is hard to ignore.

Exodus 12:21-28 (NKJV)

Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb. And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning. For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you. And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever. It will come to pass when you come to the land which the LORD will give you, just as He promised, that you shall keep this service. And it shall be, when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ that you shall say, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice of the LORD, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households.’ ” So the people bowed their heads and worshiped. Then the children of Israel went away and did so; just as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.

With the previous plagues, the Jews were automatically exempt just because of who they are and where they live. Now they have to do something to keep from getting struck – and it’s expensive and it’s gross. This messy procedure emphasizes the house-to-house nature of this plague. It’s their house that will be passed over, so it’s their house that they must mark.

It’s a good thing they’re about to abandon these houses. Splattering blood all over the entrance just kills the curb appeal.

In all seriousness, this is the beginning of a long road that leads to the cross. The grave nature of sin is a lesson that must be learned over-and-over. One of the ways that the LORD hammers this home is by grossing us out. Sin is so serious that only blood can atone for it.

While the Passover is far from the first bloody sacrifice in the Bible (see Gen. 22) it sets the standard. To keep from being stuck by the destroyer, each family must make their house look like a crime scene.

Our lives look like a crime scene too. We don’t see it because we don’t want to see it. Some sins, such as sins against our fellow man, are harder to ignore; there are too many witnesses.

But many sins (e.g. breaking commandments 1–5, 9 & 10) are easily covered up – and then forgotten. That makes the horror of our sin less horrifying. How can we break out of this cycle of complacency?

Somehow, we need to stop averting our eyes from our sins. The issue isn’t really our sins (plural); it’s our sin. The symptoms aren’t the issue. That takes this out of our hands; we can only control our actions.

Pray for God to reveal our sin to us and to gross us out by it, so that we will be moved to want to be cleansed. Ask the Holy Spirit to show us the darkness that lives within. Re-invite Jesus to take over as Lord of your life and purge you of iniquity.

The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.