March 26, 2020
Exodus 11:6-7 (NIV)
6 There shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there has never been, nor ever will be again. 7 But not a dog shall growl against any of the people of Israel, either man or beast, that you may know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.’
The concept of judgment, unpopular as it may be with many, is a monumental reality in Scripture and the Christian faith. There is something within all of us that both wants to judge but does not want to be judged. And let’s be honest, the effect of judgment is discrimination which is the absolute anathema of our age.
In the matter at hand, God clearly discriminates between the Israelites and the Egyptians. He judges the Israelites favorably while condemning the Egyptians.
Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb. 22 Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. 23 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 will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you. (Exodus 12:21-23)
Here’s what I think about. What if an Egyptian had put the blood of a lamb over their own doorpost? What would have happened? My hunch: They would have been spared. Why? Because the judgment of God comes down to one thing—the blood of the Lamb. A person is covered by the blood of the Lamb or they are not. It really is that simple.
It is an astonishing thing to think about Jesus and his final Passover Meal and his earth shaking claim with the bread and the cup. “This is my body given for you, and this is my blood shed for the remission of your sins.” He is our Passover, but this Passover is not restricted to the Jewish people. This Passover is for everyone. Judgment is coming upon the whole Earth. Mercy is freely available in Jesus Christ. We are saved by his blood shed on the Cross. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. This is the gospel of God.
I struggle to grasp how it is somehow unfair and discriminatory that eternal salvation and entrance into the Kingdom of God is offered freely and inclusively to the entire human race exclusively through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Though many refuse to believe, no one is excluded. It is all at once the most exclusive and inclusive offer imaginable. Why is this unfair? The human race, for all our “good qualities,” is utterly wicked and totally depraved. No one is righteous, not even one. No one deserves the grace and mercy of God. God owes salvation to no-one. It is the free gift of grace to all who would believe and receive. Like the ancient Israelites, when we trust in the blood of the Lamb, we are delivered from slavery and set free to live the life for which we were created.
In the end, it is judgment to be sure, but judgment crowned with mercy. Bless God. Read these next words very deliberately and carefully. Everything, literally everything we believe is anchored in these revealed words:
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21
People who say such things . . .
Father, I want to be a person who says such things. Thank you for the gospel of Jesus Christ, our Passover Lamb, who takes away the sins of the world. Cause for me to understand and so deeply internalize this message that I am compelled and even constrained to be an ambassador of this merciful reconciliation. I know. It is foolishness to those who are perishing, but let that not stop me from sharing it anyway. Come Holy Spirit, and train me to be such a person of faith. I pray in Jesus name, Amen.
Do you struggle with the exclusive message of the gospel? If so, why does it seem unfair to you? If you had terminal cancer and there was only one cure, would you be offended at that? What is the difference?
For the Awakening,