“When I see the blood, I will pass over.” (part 1)

The Word for today:
Exodus 12: 1-36

I’ve learned more about the cross from Old Testament pictures than from New Testament explanations. That’s why I don’t know of a more important chapter in the Bible than Exodus 12.

The same goes for faith. What I know about faith I first learned from Old Testament portraits and illustrations.

I’ve subsequently added to my understanding by wrestling with New Testament explanations, but I remain convinced that until we understand Passover and hyssop, we won’t understand how much grace and faith depend upon each other.

God and first-grade teachers know how human beings learn. You’ve noticed that books for little kids have lots of pictures in them, while college textbooks don’t. In the same way, God placed the illustrations of the Old Testament before the explanations of the New Testament. He put the show before the tell.

That’s why he placed pictures of Passover in Exodus 12, before we ever get to Romans and Galatians. And that’s why he put hyssop ahead of Hebrews.

Over the next few days, we are going to look at Passover and hyssop. They are the primary Old Testament pictures of Jesus’ cross and our faith. You and I may have a long way to go before we fully discern doctrinal dissertations, but we can learn “vicarious substitutionary atonement” from a fluffy little lamb; and we can learn to appropriate “providential propitiation” from a leafy little branch.

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When I see the blood, I will pass over you. (Exodus 12:13)

The sacrificial lamb lived in the household for four days. It was observed over that time, inspected. There could be no flaw, no spot or blemish. The kids, no doubt, considered it their pet — little Fluffy or Tuffy or Snowball. They were about to find out the cost of sin.

After four days their Father took the lamb, slit its throat, and the blood poured out into a basin on the floor at the door. Then a hyssop branch was taken and the blood was daubed on the posts and on the lintel–above the doorway.

The points of blood if connected form perpendicular lines–a cross. So when the death angel came through, he did not enter the threshold where the blood was applied:
When I see the blood, I will pass over.

They were not saved because they were the seed of Abraham (Matthew 3:9). God did not ask, ‘Are you a child of Israel or a child of Egypt?’ The Egyptians could have been saved. God is not going to ask what church we belonged to; He is going to see the blood–or not.

They were not saved because they were doing the best they could. God says, “When I see the blood.”

They were not saved by their thoughts or feelings. When feelings go up and down, when fears and doubts pester us, they do not matter. All that matters is whether the blood is on the door.

Jesus shed his blood for every sinner:
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son…

But the blood isn’t effective–it isn’t received–unless it is personally applied:
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son….that whosoever believes in him would not perish. (John 3:16)

Jesus shed his blood for every sinner:
By grace you have been saved...

But the blood isn’t effective–it isn’t received–unless it is personally applied:
By grace you have been saved….through faith. (Ephesians 2:8)

All might have been saved. But all were not, for this house applied the blood, while that house did not.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at the applicator–a leafy hyssop branch, which is the Bible’s clearest illustration of saving faith.

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About Stand in the Rain Blogger

Trying to be who God made me, I am wary of my influences. I avoid the culture that surrounds me, for the most part. I soaked up that crap for 40 years. I am trying to replace the word of the world with the unvarnished Word of God.** I like people, but I like solitude just as much. Go figure.** I adore Jesus Christ. I am flipped-out, flamingly and fervently in love with Him. I count it a privilege to draw breath in His universe. All my springs are in Him.** I am crazy about my wife, Shelley. She outshines the sun. I can't help it if I'm lucky.** My heroes are my kids--Caitlin, Gwenlyn, Frankie, & Eddy. I aspire to be like them when I grow up.
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