Selective protection from the blood of a lamb saved God’s people in Egypt when he destroyed the evil community oppressing them, and also saves us.
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, 2 “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. 3 Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lambfor his family, one for each household. 4 If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbour, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. 5 The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats.6 Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight.7 Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. 8 That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. 9 Do not eat the meat raw or boiled in water, but roast it over a fire—with the head, legs and internal organs. 10 Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it. 11 This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s Passover.
12 “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.
14 “This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord—a lasting ordinance. 15 For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel. 16 On the first day hold a sacred assembly, and another one on the seventh day. Do no work at all on these days, except to prepare food for everyone to eat; that is all you may do.
17 “Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. 18 In the first month you are to eat bread made without yeast, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day. 19 For seven days no yeast is to be found in your houses. And anyone, whether foreigner or native-born, who eats anything with yeast in it must be cut off from the community of Israel. 20 Eat nothing made with yeast. Wherever you live, you must eat unleavened bread.”
21 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. 22 Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. None of you shall go out of the door of your house until morning. 23 When the Lord goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.
Cancer is a terrible disease where abnormal cells develop in body tissue. The bad cells multiply and spread, invading the entire body, causing pain and destruction wherever they take hold.
Medical science has made progress with treating cancer with numerous chemotherapeutic and radiotherapy regimes that destroy cancer cells. The trouble with most treatments is that healthy cells are invariably damaged together with the cancer cells causing the unpleasant side effects, not to mention the hair loss.
One area of cancer research is related to selective protection of normal tissue, i.e., how can we protect good cells while destroying cancer cells? This type of treatment has already started; when we do it well we will destroy the cancer cells while selectively protecting all the good healthy ones.
In our reading, evil had invaded Egypt just like a cancer and God saw how his people were suffering. God, through Moses, sent various plagues to prompt Pharaoh to free the Israelites, but Pharaoh stubbornly resisted. So God decided on radical destruction of all of the first born in the land, but needed a way to offer selective protection to the people of Israel.
God’s mark of protection was the blood of a lamb. Blood painted on the door, selectively protected the Israelites from God’s radical destruction of evil. The plan worked, the Israelites were unharmed and were free to leave Egypt the next day. God had again saved his people.
So how is this relevant to us? We know throughout the Old Testament, blood sacrifices covered over sin and protected God’s people. This is still true today, but fortunately, we don’t need to sacrifice animals or paint blood on our doors. Jesus came as the Lamb of God and at the cross shed his blood to protect us. All we have to do is ask for his protection and his blood will mark us as protected, just as the lamb’s blood on the door protected the Israelites. We can live securely in the knowledge that we are selectively protected. When on the world is rid of evil, we will be saved as one of God’s people.
Head: Think of Christians in a community and how they are all selectively protected by God with a ‘mark’ of the blood of Jesus.
Heart: How does it make you feel to ask for or accept this blood sacrifice given by Jesus?
Hands: Is there anyone you want to share the protection with? If so, think of how you can pray for them and develop a relationship with them.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I live in a world where there is evil around me invading my life just as cancer invades normal tissue. I don’t want to be part of it and ask for forgiveness for the times I am caught up in doing things that are sinful. I pray for the protection and forgiveness that comes from the blood of Jesus on my life, as someone you recognise as belonging to you. Help me walk out into the community with the hope, assurance and love that comes from having your protection. In Christ’s name. Amen
A song to listen to: Gracious Redeemer Hayley Alexander – Living Church Creek Road
This Grow Daily was originally posted as part of the Bible in 10 series in 2017. During the School Holidays we take the opportunity to look back at the best of Grow Dailys over the years.