintel of each house - the inscription of a Tau on the lintel is a later tradition.

(1 - bottom); "SCRIBE : THAU". "Scribe" is the imperative of "scribere" - to write. It is interesting that rather than simply labelling one of the characters or describing the action, as is usually the case, the titulus here is the deontic phrase itself.

Restoration notes: