So Jesus had arrived in Jerusalem – greeted by much excitement and fanfare. Jerusalem was a busy place this time of year as the Jewish people celebrated in remembrance of the first Passover in Egypt generations ago. That had been the night The Lord had released them from the captivity and oppression they had experienced under the Egyptians. Now as they witnessed the arrival of this Jesus, they anticipated the same physical freedom from Roman rule.
Would there be blood involved again? Should they prepare to sacrifice a lamb in order to use its blood to mark their homes as a sign that they were God’s chosen people? Would he once again pass through their midst – sparing only those whose homes were marked with the blood of the lamb?
It is amazing to me to see this in hindsight. To see that they had no idea that this Jesus was about to become the sacrificial lamb. That his blood was not going to be used to mark their homes, but rather their hearts. And that his blood was going to accomplish the ultimate freedom and the ultimate Passover. From sin and death. From eternal judgement.
And now the question is presented to each of us…this week and every day. Are our hearts marked with the blood of “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”? (John 1:29)
Moses had announced to Pharaoh, “This is what the Lord says: At midnight tonight I will pass through the heart of Egypt. All the firstborn sons will die in every family in Egypt, from the oldest son of Pharaoh, who sits on his throne, to the oldest son of his lowliest servant girl who grinds the flour. Even the firstborn of all the livestock will die. Then a loud wail will rise throughout the land of Egypt, a wail like no one has heard before or will ever hear again. But among the Israelites it will be so peaceful that not even a dog will bark. Then you will know that the Lord makes a distinction between the Egyptians and the Israelites. (Exodus 11:4-7 NLT)
Then Moses called all the elders of Israel together and said to them, “Go, pick out a lamb or young goat for each of your families, and slaughter the Passover animal. Drain the blood into a basin. Then take a bundle of hyssop branches and dip it into the blood. Brush the hyssop across the top and sides of the doorframes of your houses. And no one may go out through the door until morning. For the Lord will pass through the land to strike down the Egyptians. But when he sees the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe, the Lord will pass over your home. He will not permit his death angel to enter your house and strike you down. “Remember, these instructions are a permanent law that you and your descendants must observe forever. When you enter the land the Lord has promised to give you, you will continue to observe this ceremony. Then your children will ask, ‘What does this ceremony mean?’ And you will reply, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, for he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt. And though he struck the Egyptians, he spared our families.’” (Exodus 12:21-27 NLT)
For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but he has now revealed him to you in these last days. (1 Peter 1:18-20 NLT)