The young of a sheep which, as well as being a delicacy for food, was often the object of sacrificial offerings (Gen 22:7,8; Lev 4:32). In the OT innocent lambs were sacrificed as a substitute for the people who should have died because of their sin.  Any animal sacrificed was to be of the best quality, a deformed or sickly animal was not acceptable (Lev 22:18-22). This took on special significance at the Passover, when only the homes protected by the blood of a lamb were spared the tragic death of the first born males – human and cattle (Ex 11:5, 12:3-13).

See also: Lamb of God, sheep, shepherd.