BLOOD OF THE LAMB: THE ORIGIN OF GOD'S WILDERNESS PEOPLE
Exodus.12:13 – “The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you.”
Seven years ago, an original 1938 Action Comics #1, which would have initially sold for 10 cents, sold on e-Bay for more than $3 million, making it the most lucrative sale of a comic book in history… and proving that there are some very wealthy comic nerds out there! Growing up, the only comics I really became interested in was, ‘Asterix & Obelix’, which I found tucked away in our high-school library and began reading instead of studying (and much to my History teacher’s horror, cited as my main source on a paper about the Roman Empire) but for those who are really into comics, what drives the preposterous value of an Action Comics #1, is the fact that it features the very 1st appearance of Superman by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster.
Over 83 years of story-telling and numerous adaptations from comics to TV to movies, the key elements of Superman’s story have been maintained. His Kryptonian lineage, his escape to earth as an infant, his supernatural powers, his rescue by Jonathan & Martha Kent, and his secret identity as Clark are a part of the back-story that have always been important for truly appreciating Superman; they will always be fundamental elements of his origin and necessary for properly defining and understanding his story.
As we look at the historic formation and origins of Israel, as we see them on the verge of being rescued from captivity in Egypt and led into the wilderness, we find one of the most important and central elements for understanding, appreciating and defining the story of God’s people… blood.
As far back as the 3rd chapter of Genesis (3:21), the Bible records that first blood… innocent blood, stained the earth of the garden in order to mediate sin, as God Himself fashioned coverings for Adam & Eve from the skin of animals. From the onset, blood takes on a profoundly important element in defining and understanding the redemptive back-story and origin of God’s people. The echo of innocent blood spilled on behalf of guilty sinners continues to reverberate relentlessly throughout Scripture and it’s magnified in a most meaningful way on the very eve of Israel’s deliverance into the wilderness.
On the night of the Passover, as the Destroyer passed through the land, it wasn’t the extent of their knowledge and comprehension that saved God’s people; it wasn’t the intensity of their confidence and hope, it wasn’t the strength of their passion or desire that saved them… they were saved by the blood of the lamb.
Remembering the profound importance of the blood of the lamb became a central component to the life of God’s people in the wilderness, reminding them of how innocent blood was sacrificed to secure their deliverance on that fateful night in Egypt, and stirring them to realize that an ultimate sacrifice of innocent blood would be inevitably required. In God’s merciful, redemptive plan, that ultimate sacrifice of innocent blood was shed by His Son, as Jesus became the final and definitive Passover lamb… THE Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world (Jn.1:29).
Today, God's people don't spill the blood of a lamb; there are no bloody knives in the worship of the church, but through the ordinance of Communion, we celebrate Christ’s perfect and ultimate sacrifice, the spilling of His innocent blood that is essential for appreciating, defining and understanding the redemptive story of God's people... His blood that frees us from captivity and brings us into the wilderness, His blood that enables us to overcome and persevere through the wilderness, His blood that prepares an eternal home for us and secures our way out of the wilderness.
Matthew 26: 27-28 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them saying, 'Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many, for the forgiveness of sins.'