Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Back in Egypt
Back in Egypt a long, long time ago God did something with His people that we often remember during these days of Lent. As their days of slavery were winding down, there came the night of the tenth and final plague. All the others seemed like playschool before this one came down. This final one would mean the death of every first born in the land of Egypt as well as all the firstborn of the livestock. But when Moses told Pharaoh what God was about to do, the Egyptian ruler was more determined than ever not to bend to the demands of this Hebrew God.
The only problem was that every first born in the land of Egypt included the first born of the Hebrews. But, God had a plan to deliver and save his faithful people. According to the instructions given to Moses and then to the people, every Hebrew family was to take a year old unblemished lamb into their household on the tenth day of the month and slaughter it four days later. Four days. Just long enough for the children to get attached to it. When slaughtered, the meat was to provide a meal and the blood was to be spread over the doorpost as a sign that no judgment was to fall upon that house and its firstborn. The Hebrews were spared by the blood of the lamb on the doorpost of their homes.
The cross, too, is a sign of God's plan for the deliverance of His people. Once again, the cost of that deliverance was blood. But, this time it was not the blood of a four legged lamb, but the One John the Baptist had called, "the Lamb of God." (John 1:29) If the first deliverance in Egypt was costly, how much more costly was the one on Calvary. The Scripture speaks in many places about the work God has done for us through the blood of His Son. In the early days of the gospel, some found such a message offensive. Not much has changed. People still find it offensive and the blood of Jesus still provides deliverance for those of us who would surely die without it.