When outlining to the Israelites God’s provision for their deliverance from Egypt, Moses told them they were to apply the blood of the Passover lamb to the side posts and lintel of the doors of their houses. This would be their protection when the Destroyer went through the land of Egypt slaying every firstborn of man and beast.
This event is the basis upon which Christians claim their salvation by the blood of Christ, whom the apostle Paul calls “our Passover” (1 Cor. 5:7). In the New Testament, much emphasis is placed on the blood of Christ by which we are saved, and rightly so.
John calls us to give all glory “to Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood” (Rev. 1:5).
Peter reminds us that we were not redeemed with corruptible things like gold or silver from our futile way of life, “but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Pt. 1:19).
Paul also emphasizes the redemption that is ours through Christ, “in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” Eph. 1:7). Paul surely has the Passover in mind when he teaches that, “much more then, being justified by His blood we shall be saved from wrath through Him” (Rom.5:9).
But important as this is, let us remember that in addition to this application of the blood to the doorposts of their houses, Moses gave two other injunctions which the people were to keep. (See Exodus Ch. 12).
They were to keep a feast of unleavened bread seven days.
And the same night in which they applied the blood of the Passover lamb to their doorposts with hyssop, they were to remain in their houses and eat that same lamb.
What is more, they were told there were to be no leftovers. If any of the lamb remained till the next morning, they were to burn it.
All these aspects of the Passover are significant; not one can be neglected. I say significant—meaning they were signs pointing to a greater reality. The blood we have already touched on. The unleavened bread speaks of a walk “in sincerity and truth,” as Paul explains (1 Cor. 5:8). We must be genuine; we must walk the talk, or we do despite to the blood of Christ and the Spirit of grace (Heb. 10:29).
And we must partake of this Lamb. Applying the blood does not stand alone and will not produce a working salvation in the person who is not also taking up the cross and sharing this Lamb’s sufferings. Those who think they have been saved by the blood of the Lamb, but who then give themselves to life in this world and evade His sufferings… they are deceiving themselves.
The Passover lamb was to be roasted in fire and thus eaten; it could not be eaten raw, or boiled in water. It had to be touched by fire, “his head with his legs, and with the purtenance (the innards) thereof” (Ex. 12:9). That is to say, both inside and out, this lamb had to go into the fire. And the Israelites were to partake of this lamb.
So with us. This must become our own diet, too. The fires of the Cross must become our own Christian experience—inside and out.
And we must see this for what it is—the highest of privileges.
For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake (Phil. 1:29).
The word given here has the thought of a gracious privilege. We aren’t seeing right when we view the cross in our lives as an unwanted burden, and take it up reluctantly, with heavy heart. We must, as it were, cultivate a taste for Lamb.
We must partake of the Lamb. And we must do so today… or should I say tonight—that is, during this time of darkness our world is now enshrouded in. Christians the world over are suffering with the Lamb of God in this night… and are longing for morning.
That morning is nigh at hand. The night is far spent, the day is at hand.
What about you and me? For, when that day dawns… when morning comes, resurrection morning… it will be too late to share in Christ’s sufferings anymore. Too late.
And those who have not suffered with the Lamb of God will have wasted their lives in this world.