Necessary Blood 6

By R.C. Sproul

Let's look at a few of these images, going back to the Passover.  When God instructs the children of Israel to take the unblemished lamb or goat and take its blood and spread it on the doorposts of their houses, He says to them, 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.  Do you know what happened that night? 

In the most powerful kingdom on the face of the earth, in the land of Egypt, there was a scream. It was a primordial scream, a whaling that had never been heard before in the earth when suddenly the first born male of every family in Egypt was instantly slain, including the crown prince in the house of Pharaoh as well as the first born animal among their herds and among their flocks.  The whole night was pierced by the unceasing screams of those who had been visited by the angel of death. 

But in every Hebrew home, it was quiet and peaceful, and no first born son even missed a breath because when the angel of vengeance came across the land, when he saw the blood on the doorposts, the blood of the lamb without blemish that was there, he passed over them.  That event was so important that it became a memorial event for all generations, year after year, century after century.  Hebrews would gather in their homes and celebrate the Passover. 

When our Lord entered into His passion and His soul was sorrowful, even to death, before He went to Gethsemane to pray with such earnestness that drops of blood came from His forehead, that He said to His disciples, I earnestly desire to celebrate the Passover with you one more time before I die.  So the night before He was betrayed, our Lord sat down with His friends and He began to celebrate the Passover, and He went through the liturgy. 

But for the first time since the Passover was instituted, someone had the audacity to change the ritual.  When Jesus took bread, and He said, now, this is My body given for you.  After they had supped in like manner, He lifted the cup and He said, now, this is the cup of the New Covenant that is made through My blood shed for the remission of your sins so that Paul would later write that Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us.

But you see, this blood right didn't stop with the Passover.  We see it again perhaps even more clearly in the annual feast of Israel on the Day of Atonement.  You know what happened on the Day of Atonement.  There were several animals involved in that particular exercise. 

First of all, the High Priest who alone was able to enter into the Holy of Holies, and that only one day of the year, before He could do that had to go through an elaborate purification including offering a blood sacrifice for himself.  Then another animal was slain--a lamb or bull--and the High Priest took the blood through the veil into the Holy of Holies and sprinkled that blood on the Mercy Seat between the Cherubims. 

What's that all about?  The Mercy Seat was the throne of God.  It covered the law that was housed within it, the Ten Commandments, and so that offering was made to bring reconciliation by covering the Mercy Seat.  Now that part of the sacrifice is filled with meaning.