Power of the Blood of Jesus – Volume 03
Message Summary by AFT Team
In the past few weeks, we have been studying the Old Testament references to the blood of Jesus, right from Genesis. We saw that God shed the blood of an animal when Adam and Eve sinned as atonement for their sin and a covering of their nakedness. Then Abel offers a blood sacrifice to God, as was probably taught by his parents. But Cain’s sacrifice, which was not a blood sacrifice, was not accepted by God. Noah, as soon the land dried, offered a sacrifice of animals and birds. The story of Abraham is also a foreshadow of how God would one day send his own son as a sacrifice for our sins. Jehovah Jireh, as Abraham called God, had made provision for the atonement for man’s sin much before the need arose – ‘the lamb slain even before the foundation of the world’. As we go through the Old Testament, we see that God teaches us about His plan of salvation progressively; more and more is revealed.
One of the best , most elaborate, clear and detailed revelations in the Old Testament concerning the Cross and the blood of Jesus is the incidence that we call “The Passover”. Let us read a New Testament verse that likens Jesus to the Passover lamb.
Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. – 1 Cor 5: 7
Paul, in his letter to the Corinthian church, asks them to clear out the impurities like wickedness and malice from their life, that they may become a new creation in Christ. He refers this new creation to an unleavened lump of dough that was used to make the bread during the Passover. A born-again Christian is like unleavened dough, having a new start, a new life. Paul, an expert in the Old Testament, has a revelation about how the Passover is connected to the death of Christ. He says, ’Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us’. Let us go the Old Testament passage to clearly understand the Passover.
Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb. And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning. For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you. And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever. It will come to pass when you come to the land which the Lord will give you, just as He promised, that you shall keep this service. And it shall be, when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ that you shall say, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice of the Lord, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households.’ ” So the people bowed their heads and worshiped. Then the children of Israel went away and did so; just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did. – Exo 12: 21 – 28
The background of this passage:
The Israelites had been living in bondage for many years, oppressed by the Egyptians. They cried out to the Lord and He delivered them as He had already planned and purposed. He sent Moses and Aaron and spoke to Pharaoh to let the people go, but he would not let them go. Many times he would come to the verge of letting them go, but then would change his mind and harden his heart, and continue to keep the people under slavery and inflict all kinds of suffering upon them even more than before. God used that to teach something about salvation. Nine plagues had been sent upon the Egyptians, but Pharaoh would not budge. Now God planned to send one final tenth plague – death to the first-born. Before He sent it, He wanted to make sure that the Israelites were safe. So He gives them instructions to safeguard them.
Similarities between the Passover Lamb and Jesus Christ
･ The Passover lamb was to be a perfect one without blemish. Jesus was perfect and unblemished, a man who knew no sin.
･ The Israelites were instructed to ‘roast’ the lamb over fire and ‘eat’ it. The roasting of the lamb refers to the intense and extreme suffering that Jesus underwent. He suffered a fiery trial of anguish at Calvary. It was no easy thing that He did. The ‘eating’ of the lamb indicates how we must receive this provision of salvation from our sins and accept it in our lives. Jesus Himself refers to this as ‘eating His flesh and drinking His blood’.
･ Just imagine the scene on that day. The people would have been busy inspecting and buying perfect lambs. They would have been taking them to their home. That is why Isaiah says that ‘Jesus was led as a lamb to the slaughter’.
･ God told them to eat it with unleavened bread that Paul likens to a new, unspoilt creation in Christ.
･ The blood of the lamb was precious; it was not to be spilt and wasted. It was to be caught in a basin. They were to dip a hyssop plant in the blood and smear it on the entrance (the lintels and doorposts) of their house to prevent death from entering. The blood of Jesus is precious. When it is smeared on our lives using our words, it prevents Satan from entering into our lives.
Lessons from the Passover about the blood of Jesus
1. THE BLOOD IS THE IDENTIFICATION MARK OF THE BELIEVER
The angel of death came and destroyed every first born right from pharaoh’s house all the way to the common man’s house, including the animals. God had to differentiate the Israelites from the Egyptians, so that the angel of death would not enter the Israelites’ houses. And what was the distinguishing mark? – the blood on the door. In order to identify them, the angel did not have to hear what language they spoke or what kind of clothes they wore. All he had to do was look at the doorposts and lintels and see if there was blood.
What is the difference between a believer and others? – the believer is marked by the blood. How is he marked by the blood? Do our doors have some kind of smearing of blood or paint? No. The blood of Jesus was shed 2000 years ago and we are marked by the blood of Jesus when we believe in our heart that Jesus is the Passover lamb. Our tongue is like the hyssop plant; we confess with our mouth Jesus as saviour and Lord.
2. THE BLOOD IS THE SYMBOL OF PROTECTION
The blood upon the entrance of the house was the symbol or protection; it was what protected them from death, it was what prevented death from entering the house. The angel of death was not instructed to look at the faces of the people or to assess the goodness of those in the house. He was instructed to only look for the mark of the blood. Moses or Aaron did not have a higher probability of protection because they were more important or holier than the others. The Israelites did not, by nature of being Israelites, have a guarantee of protection. Only the blood was their protection. In fact, there were not protected because they were holier or better than the Egyptians; we see by their rebellious behaviour in the wilderness and even later on, that they were not what one can call ‘good’. It was not their character that protected them, it was the blood.
It is the same with us – our salvation does not come to us because we are good enough to deserve it. No matter who we are and what we have done, when we confess what the blood of Jesus has done for us and accept Him as our saviour, we are protected. Verse 23 says ‘when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your house to strike you’. God respects and honours the blood of His son Jesus, and that is our saving grace, not our good works.
Imagine that you were there on the day of the Passover as an elderly man with a first-born son, who in turn had a first-born son. Would this not be of utmost importance to you? Even if you were old, you would make all efforts unmindful of the inconveniences of old age, to make sure that the lamb was without a single defect. You would oversee that unleavened bread was cooked. You would bring your whole family indoors, making sure that none of the children were outdoors playing. You would double-check to see that the blood was caught in a basin without spilling a single drop. You would ensure that you had a branch of hyssop with which to smear the blood on the doorposts and the lintel. Why would all this be so be important to you? Because it was a matter of life and death! For you and your descendants!
That is what salvation is about – a matter of life and death. It is the most important thing in our life. On the day of judgement, only those who have the mark of the blood on their heart will be saved from eternal damnation. Are you sure that you and the members of your family are safe under the protection of the blood of Jesus? Moses says in verse 26 and 27 that their children would ask them about the meaning of the Passover and the elders would teach them about all that God had done for them. Are you teaching your children about the things of God at home? Are you taking them to church? Are you teaching them to read the Bible? Are you showing them by your behaviour that you can go to the word of God and receive answers to all your problems? When you walk in the ways of God and live in faith, your child will see it and hold on to God.
3. THE BLOOD AND THE CROSS ARE THE CENTRE OF CHRISTIAN LIVING
The blood of the lamb was smeared in an openly visible place – the entrance of the house. In this modern world, Christians are sometimes ashamed to speak of the Cross and the shed blood of Jesus. They consider it distasteful. They want to leave out the part of Jesus suffering on the Cross; they just want to talk about peace and happiness, not about the blood of Jesus. But there can be no peace and happiness without the blood of Jesus. Paul says, ‘I glory in nothing else but the blood of Jesus’. Everything – salvation, peace, joy, forgiveness of sins, healing, prosperity, and all blessings – revolves around the blood of Jesus. The blood of Jesus must be the centre of Christian teaching and Christian living.
4. TRUST IN GOD’S WORD
The people of Israel were instructed to do some unusual and peculiar things, but they trusted God to protect them and so they diligently followed these strange instructions. It would have been quite tempting for them to step outside and see what all the commotion was about, after all they would have heard the cries of the Egyptians. They would have been curious and wanting to go outdoors. But they stayed indoors and did what God told them to do. They smeared the blood of the lamb on their doorposts and lintels. They roasted the meat and ate it with bitter herbs and unleavened bread. They packed their belongings, dressed up, wore their sandals and kept their walking stick ready. They did all this because they trusted God.
5. REMEMBER FOREVER
Verse 24 says – You shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever. They were instructed to always remember; every time they observed the festival of Passover, they would remember what God had done for them. When their first-born was born, they would remember the Passover. Every day as they went through the door of their house, they would look at the lintel and the doorposts and remember. When they prospered and lived well in the land of milk of honey, they would remember the goodness of God.
God also told them to observe it as the beginning of the year. Verse 21 says This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. The month of Abib became the beginning of the year for Jews. It was the birth of the nation of Israel; It was a new beginning, a new life. When we accept Jesus, it is a new life for us.
God gives them ideas for remembering. He tells them to tie it as a symbol on their hands and between their eyes on their forehead. This does not literally mean that we should tie something like a good-luck charm. Even in Leviticus, we read that they smeared the blood on their ears and hands and so on. To wear it on the forehead means to always remember God’s goodness. To tie between the eyes indicates that we should see everything in the light of the shed blood of Jesus and what He has done for us. To wear it on our hands would remind us that the work of our hands is blessed by God.
When we always look at life in the light of the blood of Jesus, we realize that every blessing is given to us, not because we are great, but because of the grace of God.
When you remember forever what God has done, even as you walk in victory and success, you will humble yourself before God and be thankful for what He has given you through Jesus Christ.