Doors of the Bible, Part Three, The Passover Door

We install locks and security cameras on our doors to keep intruders from coming in. But what if the intruder was not some crafty thief but was God? What would keep God from coming in? As we continue with our series Doors of the Bible, tonight’s door is the Passover door. And we see that is was blood that kept God from coming in. Our Biblical text comes from the twelfth chapter of Exodus:

[1] The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, [2] “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you. [3] Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household. [4] And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbor shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb. [5] Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, [6] and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight.

[7] “Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. [8] They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it. [9] Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted, its head with its legs and its inner parts. [10] And you shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. [11] In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD’s Passover. [12] For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD. [13] The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.” Exodus 12:1-13

As it says, the people of Israel were to slaughter a year-old lamb without blemish, take its blood and put it on the doorposts and lintel of the doors of their houses. They were also instructed not to go out of their homes as the Lord passed through the land.

When the Lord went through the land of Egypt if he saw the blood on the door frames he passed over those houses and did not kill the firstborn in those houses. The blood, not any lock, would keep the Lord from coming in and killing the firstborn inside the house.

If he did not see any blood on the door frame he would kill the firstborn of both humans and animals in those houses. And this plague impacted every Egyptian household from the lowest servant all the way up to the house of pharaoh the king.

This was the last of ten plagues that the Lord sent on Egypt and by far the worst one. All the other plagues had affected the land, the water, the crops. This plague killed the children of the Egyptians. And it was all for the purpose of freeing the Israelites from their slavery to the Egyptians.

There is also a note in the text that on this night the Lord would not only strike down the firstborn of the Egyptians he would also execute judgment on all the gods of Egypt. The Egyptians, like so many other cultures across the ancient world, worshiped many gods. They would borrow freely from other countries and trade gods. And they trusted in these gods to save them. But on the night of the Passover, the one, true God, was going to execute judgment on all the gods of the Egyptians.

This final, deadly plague convinced pharaoh to free the Israelite slaves. It says that the Lord made the people of Egypt favorably disposed toward the Israelites. They even willingly gave the Israelites their gold and silver.

This Passover event was to be celebrated by the Israelites every year. In fact it was to be the highest celebration of the year. They did not have to put blood on the door frames of their houses every year but they celebrated with special foods and readings about the night that God set them free from Egypt.

Now that we live in New Testament times it is not the blood of animals that protects us from death. It is the blood of Jesus that protects us from God’s wrath. Because he shed his blood for us on the cross we are protected from the destroying wrath of God. We are set free from the threat of death.

The lambs that the Israelites were to select for the Passover were to be without blemish. So too, Jesus, our Savior was without blemish.

So if a lamb had a blemish, it got to go free. It would not be sacrificed. That is how it is with us. We are the ones with all the blemishes, with all the sins, but we get to go free while Jesus was sacrificed on the cross for our sins.

And just as the Passover was the highest point of the Jewish year, the celebration of Christ shedding his blood for us on the cross is the highlight of our year. And it is rightly celebrated with the greatest joy each year. The church year simply would not be complete without the annual celebration of our deliverance from sin, death and the devil through the blood that Jesus shed for us on the cross.

The Lord even instituted a special meal, the Lord’s Supper, to help us commemorate the once-for-all shedding of Jesus’ blood on the cross for our sins. In the Lord’s Supper we eat and drink the body and blood of our Lord that was given and shed for us for the forgiveness of our sins. And Jesus instituted this holy meal while he was celebrating the Passover meal with his disciples.

There were probably some skeptics that first Passover who wondered if a little blood smeared on the door frames would really save them from the angel of death. They soon found out that the Lord was serious, dead serious. Either you obeyed his instructions or you were burying your firstborn.

There are still today those who question whether the blood of Jesus is sufficient to save the world from all our sins. The Lord is completely serious when it comes to the blood of Christ being sufficient to save us from our sins. We can trust the blood of Jesus to save us from all evil.

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