28 It was by faith that Moses commanded the people of Israel to keep the Passover and to sprinkle blood on the doorposts so that the angel of death would not kill their firstborn sons.
Hebrews 11:28 (NLT)
Welcome to the nineteenth installment on my study of faith from Hebrews 11. I don’t know what is wrong with me. I just feel like writing on and on. Am I addicted to writing or what?
Let us go through the background story of the above verse. Moses escaped Egypt because he committed murder. He settled in the countryside with a sheep herding family. He worked there, got married and thought that was the way he was going to spend his entire life. He might have forgotten his destiny but God did not. God called him to lead his people out of bondage. To make it short, Moses demanded the Pharaoh to let his people go. The Pharaoh refused and resulted in God unleashing 10 plagues in the land of Egypt.
In the first 9 plagues the Israelites were automatically immune and therefore unaffected. They went along minding their own business while the Egyptians were suffering. However, such privilege was not available in the tenth. They did not have automatic protection and must do something to protect themselves. Why is that so? What is so special of this plague that makes it different from the first 9?
Hebrews 11:28 highlights this event and links it to faith. Let us look into it in greater detail to find out more. According to the above verse, the angel of death executed this plague. The angel of death specialized in executing death. What causes death in the first place?
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23 (NLT)
Death is caused by sin. Why were the Israelites not exempted from this death? They were equally sinful as the Egyptians. God did not deliver them because they had lesser sins than the Egyptians. God delivered them because he remembers his covenant with Abraham. This is good news for us. We can go to God and expect to be delivered from our troubles even if our past lives are imperfect, as long as we are relying on our covenant with God that is sealed with the Blood Of Jesus at the Cross of Calvary. Our faith should be based on Jesus’ works at the Cross and not on our past lives.
The angel of death only knows sins. As long as there is sin, there will be death. The angel of death cannot tell the difference between the Israelites and the Egyptians. The Israelites will suffer the same calamity as the Egyptians unless they knew what to do. What they need is a substitute for their sins. God told them to sprinkle blood on the doorposts. Why blood? Shedding of blood represents the judgement of sins.
When the angel of death sees the blood at the doorpost, he will see judgement being executed in this household. Anyone who has been judged cannot be judge again. Therefore, the angel of death will not enter the house and pass over it. Thus, the “Passover”.
This is a representation of what Jesus has done for us. When he died at the Cross, he took all the penalties of our sins. If you accept Jesus as your savior, you are spiritually sprinkling his blood at your doorposts. As the angel of death sees the blood, he will pass over your house. Eternal lives are yours to claim. We don’t have to fear the judgement of sins anymore because all our sins had been judged at the Cross 2,000 years ago. No matter what condemnations the devils hurl at us, we shall have no fear because we have blood at our doorposts.
Through the blood at our doorposts we have the assurance that our God is always with us. He is always on our side.
In addition, Hebrews 11:28 speaks of death of the firstborn. Why firstborn? Jesus is God’s firstborn. Therefore the entire event was planned by God to give an early message that he will give his firstborn Son to pay the penalty of our sins.
This is our God. He is full of love and mercy. He does not condemns us, he redeems us. His desire is not to condemn us for our sins but to condemn our sins for us. At the Cross, Jesus took all our sins with him. As he was condemned, all our sins were condemned along with him. If you have received Jesus as your savior, you have his blood at your doorpost. You can look forward confidently for a wonderful future God has for you.