|Behold, the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world!|
The story of the first Passover meal is one familiar to Jews and Christians alike. It is the story of the Israelites in bondage to the Egyptians and the leadership of Moses to set them free, as he had been directed by God, the “I AM.”
The final refusal of Pharaoh to release the Israelites to leave and worship their God in the wilderness has been met with a declaration through Moses that the Angel of Death would visit the land of Egypt that night. Across the land the first born of every family and every animal would be killed. The only protection that could be accessed would be through the shedding of the blood of a single innocent lamb and the application of that blood to the doorframe of a family’s home.
This well-known story, which resulted in the final release of the Israelites after the great cry of grief and mourning arose from the Egyptians that were struck by Death that night, is an amazing picture of Grace. Yes, judgment also, but more-so the simplicity and all-covering aspect of the grace that God offers through the Blood of the Lamb. Just as the blood of an innocent lamb protected those who chose, by faith, to apply it to their doorposts, so it is with the Blood of the One and Only, True Lamb of God, the Blood of Christ.
There is no requirement given to the Israelites in regards to penance or of righteous behavior in order to receive the protection from Death’s sword. The cruel father, the foolish son, the lying wife, the selfish sister and the innocent toddler all received the same full protection, in the same manner, by the application of the blood. No one could boast of the favor that God had shown them over another, for their basis of salvation was not merited by anything more than their act of faith and obedience to his one requirement – to apply and trust in the blood to protect them.
The same is true in Christianity. There is nothing beyond our accepting and trusting in the Blood of Christ to ‘save’ us from the death that has been decreed to strike us all as judgment for the sin that dwells in us all. There is no combination of good deeds or good words with the Blood of Christ to gain that salvation. And, in the same way as in that night in Egypt, ALL who trust in the Blood shall be saved – the liar, the cruel, the selfish, the foolish and the wise.
I have no doubt that as the Israelites heard the wail of grief go up around them, that they bowed in humble gratitude to their God, knowing that their slavemasters were no more deserving of judgment than themselves; understanding in their hearts that only by the mercy of their God had they been provided a means of protection and salvation.
At this time of remembering the death and resurrection of Christ, may we be especially conscious of the grace and mercy that has been afforded us through the voluntary shedding of innocent blood. Without the Blood of Christ, all the penance, begging for mercy and right living would be of no avail. It is only the innocent Blood that has been applied to the doorposts of your heart that shields you from the final judgment that has been decreed. Trust only in that Blood and the mercy which it has purchased on your behalf, and as you do, bow in humble worship and thanksgiving to our God.