There is certainly the symbolism of the Old Testament of the sacrifice of Christ that occurred in the New Testament. The most significant is the symbolism of Christ becoming the Passover (1 Corinthians 5:7). In the Hebrew month of Nisan, on the 14th day, the Passover lamb would be killed at about 3 PM. That night (Nisan 15 because a Hebrew day starts at sundown, not midnight), the children of Israel would eat the Passover Lamb, symbolic of eating the future Messiah. It would be cooked whole with no bones broken. The blood smeared on the tops of the doors would cause the first born in that house not to be killed during the first Passover in Egypt.
Jesus was killed at the ninth hour (3 PM) (Matthew 27:45-50) at the same time the Passover Lambs were being killed. Christ became the ultimate Passover Lamb. The veil of the temple was ripped in half (verse 51), symbolic of God becoming permanently absent from the physical temple, never to return. The priests of the temple had become corrupt. They caused people to stumble at the law (Malachi 2:8). Religious leaders do the same today, telling their congregations that the law of God (the Ten Commandments) has been abolished or they yield to the opposite extreme and tell people they must earn their salvation, trying to keep the law through their own effort. Just as the Passover Lamb had no bones broken (Numbers 9:12), Christ also had none of his bones broken. Instead, a soldier plunged a spear into his side (John 19:32-34). The Last Supper was a rehearsal for the Christian Passover in which the symbolism of the lamb was replaced by the symbolism of the unleavened bread. People of God would eat unleavened bread to symbolize eating Christ (1 Corinthians 11:24). The bread took the place of the lamb. The Messiah was to be cut off in the middle of his week (Daniel 9:26-27), causing the sacrifice to cease. The sacrifice did cease. With Christ as the ultimate High Priest (Hebrews 9:11) now, there is no need for animal sacrifices.
“…smite the shepherd and the sheep shall be scattered…” (Zechariah 13:7).
So, was the shepherd hit and did the sheep scatter?
“Then said Jesus to them, you all shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad” (Matthew 26:31).
When Christ was arrested, the disciples scattered.
“…all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples abandoned him, and fled” (Matthew 26:56).
Christ was cut off in the midst of his week (Daniel 9:26-27) in two ways. He died at 3 PM on a Wednesday, Nisan 14, (April 5th, Roman time), he was half way into the week. Also he was half-way into a week of years. His ministry had a duration of three and a half years. Before he returns to this planet he will finish up the week of years (seven years) by showing people they cannot make rebellion against his Father work. This will be done during the final three and a half years through the 2 witnesses (Revelation 11:3) who will prophesy for one thousand two hundred and sixty days. Just as the blood of the lamb prevented the first born from dying, the blood of Christ will prevent us from receiving the death we deserve as a result of sin since the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). And sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4).
“…leave none of it unto the morning…” (Numbers 9:12). The Passover lamb was finished in one night. There would be no left-overs. By the same token when Christ died he was resurrected into a non-physical body that does not die. His physical body that he had ceased to exist. There are two reasons for this. Certain religions like to turn bones into holy relics and the holy relics become objects of worship leading into idolatry. The other reason is: Christ’s resurrection is a pre-cursor to what our resurrection will be like, if we remain faithful. We will be resurrected into bodies that do not die (1 Corinthians 15:51-54).
In Old Testament times, the children of Israel would obtain the lamb on the 10th of Nisan and keep it alive for the next 4 days. During that time, the young lamb would become like a friend. The slaughter of the lamb would be a slight trauma to the family (even the adults). By the same token, if we are loyal to the Father and obedient to Christ, Christ calls us friends: not servants, but friends (John 15:15).
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).