When I See the Blood

The LORD God had promised in His covenant with Father Abraham, "Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years.  And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions."  Genesis 15:13, 14.

The families of Israel would first be welcomed into Egypt with respect and honor.  Joseph had been taken down first as a slave and sank even lower to a shackled prisoner.  Through the providential working of God he was exalted to become the savior of Egypt.  Under his watch care Israel enjoyed peace and tranquility.

In the years following Joseph's death there arose a new Pharaoh over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. (Exodus 1:9).  Israel became a slave nation driven  by taskmaster's whips to the full limits of their strength and endurance.  ". . .The Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with rigor.  And made their lives bitter with hard bondage---in mortar, in brick, and in all manner of service in the field."  Exodus 1:13, 14. 

The time came for God's judgment to fall on Egypt and for Israel to be delivered from captivity.  Pharaoh was given opportunity to voluntarily let Israel go free several times, but he refused.  As a result Egypt suffered nine plagues that devastated the land.  The last, and worst, would shortly follow.

GOD MADE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ISRAEL AND THE EGYPTIANS  ". . .That you may know that the LORD does make a difference between the Egyptians and Israel."  Exodus 11:7.

This is significant in that one of God's qualities is that He is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34, and other verses).  Powerful factors must be at work for God to respect one person over another or one nation over another.  The powerful factors that are apparent in this case are:
     1.  Israel was God's chosen people to provide God's inspired revelation to the world and the lineage through which God promised His Messiah (Christ) would come.  (See Deuteronomy 7:6; 14:2; Psalms 33:12; 135:4; Isaiah 43:10, 20; 44:1, 2; 48:10 and Romans 9:3-5).  The Egyptians were a people who rejected Israel and Israel's God and chose false gods.
     2.  The Israelites would accept and appropriate God's provision of the Passover Lamb and it's shed blood as their protection from the sentence of death of the firstborn in every house in Egypt.  The Egyptians would not. (This was the same distinction God made between Abel and Cain. (Genesis 4:3-5).

GOD CAME DOWN TO JUDGE.   "Thus says the LORD:  About midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt; and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die...."  Exodus 11:5.

The culture of the day was that the firstborn son received twice as much inheritance as the other children and succeeded his father as leader of the family.  There is much evidence that God has made the first born a type of all mankind's first birth,---the birth of the flesh.  His blessing is taken from the son born first and passed to the son born second...representing the spiritual birth by the Holy Spirit.  This was true of Cain and Abel; Ishmael and Isaac; Esau and Jacob;  Manasseh and Ephraim;  David's firstborn by Bathsheba and Solomon.

In Egypt God pronounced the curse of death on every firstborn child.  His curse still abides on all who have only experienced the birth of the flesh.  The day is coming when the curse will be carried out.

GOD PROVIDED REDEMPTION FROM THE CURSE.  "On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb...a lamb for a household...keep it until the fourteenth day...Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight."  Exodus 12:4, 6.

These lambs were a type of Christ.
A lamb was slain for each family.  We later find there were over 603,000 men who qualified as warriors.  It is estimated there was a minimum of two million Israelites and that it would require some 250,000 lambs to meet the requirement.   God refers to these thousands of lambs eighteen times in the singular as "it".  They were a type (or picture) of "The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."   This was John the Baptist's introduction of Jesus.  John was the man God chose to introduce Jesus to Israel...and all mankind.  Please consider the following truths of Scripture:
     1.  The lamb had to be without spot or blemish.  The Christ had to be without sin in order to die for our sins.  Jesus ". . .Was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin."  Hebrews 4:15  In 30 A.D. on the tenth day of Nissan (April) the Passover Lamb was set apart to be inspected four days.  On that same day Jesus entered Jerusalem and presented Himself four days for examination by Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, the high priest; the rulers of Israel, and the governors, Pilate and Herod.  Pilate's verdict was, "I find in Him no fault at all."  John 19:38.
     2.  The lamb's blood had to be shed.  God gave the reason for this in Leviticus 17:11,  "For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul."    In our New Testament we read, ". . .For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us."  1st Corinthians 5:7.  "Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold...but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. . .foreordained before the foundation of the world. . ."  1st Peter 1:18-20.  On the fourteenth day of Nissan, shortly after 3:00 p.m. Jesus cried out, "It is finished" and yielded His spirit to the heavenly Father (John 1930).  This was the very time when the blood of the Passover lambs were being shed so that the lamb could be prepared for the Passover meal at 6:00 p.m.
     3.  The lamb's body had to be roasted with fire.  This pictured the innocent Lamb of God receiving the full condemnation for sin in place of all mankind that committed the sin.  Please consider:  "For He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."  2nd Corinthians 5:21.   ". . .How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God."  Hebrews 9:14.

It was the blood of the Passover lamb that provided protection to every family in Israel.  It is the blood of Christ that protects every person who places their faith in Christ as their Savior.

GOD GIVES NEW LIFE TO TRUE BELIEVERS.  " This month shall be your beginning of months;  it shall be the first month of the year to you."  Exodus 12:2.

Israel already had a calendar.  It began with the month Tishri which falls between mid-September and early October.  It marked the time of annual harvest.  However, from this point Israel would also have a new spiritual calendar which marked their new spiritual life through acceptance of God's provision of redemption.  Many Israelites would continue to believe that they inherited a living relationship with God by being born into a family that descended from father Abraham.  This was exactly what the apostle Paul was addressing when he wrote, ". . .For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham, but 'In Isaac your seed shall be called.'"  Isaac was a supernaturally born son who made it possible for the supernaturally born Jesus to pay the redemption price for all mankind.  Only those who accept God's provision of redemption by faith experience a spiritual birth by the Holy Spirit and become God's children.  That is why Jesus bluntly told Nicodemus, "You must be born again."  John 3:7.  He went on to say that man's part in bringing this to pass is placing faith in Him as the One Who purchased our redemption by being lifted up (on the cross).  John 3:14-16.

GOD REQUIRES HIS REDEMPTION TO BE APPROPRIATED.  ". . .Every man shall take for himself a lamb. . ." 12:3.
". . .According to each man's need you shall make your count for the lamb.  12:4
"Your lamb shall be without blemish. . ."  12:5

The lamb's blood must be caught in a basin.  Exodus 12:21, 22. 
This pictured the sentence of death being carried out on an innocent sacrifice.

Protection came when the blood was applied.". . .Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts."  12:22.  On the lintel the blood would provide protection from judgment above and on the doorposts it would provide protection from the defilement of sin below.  Hyssop was a shrub that contained a cleansing element (See Psalm 51:7 and 1st John 1:7)

The lamb was eaten as a feast.  This speaks of meditation on God's promises until faith is produced in the heart.  Jesus spoke of this when He said, ". . .Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in your.  Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.  For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed."  John 6:53-55.  We must understand that Jesus is talking about personally appropriating His sacrificial death for our sins by faith.

The lamb was eaten with bitter herbs.  12:8.  This speaks of repentance taking into account a life of bitter bondage and a regret of a meaningless life before coming into a relationship with God.

The lamb was eaten in haste.  ((See Exodus 12:10).  This emphasizes the importance of having completed all preparations and being ready to begin the departure march from the land of bondage.  "We then...plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.  For He says, 'In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you."  2nd Corinthians 6:1, 2.

GOD PASSED THROUGH EGYPT TO SMITE THE EGYPTIANS.  See Exodus 12:12, 23.  At every home where there was no blood the firstborn died including the house of Pharaoh.  ". . .And there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead."  Exodus 12:30.  Pharaoh and the people of Egypt experienced God bringing His judgment to them.  They still did not repent, forsake their false gods and embrace Jehovah.  They wanted Israel and Israel's God to leave their land.

GOD PASSED OVER ISRAEL IN MERCY.  "And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt."  Exodus 12:13, 23.

God was concerned about seeing one thing---the blood of the lamb.  He had no concern as to whether the firstborn was an Israelite or an Egyptian; whether the firstborn had been devoutly religious or irreligious, or even whether the firstborn had been impeccably moral or immoral.  His one concern was, "Had the blood of the lamb been appropriated by faith and applied to the front door."

When we stand before God His one concern will be, "Have we appropriated the blood of the Lamb of God by faith and applied it to the door of our heart.

Copyright 2002 Thomas E Berry
All Scripture quoted from NKJV unless otherwise noted


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