Only By The Blood of Christ

Exodus 11

God says to Israel, “Get ready to leave, Egypt is not your home.”

11:1 The Lord said to Moses, “Yet one plague more I will bring upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here.

So Moses said (to Pharaoh), “Thus says the Lord: ‘About midnight I will go out in the midst of Egypt, and every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the cattle. There shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there has never been, nor ever will be again. But not a dog shall growl against any of the people of Israel, either man or beast, that you may know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.’  And all these your servants shall come down to me and bow down to me, saying, ‘Get out, you and all the people who follow you.’ And after that I will go out.” And he went out from Pharaoh in hot anger.   Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not listen to you (and notice God’s use of Pharaoh’s sin), that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.” 

Ch.12

God restarts the calendar, saying, 2 “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you.  And with that God institutes the first Passover, as well as the perpetual memorial to God’s great salvation.  

Each man of a household is to select a young male lamb or goat without blemish, this is a picture of the promised Messiah, the Christ, The perfect and final sacrifice, Jesus.  

6 and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight.  Did you notice that, they were to all kill the lambs together, at the same time.  Like Communion, this is a corporate acknowledgement of the need of a sacrifice, a corporate acceptance of the provision of God.  

 7 “Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.  On this first Passover, salvation will come to those families with the blood of lambs on their doorposts.  This is a preview of the gospel.  Salvation comes, only to those covered by the blood of Jesus.  This covering comes only by God’s grace, as we truly believe in Christ as Lord and Savior.    

Notice that on this night, they must eat this meal with an urgency, in haste.  Judgement for Egypt is coming, and then deliverance for Israel.   

God said, 11 In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover.  

For Israel on that day, this was not yet a memorial feast.  It was literal salvation.  God said, 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. 

Notice that salvation comes through the application of the shed blood.  God says—

13 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.

29 At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock. 30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians. And there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where someone was not dead. 31 Then he summoned Moses and Aaron by night and said, “Up, go out from among my people, both you and the people of Israel; and go, serve the Lord, as you have said. 32 Take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone, and bless me also!” 33 The Egyptians were urgent with the people to send them out of the land in haste.

37 And the people of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children. 38 A mixed multitude also went up with them, and very much livestock, both flocks and herds. 39 And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough that they had brought out of Egypt, for it was not leavened, because they were thrust out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves. 40 The time that the people of Israel lived in Egypt was 430 years.

Ch. 13

So, as they were leaving—

19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones with you from here.” 20 And they moved on from Succoth and encamped at Etham, on the edge of the wilderness. 21 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. 22 The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people.

If you are not a follower of Christ, take special note of the urgency here.  The blood needed to be applied right away, with no delay.  Judgement was coming to them on that very night.  You do not know when it is coming for you.  

Acts 20

We see Paul, meeting with the pastors of the church in Ephesus.  He reminds them of the integrity with which he labored to equip them for the ministry, and how he modeled the priority of the preaching of the gospel.  

Paul knows that he will be arrested in Jerusalem, for the Holy Spirit had revealed that to him on a few occasions, and he tells these pastors, 24  I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. 

Paul was confident, that to that point, he had been faithful to God, saying, 26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, 27 for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.  Can you and I say that?  

Paul had been faithful to this point in his ministry, but notice he is not resting in that.  In v.24, Paul is saying that the value of his life’s work, is based, not on his accumulated accomplishments for the Lord, but on whether or not he finishes the course that God had set him on.  The same is true for you and me.  What you have done for the Lord, up to this point, is great.  But, unless you are going to die in the next few moments, it is not enough, you have not yet finished the course that God has given you to run.  

So, Paul warns these pastors, with a warning that is just as relevant for us today.  He said, 28 Pay careful attention to yourselvesand to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among younot sparing the flock30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them31 Therefore be alert

Do you see that?  Jesus purchased the Church by shedding His own blood, and twisted men are showing up, trying to steal away disciples of Jesus, wanting to make disciples for themselves.  Paul warns, “Be Alert!”  Did you notice the scariest part?  He’s talking to committed leaders of the Church, pastors of local congregations, and he said, 30  from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.  

We must always be alert.  Alert to the teachings of others, and no less alert to our own thinking about God, the gospel, and His word.  We must make sure that we are rightly aligned with the sound teaching of the Bible.  

Ch.21

Paul arrives in Jerusalem, and because of his teaching of the gospel, he is attacked and beaten by the crowd, he is then arrested by the authorities, and is given permission to address the people, and as we will see in Ch.22, Paul will use the opportunity to again speak of Christ. 

Are you faithful to the calling of God?  Are you running the race, are you determined to finish the course set before you?  Lets pray along with David—

Psalm 57

 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, 

for in you my soul takes refuge; 

       in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, 

till the storms of destruction pass by. 

     I cry out to God Most High, 

to God who fulfills his purpose for me. 

     He will send from heaven and save me; 

he will put to shame him who tramples on me. Selah 

       God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness! 

And as we prepare to sing unto the Lord‑

Psalm 59

16  But I will sing of your strength; 

I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. 

       For you have been to me a fortress 

and a refuge in the day of my distress. 

17    O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, 

for you, O God, are my fortress, 

the God who shows me steadfast love. 

From FBCP Bible Reading #21

~ by James M. Winslow on 2021/04/12.

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