I’ve heard a lot of versions of the gospel. Some are extremely burdensome, and others, well, could easily just leave Jesus out of it. When people try to put their own twist on the message, it gets really distorted. I wonder how many non believers are confused by the mixed messages. Actually, it’s those in the church who are probably more susceptible to becoming confused. The gospel, in it’s simplicity, is beautiful and easy to understand. Salvation is not a road with twists and turns meant to get us lost. It’s a straight path, narrow as it may be, that’s paved by One person, and guided by the One who made it. The gospel is meant to bring joy and hope to a desperate world. Confusing and complicated things don’t do either of those things. One easy way to understand the message of the gospel is through doorposts and crossbeams.
The Passover is a beautiful illustration of the gospel. It’s a story of redemption. It’s a story of deliverance from bondage. It’s a story of faith in the grace of God. It’s a story of victory. Israel was in slavery in Egypt when God responded to their dyer need out of His own love for His children. After Aaron and Moses delivered God’s message to Pharaoh, nine nasty plagues reeked havoc on Egypt. The tenth, however, would be the worst of them all. The tenth plague would be God’s wrath on sin, idolatry, pride, false religion, cruelty, and so much more. The Destroying Angel would sweep through the land of the most powerful empire on earth and lay waste in one of the most heart-wrenching ways. The people would bear the weight of their rebellion against the God that loved them. But, as always, God made a way.
When the LORD goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the door frame and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.
Exodus 12:23 (NIV)
The blood on the doorposts, was the blood of a lamb. That’s it. In faith, Israel would kill a spotless lamb and cover the doorposts of their homes with the blood. That blood would save them from the wrath of God that was about to be poured out. It wasn’t only the good Israelites that got to be covered with the blood. It wasn’t even just the Israelites who were covered. Anyone who could humble themselves enough and trust in the blood, could be covered. I’m convinced that even Pharaoh himself could have done this. But, as we can read from the Exodus story, Pharaoh was anything but humble. His faith was in himself.
The gospel is that straight forward. Love in all it’s simplicity. Jesus hung on crossbeams to bleed for all of us. His blood covers anyone who wants to put their faith in Him. You don’t have to be a good person to surrender to Jesus…you just have to surrender and let the blood do it’s work. We don’t have to be the spotless ones because Jesus was that on our behalf. Those rescued from Egypt were imperfect people, and so is the Church. But, we are rescued all the same. We are rescued from the wrath of God to come on this rebellious and self-worshiping world, only because of the blood of Jesus. When God looks at you, He sees His child. He sees someone covered by the most precious blood. But, just like those who God rescued from Egypt, we have to follow Him out of slavery. God didn’t deliver Israel so they could stay put in bondage. God covered them and bid them to come and follow. When He stepped out of heaven in the person of Jesus, He did the very same thing. The sacrifice of Jesus means we’re covered and invited. That invitation has always been to whoever will come. To whoever, will put their faith in God’s love. To whoever is covered by the blood.
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 (TLV)
Happy Passover brothers and sisters!