Monday, March 29, 2010

The Lamb And The Blood

"Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. 22 Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning. 23 When the LORD goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down." Exodus 12:21-23

This week is one of my favorite times of the year, because it always brings me back to one of my favorite places in the Bible. I probably have dozens of posts here on the blog about Exodus, but I just can't help it. The examples of faith, trust, and God's provision are just too staggering to not keep coming back to time and time again. This year we get a double awesome week because the week of Passover and the week of the Resurrection coincide. That doesn't happen every year, and it just makes it all the more real to look at both events at the same time.

As I read chapter twelve this morning, it was verse 23 that really jumped out at me. This was serious business for the Israelites. God was going to kill the firstborn of every family in Egypt, and in order to escape the swath of death, the Israelites must follow God's instructions to the letter. They must prepare themselves, their households, and their meals exactly so. And when everything was ready, they needed to brush the blood of the lamb physically on their homes so that God would see that His holy people lived there.

To this day, Jewish people around the world celebrate Passover, for it was the day that the angel of the Lord "passed over" His precious people with His judgement and spared them. As a result, they were also released from the tyranny of Pharaoh. But it was the blood of the lamb that really saved the people. The blood of the lamb- a foreshadowing of the Lamb to come.

"For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake." 1 Peter 1:18-20

Jesus was the ultimate lamb- the blood which has the ability to not just save the people of Israel, but every person of this earth. Every single person has the ability to be saved by the blood. All they need to do is accept the fact that Jesus died to redeem them of their sins, and ask Jesus to be a part of their life, and they become "of the blood". The blood of Jesus covers their life and becomes visible to God- who will then "pass over" them on the day of judgement. It is the blood of Jesus that gives us access to heaven for all eternity.

Aren't you glad we don't have to go out and slaughter a lamb every year to atone for our wrongdoings? Jesus came, once and for all, to redeem mankind from their evil ways. It is the blood of Christ that saves each and every one of us- the blood of the precious lamb that washes away our sins and makes us white as snow- as if we never sinned. What a gift. And what a miracle.

I do want to note though that I'm not saying that Passover should or shouldn't be celebrated. That is up to each individual person. I know more and more Christians have taken to observing the Passover, and that's wonderful, and up to each and every person to celebrate. As it so happens, we are having a mini Passover celebration for our family tomorrow. Colossians tells us that while we are not required to celebrate the festivals of old, it is up to each one of us whether or not they bear significance in our lives. We are free to celebrate as we desire.

"Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ." Colossians 2:16-17

"One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord." Romans 14:5-6

A week of celebration? What could be more fun than that? We're going to celebrate this week. We're going to celebrate the ultimate love that sent a Precious Son to claim victory over death for all mankind. We're going to celebrate the precious blood of the Lamb, and praise His Name, because He is worthy of ALL our praise.

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