And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning.
At last the climax was at hand. After four hundred and thirty years of dwelling in Egypt, the Israelites were about to leave the land. Their oppressors had endured nine intense plagues; still the heart of Pharaoh was hardened. Moses warned the Egyptian ruler that if he did not let God's people go, the Lord would pass through the land and all the firstborn of Egypt would die. This was to be the final and most crushing judgment of all.
In preparation for this night, the Lord instructed Moses and Aaron to have each Israelite household separate a lamb from their flocks on the tenth day of the month. This was to be no ordinary lamb, but one without blemish. On the fourteenth day the Israelites would kill the lamb and strike its blood on the two side posts and upper door post of their houses. They were absolutely to remain inside their houses that night, for while Israel would be safely fellowshipping inside their blood-sprinkled houses, the firstborn of all outside would be killed. The Lord would "pass through" the land of Egypt at midnight but "pass over" those houses to which the lamb's blood was applied.
That the Passover celebration is an Old Testament type prefiguring Jesus Christ cannot be seriously questioned. The lamb was to be without blemish, publicly observed four days to make sure. The public life of our Lord proved He was without the blemish of sin (John 18:38). He was "the Lamb of God" (John 1:29), "without spot or blemish" (1 Peter 1:19), "holy, harmless, undefiled" (Hebrews 7:26). The lamb was to be slain in order that Israel might be saved from death. The blood of Jesus Christ was shed at Calvary in order that He might redeem us from death (Acts 20:28; Hebrews 9:12).
That Passover night was the fourteenth of the Jewish month Nisan or Abib (March/April). God instructed that "This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you" (Exodus 12:2). Because Israel was spared by the blood of the lamb, their future took on a new perspective. This was a new starting point in their existence. That night they began their journey to the promised land.
How this typifies the newness that salvation brings to a man's house! When we receive the atonement made for us by the blood of Jesus Christ, new life begins. We are "born again" (John 3:3); we are "passed from death unto life" (John 5:24); we are a "new creature" (2 Corinthians 5:17). The believer in Christ doesn't have a new lease on life; he has a new life entirely.
Exodus 12:22 summarizes the Passover instructions given to Israel. "And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning." Even though the blood of the lamb was shed, it still was of no effect until it was applied to the house. So, too, the blood of Christ has no effect for us until it is applied to our lives (John 3:36). But once applied, all who are under the blood are spared from death and begin a journey to life eternal.
The Passover celebration became a perpetual memorial to God's deliverance of Israel. Many years later, as Christ and His disciples met for the Passover meal, He instituted the Lord's Supper which was to be partaken of in remembrance of His atoning death, the true Paschal Lamb. Paul reminds us, "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till He come" (1 Corinthians 11:26). Israel fellowshipped in their blood-stained houses until the morning. Let each of us remain in the fellowship of those who are bought with the blood of the Lamb, "until that bright and cloudless morning when the dead in Christ shall rise, and the glory of His resurrection share."
MORNING HYMN What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus; What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Devotional is used with permission from the author. It may be used solely for personal, noncommercial, and informational purposes. Republication or redistribution of this devotional is prohibited.