by Tony Nester

The Blood of the Lamb
Tony R. Nester
Exodus 12:1-13

On the eve of their freedom the Israelites gathered together as families and slaughtered their lambs. They applied the blood of the lamb to the door posts and headers of their doors and were thus spared the plague that killed the firstborn of the families of Egypt. "When I see the blood," God told them, "I will pass over you."

Jews have ever since celebrated the Passover as their feast of freedom. The rabbis taught that each Jew must regard himself or herself as if he or she had personally escaped from Egypt.

Christians also live under the Blood of the Lamb. We see in those Passover doors the sign of the cross etched in the blood of Christ. All four Gospels report that Jesus was crucified during the Feast of Passover close to or at the very time the Passover lambs were being sacrificed.

"Our Passover feast is ready," wrote the Apostle Paul, "Christ our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed." (1 Corinthians 5:7).

Every time we celebrate Holy Communion we place ourselves under the Blood of the Lamb as we repeat the words of the Lord Jesus: "This is my Body given for you. This is my blood poured out for you."

"You know that you were ransomed," says 1 Peter 1:18-19, "... not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish." (1 Peter 1:18-19 NRSV).

In the Bible blood represents the power of life.

My father bled to death on the operating table after being hit by a car. He was known in those days as a "bleeder" -- someone who couldn't keep blood in his body but lost it quickly once it began to flow out of him. Blood is precious. It carries the power of life. We give blood so that others might be given blood and live.

The Lamb of God was slaughtered for the sins of the world. Of all the blood that has been spilled in this world his was the most precious. That's because he was pure and holy ...

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