Sheltered Under the Blood

(Exodus 12:13) “The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; 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.”

        Have you recently stopped to consider what happened to the Israelites and what they did on the night that the Destroying Angel passed through the land of Egypt to slay the firstborn of the Egyptians. While the firstborn in Egypt died the first born of the Israelites were protected by the blood of the lambs without spot or blemish that has been splashed upon the tops and on the sides of the door posts of their houses. They were spared because they sheltered under the blood. This teaches us about the Blood of the Lamb of God our Lord Jesus the Messiah of whom Paul writes; “For the Messiah, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed.” (1 Corinthians 5:7b) and it is His atoning blood that will protect us in the day of God’s wrath. As it is also written; Therefore, since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from wrath through Him!” (Romans 5:9)

       When you repented of your sin and believed on the Lord Jesus to cleanse you and to save you from its power, God pardoned you on the basis of the shed blood of His Son. (Ephesians 1:7) God Himself declared you to be righteous in His sight, even though you know and God knows that you were a great sinner and rebel in His sight and by nature and birth a child of wrath. (Ephesians 2:3) However, you have now been acquitted of all charges laid against you in God’s law court. You have been justified by the faith that produces obedience to God and to His commandments. (Romans 1:5; 16:26) As blood washed saints our obedience is not perfect yet the desire of our heart will always be to obey Him by seeking to obey His Word with all of our heart and relying upon the power of the Holy Spirit to enable us to do it. (Romans 8:13)

       Now on the night of the Passover we notice several things about the Israelites. Let’s read the text… (Exodus 12:7-11) “Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 8 They shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 9 Do not eat any of it raw or boiled at all with water, but rather roasted with fire, both its head and its legs along with its entrails. 10 And you shall not leave any of it over until morning, but whatever is left of it until morning, you shall burn with fire. 11 Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste—it is the Lord’s Passover.”   What did the Israelites do?

1. They were to put their faith in God and in the blood of the lamb to protect them from the wrath of God.

        In doing this they were protected from the wrath of God upon sin. This act pointed to the work of the cross. Our only hope as believers is to completely trust in the Lord Jesus and in His shed blood to atone for our sin and cleanse us from it all. Anything or anyone else will not suffice to make us right with God or protect us from the wrath to come. For it is also written; “For by grace (unmerited and unearned favour) you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

2. They were to eat the flesh of the animal roasted with fire and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs and to make sure it was all consumed.

a. Fire has to do with refining. Through the work of the cross the Lord purifies us and makes us fit to enter the Kingdom of God. As it is also written: “Without holiness no one shall see the LORD” (Hebrews 12:14b). We cannot live in sin and expect to be taken to heaven. We are to lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily besets us and run the race God has set out for our lives with perseverance while fixing our eyes only upon the Lord Jesus the author and perfector of our faith. (Hebrews 12:1-3) What He starts He intends to finish. Our faith in God is the only way to please Him. (Hebrews 11:6) It is a faith of expectancy.

b. The unleavened bread represents a life that is free from the power of sin and false teaching and hypocrisy (all represented by leaven). If we want to walk with God then we need to keep short accounts with Him. While we do not make a practice of sin or live a wilfully sinful life there will be times when we do sin and at such times we need to fly to that fountain opened for uncleanliness and sin. (Zechariah 13:1) The blood of the Messiah will not only cleanse us from all sin when we confess it and renounce it, but keep us clean continuously as we walk in obedience to the light of God’s Word. (1 John 1:7-9) If we do sin we have an advocate with the Father. Our Lord Jesus, the righteous one who has the ear of His Father advocates on our behalf in God’s courtroom where He sits with His Heavenly Council. (1 John 2:1-2) (Psalm 82:1)

c. The bitter herbs speak of the bitterness of the cross that the Lord Jesus tasted. It was a “bitter cup” He drank on our behalf. In the Garden of Gethsemane, just before He was arrested and ultimately crucified, He asked His Father to take this cup from Him as it would be the bitterest experience of His life. In all of eternity He had never seen separated from His Father nor experienced the weight of our sin and its penalty upon His shoulders. (Isaiah 53:4-6) He knew His fellowship with the Father would be severed as He hung on the cross yet He went to that old rugged cross with the joy set before Him of seeing multitudes saved by what He would accomplish. (Hebrews 12:2) He knew He would be raised to life again and His fellowship with the Father restored for all of eternity. It was His love for us that kept Him nailed to that cross.

d. The roasted flesh was to be totally consumed and any remains burnt with fire. This speaks of a total consecration to the Lord unreservedly without any reservations. As it is written; “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men. It instructs us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live sensible, upright, and godly lives in the present age, as we await the blessed hope and glorious appearance of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:11-12) In the Old Testament the fire of the Lord only fell when the whole of the sacrifice was laid on the altar.

3. They were to have their loins girded, their sandals on their feet and their staff in their hands and were to eat the meal in haste.

a. The girding of their loins meant that their long or loose garments were to be tucked into their belts around their waists so that they would not be hindered in their flight from Egypt. As believers we must make sure there is nothing hindering our walk with God and that we are prepared to leave here when the Lord comes back for us. What bride would not be clean and dressed for her intended husband when he comes to marry her? She would have been making herself ready. The bride of the Lord Jesus, being His Body the faithful Church, will be ready when He comes for her at His Second Coming.

b. The sandals on their feet showed their readiness to flee from Egypt and not to be lingering there. As believers we need to be ready to go with the Lord when He comes. We are to stay watchful and sober in spiritual matters. We are not to be attached to this world or to the things of this world but ready to go at a moment’s notice at the sound of the last trumpet blast! Remember Lot’s wife. She had been told not to look back but even as she was escaping the city she looked back and was lost. We must be ready for the Lord’s return and be keeping ourselves unspotted by the world and clothed with the garments of salvation and righteousness. (Isaiah 61:10) (James 1:27)

c. The Staff in their hands represented God’s Word. The Word of God was the weapon they would need to travel through the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land. As believers we are to be holding on firmly to the Word of God as this is the spiritual weapon we need to pull down spiritual strongholds and fight the world, the flesh and the devil as we pass though the wilderness of this life on our way to heaven. There are spiritual strongholds in our lives and in the lives of others that need to be pulled down or demolished. (2 Corinthians 10:4) Did not King David say; “Your Rod and Staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4) We have hope and comfort through the scriptures. (Romans 15:4) As believers we have three powerful spiritual weapons at our disposal. These are the blood of Jesus, the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. Their power is released with the words of our mouth. (Revelation 12:11)

d. The meal eaten in haste reminded the Israelites not to linger or to dally around in Egypt but to be ready and intensely desiring to leave Egypt. As believers we are to be anticipating the Lord’s return to rescue us from this present evil age. (Galatians 1:4) We are not to be attached to this world or to the things of this world. If we are citizens of heaven then we are aliens and strangers in this world and to the world’s way of thinking and its value systems. When we leave this world we take nothing of it with us. Job had it right even when he lost his family and his possessions. God’s Word tells us what he did. “Then Job stood up, tore his robe, and shaved his head. He fell to the ground and worshipped, saying: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.” In all this, Job did not sin or charge God with wrongdoing.”(Job 1:20-22)

To Sum up:

       As we see the Day of the Lord approaching we need to be asking ourselves these questions;  Are we sheltering under the blood of the Messiah by faith and trusting in Him alone to save us from this present evil age? Are we prepared to get rid of the leaven in our lives, those weights and sins that so easily beset us? Are we willing to remove anything and everything that has been hindering our daily walk with the LORD? Are we willing to stay spiritually alert and be ready to go out to meet Jesus when He comes back?  Are we set on obeying the Word of God and following hard after his commandments every day? Are we staying free for the entanglements, the pleasure, the pursuits, the ambitions and the desires of the world namely the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life?  Are we eagerly anticipating the Lord’s return?

        Right now you may be feeling the weight of sin and defilement from the world.  You may be conscious of leaven in your life. You may even have some apathy towards the Lord’s return. If this is your case then by faith be willing to lay aside that leaven of the weight and sin and spiritual indolence that so easily besets us with the help of the blessed Holy Spirit. Once again, by faith, lay hold of the blood and righteousness of the Lord Jesus. Come to the blood for cleansing. Do not delay. Do it now and God will receive you.

       He welcomes sinners with open arms and all of heaven rejoices when a sinner repents of their sins, more so His own children who come to Him in simple, child-like trust. And He has surely promised; “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) And again it is written; “How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the Eternal Spirit offered up Himself without blemish to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the Living God.” (Hebrews 9:14)

       While the children of Israel were aware of the awesome power of God’s judgement that was coming upon Egypt and some were even feeling anxious they obeyed the Lord and by faith and expectancy of deliverance, sheltered under the atoning blood of the lamb without spot and blemish. God proved true to His Word when He said to the Israelites; “The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; 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.”  If you hold fast to Him He will say the same thing to you! You will be sheltered under the blood!