"Blood of the Passover"
by Ted Larson
TO CHEW ON: "Now 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 the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt." Exodus 12:13
If you ever do house renovations or watch them on TV, you will know that all walls are not created equal. People who look at a fixer-upper with an eye to knocking down walls must do at least one thing before they get busy with the sledge hammer—check to see whether or not the wall they're planning to remove is load-bearing. If it is (i.e. supports parts of the house's basic structure) they know they can't remove it without compromising the soundness of the whole house.
Blood is that kind of load-bearing wall in Christianity. In today's reading we see the beginning of its importance in the Passover. It plays a key role in this ritual which God instituted through Moses just before the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt after 400 years of slavery.
The instruction about how it was to be used was particular. The blood of each household's sacrificed animal was to be painted on the sides and top of their entryway. God promised it would act as a barrier to "the plague" and "the destroyer." When the death angel saw the blood, he would pass over that doorway, as he was not allowed to enter that household to do his deadly task (Exodus 12:13,23).
The blood "wall" doesn't only provide a protection, but it does much more. Some of the things it supports, as seen through the Bible:
- Atonement - Exodus 30:10; Leviticus 17:11
- Liberation - Zechariah 9:11
- Pardon - Hebrews 9:7
- Cleansing - Hebrews 9:22.
We must never let the criticism that Christianity is too bloody cause us to look for ways we can remove that supporting "blood wall" from our faith.
PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for the rich images resident in the Passover story and especially the blood. Thank You for being my Passover lamb. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.