Why Did God Save the Israelites and Not the Egyptians on Passover Night? (Do We Earn Salvation By Our Goodness, or by Unearned Favor?) #61
Happy Lord’s Day, friends! As has become our habit today’s pod will be short and sweet. Lot’s of Scripture, not much commentary. Our Bible passages for the day include Job 30, Luke 15, 1 Corinthians 16 and our focus passage Exodus 12, which is the Passover passage. Notice the most important passages:
7 They must take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses where they eat them… 13 The blood on the houses where you are staying will be a distinguishing mark for you; when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No plague will be among you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt… 21 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go, select an animal from the flock according to your families, and slaughter the Passover animal. 22 Take a cluster of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and brush the lintel and the two doorposts with some of the blood in the basin. None of you may go out the door of his house until morning. 23 When the Lord passes through to strike Egypt and sees the blood on the lintel and the two doorposts, he will pass over the door and not let the destroyer enter your houses to strike you.Excerpts from Exodus 12
As a reminder, God had sent Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, to tell him to let the Israelites go from their slavery. Pharaoh, refused again and again – even in the face of terrible supernatural plagues that God was sending His way. So God finally sends the final plague, which would cause the death of the firstborn in every house in the country of Egypt – EXCEPT for the houses with blood on their doors. Let’s read the Exodus passage, and come back for a discussion.
The meme/graphic above makes the entire point of this passage in such a powerful way: God’s Angel of Destruction didn’t spare the houses where good people lived – nor the houses where the Israelites lived- he spared ONLY the houses where there was blood painted over the doorposts. This was not a salvation by merit, nor a salvation by ethnicity, but a salvation by blood – which points us to the blood of Jesus. Allow me to quote from two Spurgeon sermons on this very topic:
MY own sight of the precious blood is for my comfort; but it is the Lord’s sight of it which secures my safety. Even when I am unable to behold it, the Lord looks at it, and passes over me because of it. If I am not so much at ease as I ought to be, because my faith is dim, yet I am equally safe, because the Lord’s eye is not dim, and he sees the blood of the great Sacrifice with steady gaze. What a joy is this!C. H. Spurgeon, The Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith: Being Precious Promises Arranged for Daily Use with Brief Comments (New York: American Tract Society, 1893), 36.
The Lord sees the deep inner meaning, the infinite fulness of all that is meant by the death of his dear Son. He sees it with restful memory of justice satisfied, and all his matchless attributes glorified. He beheld creation in its progress, and said, “It is very good”; but what does he say of redemption in its completeness? What does he say of the obedience even unto death of his Well-beloved Son? None can tell his delight in Jesus, his rest in the sweet savour which Jesus presented when he offered himself without spot unto God.
Now rest we in calm security. We have God’s Sacrifice and God’s Word to create in us a sense of perfect security. He will, he must, pass over us, because he spared not our glorious Substitute. Justice joins hands with love to provide everlasting salvation for all the blood-besprinkled ones.
“And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt ” Exodus 12:13, King James Version
There are some, as we have said, who desire a token/good luck charm of their safety from man, a poor thing when they get it, and not worth asking for; and there are others who desire it from God in the form of a sign or a wonder, or else they will not believe… but God says to all those who desire a token for good, “The blood shall be to you for a token.” What more can we desire? All the squadrons of the angelic host could not better assure us if each one brought a message from heaven. The best of all evidences of divine love is the cross. The strongest of all assurances of safety, the surest of all pledges of favour, the best token of grace that a man can possibly behold is the sprinkled blood, by which he is cleansed from sin. “The blood shall be to you for a token.”
Before we dive into this subject, let us notice that the blood which was a token to God’s people was not merely that which had been shed by the sacrifice of an unblemished lamb, but blood which had been caught in a basin, had been taken by the person at the head of the household in his own hand, and recognised as poured out for him. Then the branch of hyssop was laid to soak in the basin, and afterwards the blood was sprinkled upon the lintel and the door-posts; this blood thus appropriated was the token. By… faith we must take Christ to be ours; we must, in a word, believe in the atonement which he has made, for an atonement which is not believed in is no atonement to us. Our Lord Jesus laid down his life for us, but he that does not believe in him shall by no means partake of any of the blessings of his death.
The sprinkled blood preserved the houses of the Israelites; and it is the blood of Jesus accepted by us, relied upon, and applied to our consciences which delivers us from death. This sprinkling, moreover, was done in a very public manner; they stained the frame and the two side posts, so that every passer-by might see it, yes, and must see it. So salvation is premised not alone to believing, but to confession with the mouth. “He that with his heart believeth, and with his mouth makes confession of him shall be saved;” and so the grand commission at the end of the gospel of Mark puts it, not “he that believeth shall be saved,” but “he that believeth and is baptised shall be saved;” for if we believe in Christ we must not be ashamed of him. Shame about faith would argue insincerity of faith. True faith in the Saviour is so potent a principle of our lives that it must be seen whether we publish it or not, and we must be willing that it should be seen: yes, this should be the most visible point in our lives, our glory and our delight, that we do indeed believe in the Saviour Jesus Christ.
Oh that every one of you, my dear hearers, used the cross for its proper purpose! I grieve that any among you should need me to ask you—The Lamb is slain but you have never caught the blood, you have never sprinkled it with the hyssop branch of faith, and consequently you are not saved. Oh that each one of you could say, “My faith is resting in the substitutionary work of Jesus.”C. H. Spurgeon, “The Sacred Love-Token,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 21 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1875), 481–482. slightly modernized.