The Blood That Satisfies
The Bible is full of epochal events, those grand, earth-altering instances that stand out as high points of redemptive history. In the Old Testament, no event is so dramatic and game-changing as Israel’s redemption from Egypt.
In redeeming Israel, God pulled out all the stops. He turned the Nile River to blood. He darkened the sun so that the land was engulfed in perpetual night. He sent an infestation of frogs. If the Egyptians thought that was tolerable, He sent an infestation of gnats (that would have gotten my attention). For those who thought the gnats were not that bad, He sent an infestation of flies (okay, I give up). In all, God sent ten devastating, debilitating, and deathly plagues.
The last plague was the most horrific. God swore to kill the firstborn of every creature in Egypt, including the house of Pharaoh (Ex. 11:4 ff.). So awesome would be the judgment that even the firstborn of Israel would perish unless the Israelites obeyed the commands of God.
To avert the judgment, God commanded every household of Israel to select a male lamb without blemish, kill it, and smear the blood on the doorposts of the house. Then God said: “The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. 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” (Ex. 12:13).
We must remember that God’s wrath was not against Egypt alone for its sin and idolatry, but against Israel as well. God is not a respecter of persons when it comes to the judgment of sin. His judgment was going to wreak havoc not only on the Egyptians but also on the people of Israel—unless they figuratively covered themselves in blood by literally covering their doorposts with it.
What did the blood of the lambs do? It turned away God’s wrath and appeased His anger against sin. It satisfied His justice. The blood of the lambs caused God to pass over each house—for a time. The blood satisfied on the night of the Passover, but each year the sacrifices of the lambs had to be made anew. Every year, the sounds of the slaughter of lambs for sacrifices could be heard. For this reason, Israel always longed for an unblemished male lamb who would take way sin once and for all; the One about whom God would say finally, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you forever.”
If you are in Christ, you live because of the blood of the Lamb of God.
When the Lord Jesus Christ came on the scene, He was announced as the Lamb of God who not only takes away our sin (John 1:29) but also turns away God’s wrath against us. In fact, 1 Corinthians 5:7 states it plainly to us: “Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.”
The Israelites lived because of the blood of the lambs that were slain. If you are in Christ, you live because of the blood of the Lamb of God. In the blood of Christ, we have what we lost in Adam, namely, life. The shedding of our Savior’s blood was significant not for the blood itself but for what it represents. It represents the perfect, sinless life of Christ poured out unto death for us (Isa. 53:12).
Yet, if all that needed to happen was for Jesus to shed some blood, He could have pricked His finger and placed some blood on the cross or let it spill on the ground, and all would have been well. His precious blood signified His precious life and His precious death. Consequently, the redeemed do not receive a blood transfusion from God. We receive a life transfusion—His death for our death, His life for our life. It all is according to His precious blood, which satisfies God’s righteous requirements for life and justice.
An excerpt from Blood Work by Anthony Carter.