Power of the Blood of Jesus – Volume 04
Message Summary by AFT Team
A detailed history of the Passover
While many people may know what the Passover is about, there are many others who may not know about it. So let’s look into the historical context of the Passover. The Passover happened when God came to deliver the Israelites from the Egyptians. They had come to Egypt as the children of Jacob. Joseph had come earlier and became a great leader who saved Egypt from a disastrous famine. Joseph was greatly honoured at that time and his whole family came to Egypt. There were given one of the best lands to occupy. They became great in number and in wealth. After Joseph’s time, the Egyptians grew jealous of their numbers and wealth, and started oppressing them. They were treated as slaves, and they lived in poverty and distress. God came to deliver them as He had promised earlier. You can read in Genesis 15 that Abraham was worried about not having an heir to fulfil God’s promise to him about his descendants becoming a great nation. God assures him that not only would He give him descendants as numerous as the stars, he would also give them a land. Abraham asks him for a confirmation; ‘Lord God, by what shall I know that I shall inherit it?’ God assures him by making a covenant with him. He promises Abraham and also prophecies what would happen in the future. He says that while Abraham would have a long life and die peacefully, his descendants however would live as outsiders in a land that was not theirs where they would be enslaved and oppressed for 400 years for four generations. God would judge the nation that enslaved them and the Israelites would leave with great wealth and return to Canaan and take the land from them, for by then the sins of people in Canaan would have reached a peak.
In all this, we see the justice of God. While reading about the Passover we may think that God was unjust in sending plagues upon them and then finally taking away their first-born. But that is mere judgement for their actions – the Egyptians enslaved the descendants of the man who delivered them from a disastrous famine and helped make their land prosper and become superpower in those days. They oppressed and treated Israel, the first-born of God inhumanly. They even killed the male children of Israel. Therefore they lost their first-born. Some people many think that it is unjust that the Israelites took the wealth of the Egyptians when they left. No! It was merely their salary for those centuries of hard labour. The capturing and occupation of Canaan was a judgement of God upon Canaan for their life of sin and depravity.
So we see that God made a blood covenant with Abraham. When two people enter into a covenant, they promise each other – “what I have is yours and what you have is mine; I will help you when you need me”. And that’s exactly what God does; He heard the cries of the descendants of Abraham and delivers them from the bondage to Egypt. He introduces Himself to Moses saying, “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob”. He is the God who made a covenant to Abraham, and He was talking to Moses on the basis of that covenant; He had come to help them. God had been working behind the scenes the whole time. He had protected Moses from the slaughter of the male children. He had caused the mother of Moses to protect him and later He caused the princess of Egypt to raise him in her palace as her own son.
Here was Moses asking Pharaoh to let the Israelites go into the wilderness to worship God. But Pharaoh refuses to let them go. So God sends the plagues one by one upon Egypt. He starts with the least plague, and increases the severity one by one. But Pharaoh instead of relenting, hardens his heart further and further. So, God sends the last plague of death to the first-born of Egypt. And like in all other plagues, God differentiates the Israelites from the Egyptians; none of the plagues affected the Israelites. For the last plague, God differentiates them by the blood, which was smeared upon their doorways. They were to kill an unblemished lamb and smear its blood on their doorposts and lintels and the angel of death would not enter their houses.
Not only are instructions given, guarantees are also given: And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the female servant who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the animals. Then there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as was not like it before, nor shall be like it again. But against none of the children of Israel shall a dog move its tongue, against man or beast, that you may know that the Lord does make a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.’ – Exodus 11: 5 – 7
The Lord does make a difference – whilst all this calamity was happening all around them, they were protected. They were blood-bought and blood-marked. Nobody would have the courage to stop them or stand in their way. No one would lay a hand on them. Not even a dog would be able to wag its tongue against the children of God. All because they had the distinguishing mark of the blood upon them.
We learnt some lessons from the Passover last week. Let’s learn some more this week.
Lessons from the Passover about the blood of Jesus
1. GOD HIMSELF PLANNED THE DELIVERANCE
The idea of deliverance was given by God. It was not a committee of men who got together and decided that the blood of a lamb upon their doorways would protect them. Similarly, the solution for the problem of sin did not and cannot come from man. Man has solved so many big problems, except the problem of sin. Sin is not a subject that is taught in universities. Most people don’t do anything criminally wrong, because they are afraid of the law. Though they don’t do anything evil, there is still evil in them. There is a constant battle in their hearts between good and evil. Man is constantly struggling against sin. The problem of sin is a deep-rooted one that puzzles man. Even the apostle Paul says in Romans 7 that something was wrong with him, some evil power was trying to rule over him; he did the things that he did not want to do and was unable to do the things that he wanted to do. Then he comes to the conclusion that Jesus is the deliverer.
God is the only deliverer from sin. He has brought about the solution for sin and temptation. The solution that God offers for sin is salvation. And he teaches them salvation by the blood of Jesus, even through the incident of the Passover. We saw that in past God had already taught them that the shedding of blood and the giving of life is necessary for the atonement of sin. Through this incident, they learn something more.
The blood not only helps forgive them their sins and enables them to stand before God, it also guarantees protection from the enemy all the way till the end. The blood of Jesus not only forgives your sins, but delivers you from the clutches of Satan, protects you from him and helps you walk in victory till the very end. The blood of Jesus is so powerful that nobody will lay their hands on you. You are differentiated the moment you accept and claim the blood of Jesus upon yourself. Nothing can harm you.
2. SUBSTITUTIONARY SACRIFICE
The deliverance happened through substitutionary sacrifice; someone else was a substitute for the punishment that we should have faced, someone else took the punishment. Someone else died in our place – and that was Jesus. That explains why Paul uses phrases like ‘in Christ’, ‘for us’, ‘through Christ’ and other similar phrases. Jesus died for us.
On the day of Passover, there was death in every house, both Israelite and Egyptian. In the Egyptian house, the first-born died; in the Israelite house, a lamb died. A substitute, a lamb died instead of the sinner in the Israelite house. God also revealed this through the story of Abraham. God provided a substitute for us so that our sins are forgiven and we could escape eternal damnation in hell, which is the just punishment for sin. That substitute is Jesus Christ.
3. THE SOLUTION FOR SIN HAS TO BE ACCEPTED BY THE SINNER
It was not enough that the blood of an innocent, unblemished lamb died, the Israelites had to smear the blood on their doorposts and lintels. If they had executed every other instruction – eating unleavened bread with bitter herbs, killing the lamb, catching its blood in a basin, but forgotten to smear the blood on their doorway, they would have all died.
Jesus died on the Cross for the sins of every person on earth. But unless the person metaphorically smears the blood of Jesus upon their heart by accepting what Jesus has done for them, accepting the forgiveness of theirs sins and making Him the Lord and saviour of their lives, it is of use to them.
4. DELIVERANCE IS RECEIVED THROUGH FAITH AND OBEDIENCE
Faith and obedience are very important if you want to receive what God has done for you. The Passover clearly shows us that. They had never done any of these things before, except sacrificing animals; it was a wholly new experience to them. 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 not question these strange instructions, but instead trusted in God and obeyed Him.
5. THE BLOOD OF JESUS BRINGS IMMEDIATE DELIVERANCE
The Passover brought them immediate deliverance. They did not have to perform religious rituals and wait for a few days or months. They did not have to fast. I remember going to a prayer meeting, where the preacher gave me a long list of things to do to get saved – fast for three days, God will display all your sins like on a TV screen, take that list to God, be remorseful, cry and ask for God’s forgiveness. Quite contrary to the fasting advice that is popular, God tells them to eat after sprinkling the blood on their doorway. Deliverance was immediate. Once the blood was shed and smeared on their doorposts and lintels, they were from that very instant protected from death.
6. THE BLOOD OF JESUS MARKS THE BEGINNING OF A NEW LIFE
God instructed them to eat the roasted meat along with unleavened bread. Leaven is usually take from old dough. Unleavened bread means ‘totally new dough without any trace of the old’. Unleavened bread was freshly made bread with only new ingredients. This is to signify that their life was starting afresh; this was a new beginning – no more a slave, no more in bondage, no need to fear; they were under God’s protection and in His care. God told them to henceforth consider it as the new month, the beginning of their new year. The Passover was a beginning of a new life. When a person accepts Jesus, it is the beginning of a new life.
7. THE BLOOD OF JESUS GIVES ASSURANCE OF CONTINUED LOVE, GUIDANCE AND PROTECTION
The blood not only saved them from death on that day, it protected them till the very end. The blood that differentiated them on that day from the Egyptians continued to differentiate between them and others. When they left Egypt, Pharaoh followed them into the desert. On one side they were accosted by Pharaoh and his armies, on the other they faced the Red sea. But they were delivered by God’s mighty hand. The Red sea that opened up to let the Israelites walk through, closed up and drowned the Egyptians, because the Israelites were different, they were blood-marked. In the wilderness, where they had neither food nor water, God provided them manna from heaven and water from a rock, because they were blood-bought. The Israelites were also protected from enemies, because they were blood-marked. When Balaam was hired to curse the Israelites, he was unable to so because they had the protection of the blood. The promise that God gave while giving them instructions for the Passover that not even dog would wag its tongue again them came true now; Balaam could not say anything against them.
Protection by the blood is not just a past event, but a present reality. The blood of Jesus is not just for the day of salvation; it continually gives you love, protection, and guidance.
8. THE BLOOD OF JESUS PROMISES THE FULNESS OF GOD’S BLESSING
The blood of the lamb was a pledge that just like God delivered them from Egypt, He would also take them to the Promised Land, where they would live in the fullness of God’s blessing. Our promised land today is life in Christ. A life in Christ with the fullness of all of God’s blessing – salvation, forgiveness of sins, freedom from sin, healing, joy, prosperity, success and every good thing is promised to us through the blood of Jesus.