Staying in the house

Exodus 12:21-23 “Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you.”

In the passage above we have an excerpt from the ritual of the Passover that was instituted by God as the Jews languished under slavery in Egypt. It was the sacrifice of the lambs and the application of the blood on the lintels and doorposts of each house that would be salvation for those who obeyed. It was by these acts that they would escape the plague of death that “the destroyer” would bring into every home in that land. It is in the Passover that we have one of the greatest Old Testament shadows of the coming Lamb of God who would die to take away the sin of the world.

It was the death of Jesus that would make a way of escape from the eternal death that awaits all those who die in their slavery of sin. Praise God that just as in Egypt, God has made a provision for each one of us from the plague of death that is the wages of sin (Romans 6:23). But in the ritual of the Passover, it is important to note that no aspect of it was extraneous. Each command associated with it had to be obeyed or the destroyer would touch that house. The lamb had to be slain, and the blood had to be applied to the lintel and doorposts with hyssop. It wasn’t enough just for the lamb to be slain. It was essential, but it wasn’t enough. The blood had to be applied. In addition, the people in that house had to remain inside until morning. To go outside, in spite of all the other things they had done, meant the Passover ritual would be of no effect.

And that’s exactly how it is for each and every one of us. The Lamb of God has been slain and His precious blood shed. However, for that blood to be of benefit to us, it must be applied to our lives. If we don’t believe that the blood that was shed is necessary for us, if we don’t think that it applies to us, if we don’t appropriate the provision that was made for us in a personal way, there will be no protection for us from the death angel in the end. That appropriation involves a confession that we need a sacrifice for our sin, because we are sinners. It involves a confession and belief that Jesus’ death on the cross was an all-sufficient sacrifice for our sin. And we need to receive that sacrifice by faith, believing that all these things are true and that they are for you and me, personally.

But what kind of belief is this? It’s an enduring belief, for that’s the nature of the faith that saves. Like the Israelites, who had to remain in the house until the death angel passed, true belief endures until the time of death. Many people make a show of belief for a time, but then walk away. Jesus spoke about this in the parable of the sower, where in three of the four cases the seed that was sown eventually  died (Matthew 13:1-23). The apostle John spoke about the same truth with the following words: “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us (1 John 2:19).” Conversely, just as those within the house at the time of the Passover remained safe if they held fast, so “we are his house, if indeed we hold fast (Hebrews 3:6).”

So, have you received, by faith, the death of the Passover Lamb for your sin? Have you applied the blood to yourself by faith, and are you believing more than anything that that blood that was shed for you has saved you, not from physical death, for we are all subject to that, but from the much more destructive spiritual death and the second death that is coming on those who have never been saved from it? If so, you can rest in the same security that the Israelites rested in that night the death angel came, for when the death angel comes to you, he will see the blood that’s been applied to your life and wonderfully pass over you. But if you are one who began well but later walked away, if you are trusting that that “faith” you once had will save you, although you’ve walked “out of the house,” remember the lesson of the Passover, where to neglect any part of the saving message brought no salvation in the end.

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