Over the next two days we will consider the key theological images and themes present in the Passover story of Exodus 12. Blood is our chief consideration today: why was it necessary, from where does it come, how is it applied, and what was the result. Looking through the chapter we read that a household was to take some of the blood from its slaughtered lamb and apply it to their doorposts and lintel (v7), applied with a bunch of hyssop (v22), as a sign for them (v13), resulting in the Lord’s judgment passing over them (vv13, 23).
The bible affirms the importance of blood, and its necessity for atonement. Blood was shed by God to cover Adam and Eve following their sin (Gen. 3:21); and Moses established, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life. (Leviticus 17:11)” In the New Testament we read, “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. (Hebrews 9:22)” The blood came from a particular source: a male lamb without blemish (v5). The blood is applied with hyssop consistent with the atoning and cleansing rites established by Moses (see: Lev. 14:4,6,51,52; Numbers 19:6,18). The Lord honoured his promise that terrible evening, and the sacrificial blood was for all time to be a sign of God’s merciful provision!
Something to Understand:
The blood was the preeminent sign to Israel that first Passover. Instructed to stay in their homes, protected by the blood of an innocent, particular sacrifice – the Passover lamb, they would be reminded of God’s gracious redemption. They didn’t earn or merit the rescue; they were delivered by the mercy of God, through the instrument of his choosing. As for you, whose blood will be shed for your sin? Will you trust the voice of John the Baptist who said of Jesus some 1400 years after that first Passover, “Behold the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. John 1:29”