the Israelites were commanded to slaughter the Passover and daub its blood on the two sides and top of the doorway of their houses (Exod. 12:7). The LORD would then see the blood and “pass over” their dwellings during the plague of the death of the firstborn.
Based on this description, we might assume the blood was put on the outside of the door, though Rashi reasoned that it was placed on the inside, where they themselves could see it as a sign for them.
Indeed, after the blood was applied, the doors were shut and no one was permitted to leave the house until the following morning (Exod. 12:22).
- As the Torah clearly says: ‘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, when I strike the land of Egypt.’ ( 12:13)
The blood of the sacrifice was intended to be seen as a sign for those who were trusting in the redemption of God.
- The LORD commanded that on the 10th of Nisan (Shabbat HaGadol) the head of each household would select an unblemished young male lamb to be offered as a sacrifice to the LORD.
- This lamb was to be brought to the home and watched closely for a few days to ensure that it was healthy and free from any defect (the Pesikta de-Rav Kahana says that the lamb was tied to the bedposts inside the house, whereas the Torah Shelimah says the lamb was tied to the doorpost outside of the house).
- During this time, the family would become personally attached to the lamb, so that it would no longer simply be “a lamb” (Exod. 12:3) but rather their lamb” (Exod. 12:5).
- On the afternoon of the 14th, a family member was to slaughter the lamb and smear its blood on all three sides of the doorframe, top, right and left (Exod. 12:6), that is, in the form of the letter Chet (ח .
- (This letter, signifying the number 8, is connected with the word chai (חי ,(short for chayim (חיים,( “life.”)
- This ritual act signified that the inhabitants of the house had faith that the blood of the lamb would cause the judgment of the LORD to “pass over” them. Only those who were within homes marked by the blood of a lamb would be spared.
- The korban Pesach (Passover sacrifice) must be roasted and eaten with unleavened bread (i.e., matzah) and maror (bitter herbs). The maror is a reminder of the bitter slavery in Egypt. Anything left over from the meat is to be burnt in the morning.
- On the night of Nisan 14 the sacrifice was eaten (see John 6:53). The Passover meal was to be consumed “in haste” since the Israelites must be ready to begin their exodus the following day.
- The LORD also instituted the feast of Unleavened Bread at this time, wherein only unleavened bread was to be eaten for seven days (the first and seventh days of which were to be days of holy assembly on which all work is forbidden).
- Since the Passover Lamb was the first sacrifice that Israel (as a nation) was commanded to make, the LORD further ordained that it should be commemorated annually as a reminder of the great deliverance the LORD effected for Israel (“you shall observe this rite as a statute for you and for your sons forever (ad olam)” (Exod. 12:24)).
OF INTEREST: Like other ancient writing systems, the Hebrew alphabet originally was written using a pictographic script. Later, the pictograms evolved into a Hebrew script (sometimes called Paleo-Hebrew) that strongly resembled the ancient Phoenician alphabet. This was the Hebrew (ketav Ivri) used by the Jewish nation up to the Babylonian Exile (or, according to Orthodox Jews, until the Exodus from Egypt). Examples can be found on coins and clay fragments (called ostraca). Today, both the Torah and newspapers use modernized renditions of the Aramaic-style script, though everyday correspondence is written using Hebrew cursive.
Some have claimed that God intended the blood to be smeared on the doorway in the shape of a cross (represented by the pictogram for the letter Tav, which means “sign”). However, it is difficult to see how the shape of this pictogram resembles the outline of a doorway. Moreover, it is likely that the ancient Israelites wrote using ktav Ivri, which does not have a letter that resembles either a cross or a doorway. In Biblical Hebrew (called ketav Ashurit), the letter that most clearly resembles a doorway is the letter Chet (ח .(This letter, signifying the number 8, is connected with the word chai (חי ,(short for chayim (חיים” ,(life.” Based on this connection, a drash could be made that the blood of the lamb (הּש ֶׂה ַםּד ( ַnot only saved from the judgment of death but it also symbolized divine life.
Blood Covering: What did it cover? Pretty much everything!
OF INTEREST (AGAIN)
Exodus 12:43-51 – Passover Regulations!
If you we’re not a Jew, you could not participate in the annual Seder dinners.
The Seder plate is the focal point of the proceedings on the first (two) night(s) of Passover.
- Seder Plate
- Bitter Herbs
- Paste (apples, pears, nuts, wine)
Passover Regulation: All about Community. The Community of Israel at that time! You belonged, were a part of the genuine / original community who understood and relied on Passover.
Of Note: Today, gentiles can sometimes be invited to second night of Seder for:
- Learning purposes
- Those who have ancestral ties possibly
- Promote peace with others outside of Judaism
Transition: PLEADING THE BLOOD:
When we talk about “pleading” the blood of Jesus, we are not talking about “begging.” “Pleading the blood” should not be considered a desperation exercise; God has not called us to come begging before Him. Many of us were raised in an environment where we heard the words, “Father God, we come under the blood of Jesus.” Or, “Lord, we cover this matter with the blood of Jesus.” Even before we understood it, we believed in the power of the Blood, because we believed that Jesus is the Son of God, and that the Cross was the instrument of global redemption which broke the power of hell.
- Pleading the blood of Jesus is not the superstitious application of a magic formula of words. Rather, a spiritual dynamicis being applied.
- The power of the blood of Jesus Christ is greater than both the energy of our own humanity and that of our Adversary. The power that savesis also the power that releases, delivers, and neutralizes the enterprises of hell and the weaknesses of the flesh.
- The appropriation of the power of the Blood in tough situations is intended for every believer in Christ to know, to understand, and to employ.
It’s important that we understand the reason for the words we use so they do not become formula, otherwise one of two things will happen. Either what we say becomes a superstitious exercise in which we are depending on the words rather than on the understanding that gives the words their power; or some people will not use words related to the blood of Jesus because they don’t understand the spiritual dynamic, leaving them without a resource they need.
Hebrews 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. (Heb 10:4 NKJ)
Communion for Us Today:
- We’re not strangers as Gentiles any longer.
- Jesus is now ‘The Lamb!’
- ‘The Lamb’ is now ‘Our Lamb!’
- The Redeeming Power of the blood of The Lamb covers it all!
- We can plead the Power of the Blood over our every situation!
Conclusion: Let’s mark the doorposts of our lives with the blood of Jesus.