Safe through the blood
My text today from the story of the “Passover” reads: “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.”
Exodus 12: verse13.
Gods people are always safe :-“All the saints are in his hand;” and the hand of God is a place for safety, as well as a place of honour. Nothing can hurt the man or woman who has set their hope in God. “Thou hast given commandment to save me,” said David the Psalmist; and every believing child of God may say the same. Though the earth should rock beneath the feet of men, yet the Christian, may stand fast, and though the heavens should be rolled up, and the Universe should pass away, or be disrupted by some nuclear activity, yet the Christian need not fear; God’s people shall be saved! If they cannot be saved under the heavens, then they shall be saved in the heavens; for if there be no safety for them in the time of trouble upon this solid earth, they shall be “caught up together with the Lord in the air, and so shall they be for ever with the Lord,” and ever safe. 1 Thes 4:17
Now, at the time of which this Book of Exodus speaks, Egypt was exposed to a terrible peril. Jehovah himself was about to march through the streets of all the cities of Egypt. It was not merely a destroying angel, but Jehovah himself; for we read: “I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast.” No one less than I AM, the great God, had vowed to strike with the sword of vengeance. Tremble, ye inhabitants of the earth, for God has come down among you, provoked, incensed, and at last awakened from his seeming sleep of patience. He has girded on his terrible sword, and he has come to smite you. Quake for fear, all you that have welcomed and harboured sin within you,
for when God walks through the streets, sword in hand, will he not smite all?
But listen! the voice of covenant mercy speaks, God’s children are safe, even though an angry God be in the streets. As they are safe from the hand of the wicked, so are they safe from the sword of justice—always and ever safe; for there was not a hair on the head of an Israelite that was so much as touched; Jehovah kept them safe beneath his wings. While he tore his enemies like a lion, yet he protected his own children, every one of them.
But, while this is always true, that God’s people are safe, there is another fact that is equally true, namely, that God’s people are only safe through the blood. The reason why God spares his people in the time of calamity is because he sees that blood-mark on their hearts.
What is the basis of that great truth, that all things work together for good to them that love God? What is the reason that all things produce good for them? Is it not that they are bought with the precious blood of Christ? Therefore nothing can hurt them, because the blood is upon them, and every evil thing must pass by them.
It was so that night in Egypt. God himself was present with his sword; but he spared them, because he saw the blood-mark on the lintel and on the two door-posts of every home. And so it is with us right now in our day and in this time. When the full force of Gods anger hits to afflict the earth with terror and to condemn the ungodly, we shall be secure, if covered with the Saviour’s righteousness, and cleansed with his blood, we are found to be in him.
Some might say, “here we go again, more doom and gloom”…but
MY business is to preach the gospel of Christ; and when I can speak at all, I dare not trifle with my commission. When I consider those listening to-day, and remember that I may next meet them only in eternity, how could I stand up and
tickle their fancy with amusing stories, however decently strung together on some thread of religion? That is not what Christ
meant by preaching the gospel.
The message of the Blood is central to the whole Gospel, and it is the “power” of God unto Salvation. Leave out the Blood, and you leave out the essential ingredient to Life Abundant & Life Eternal. For “without shedding of blood, there is no remission”
First of all then, let us focus on THE BLOOD ITSELF.
In the case of the Israelites it was the blood of the Paschal Lamb. In our case, it is as John the Baptist said; the blood of “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world”. John 1:29
It is the blood of a divinely appointed victim. Jesus Christ did not come into this world un-appointed. He was sent here by his Father. This indeed is one of the underlying foundation stones of the Christian’s hope. We can rely upon Jesus Christ’s acceptance by his Father, because his Father ordained him to be our Saviour from before the foundation of the world, and the Father, laid upon him the iniquity, the sins of us all. As Jesus himself said, “Lo I come; in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will O God.” Psalm 40:7 It was God’s will that the blood of Jesus should be shed.
Christ Jesus, too, like the lamb, was not only a divinely appointed victim, but he was spotless. Had there been even one sin in Christ, this would have rendered him incapable of being our Saviour; but he was without spot or blemish—without original sin, without any practical transgression. In him was
no sin, though he was “tempted in all points, in all areas,
like as we are.” Heb 4:15
Here, again, is the reason why the blood is able to save, because it is the blood of an innocent victim, a victim the only reason for whose death lay in us, and not in himself. Turn, your eye to the cross, and see Jesus bleeding there and dying for you. Remember, as the hymn-writer says: “For sins not his own, he died to atone;”
But some will ask, “Why has the blood of Christ such power to save?” Can you imagine what must be the value of the blood of God’s own dear Son?
It is the most precious of all commodities, and thank God “we are not redeemed with corruptible things such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Jesus”.
Then consider that the blood of which I speak today, is blood once shed for many for the remission of sin. The paschal lamb was killed every year; but now Christ hath appeared to take away sin by the offering up of himself and there is now no more mention of sin, for Christ once and for all hath put away sin, by the offering of himself. The Jew had the lamb every morning and every evening, for there was a continual mention of sin; the blood of the lamb could not take it away. The lamb availed for to-day, but there was the sin of to-morrow, what was to be done with that? Why, a fresh victim must bleed. But our greatest joy is, that the blood of Jesus has been once shed, and he has said, “It is finished.” There is no more need of the blood of bulls or of
goats, or of any other sacrifice; that one sacrifice hath “perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” Heb 10:14
We may come to the cross again; even if our sins are heavy, and many; but the atonement for them is completed by the death of Christ. Look then to Jesus, and remember that Christ needs nothing to supplement his blood. The road between God and man is finished and open; the robe to cover nakedness is complete, without a rag of yours or mine; the bath in which we are to be washed is full, full to the brim, and needs nothing more added. “It is finished!” Let that ring in your ears today. There is nothing now that can hinder your being saved, if God has made you willing and wanting it, – believe now in Jesus Christ. He is a complete Saviour, full of grace and mercy toward every sinner.
The blood was accepted, and sin was forgiven. And moreover, my friend, it is not possible for God to reject you if you come today to him, pleading the blood of Christ. God cannot (and here I speak with reverence also) the everlasting God cannot reject a sinner who pleads the blood of Christ: for if he did so, it would be to deny himself, and to contradict all his former acts. He has accepted blood, and he will accept it; he never can revoke that divine acceptance of the death and resurrection; and if you go to God, pleading simply and only the blood of him that hung upon the tree, God must deny himself before he could reject you and reject that blood.
Just for a moment try to picture to yourself as Christ on the cross. Let your imagination figure the motley crew assembled around about that little hill of Calvary. Lift your eyes, and see the three crosses put on that rounded hill. See in the centre the thorn-crowned brow of Christ. Do you see the hands that have always been full of blessing – nailed fast to the accursed wood?
Now look on his dear face, more marred than that of any other man? Do you see it now, as his head bows upon his chest in the extreme agonies of death? He was a real man, remember. It was a real cross. Do not think of these things as figments, or fairy-tales. There was such a Man, and he did die as I described it.
Let your imagination picture him, and then sit still a moment and think over this thought: “The blood of that man, who now
I see dying in agony, must be my only redemption; and if I will be saved, I must put my trust in what he suffered for me, and may God the Holy Spirit help you.
My second point is this…
THE EFFICACY OF HIS BLOOD.
“When I see the blood I will pass over you.” The blood of Christ hath such a divine power to save, that nothing but it can ever save the soul. If some foolish Israelite had despised the command of God, and had said, “I will sprinkle something else upon the doorposts,” or, “I will adorn the lintel with jewels of gold and silver,” he too would have perished; nothing could save his household but the shed blood. And let us remember, that “other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ,” for “there is no other name given among men whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
My works, my prayers, my tears, my money, even my ministry cannot save me; the blood, and the blood alone, has power to save. Sacraments, however well they may be attended to, cannot save me. Nothing but the blood, can redeem me from the guilt of sin. Nothing but the blood of Jesus has in it the slightest saving-power. Oh… and some are trusting in their infant baptism, their confirmation, and their Holy Communion, but not in Jesus? Nothing but the blood of Jesus can save. I care not how right the ordinance, how true the form, how scriptural the
practice, it is all a vanity to you if you rely in it.
God forbid that I should say a word against ordinances, or against holy things; but keep them in their places. If you make these the basis of your soul’s salvation, they are no stronger than a feather! and when you need them most you shall find them fail you. There is not, I repeat it again, the slightest atom of saving-power anywhere but in the blood of Jesus. THE BLOOD outshines the rest, it is the only rock of our salvation; AND …it must save alone.
Put anything with the blood of Christ, and you are lost; trust to anything else with this and you perish. “It is true,” some might say, that the Sacrament cannot save me, but I will trust in that, and in Christ too.” You are a lost man! So jealous is Christ of his honour, that anything you put with him, however good it is, becomes, from the fact of your putting it with him, an accursed thing. And what is it that you would put with Christ?
Your good works? What are your good works? The Bible says: Our righteousness is “as filthy rags;” and shall filthy rags be joined to the spotless celestial righteousness of Christ? It must not, and it cannot be. —Jesus only—this is the rock of our salvation.
Moreover I should add that the blood of Christ, it is all-sufficient. There is no case which the blood of Christ cannot meet; there is no sin which it cannot wash away. There is no multiplicity of sin which it cannot cleanse, no aggravation of guilt which it cannot remove. You may be double-dyed like scarlet, ye may have lain in the mire of your sins these many years, but the blood of Christ can take out that stain. You may have blasphemed and cursed him almost as many times as you have breathed, you may have rejected him as often as you
have heard his name; you may have broken his Sabbath, you may have denied his existence, you may have doubted his Godhead, you may have persecuted his servants and saints, you may have trampled on his blood; but all of this His blood can wash away! . “The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin”. 1 John 1:7
There is no sort of a man or woman, there is no abortion of mankind, no monster in human shape that this blood cannot wash. Hell may have sought to make a paragon of iniquity, it may have striven to put sin, and sin, and sin together, till it has made a monster in the shape of a man, a monster abhorred of mankind, but the blood of Christ can transform that monster. Magdalen’s seven devils it can cast out, the madness of the demoniac it can ease, the deep-seated leprosy it can cure, the wound of the maimed, even, the lost limb it can restore. There is no disease which the great Physician cannot heal.
That’s the promise of God.
The Israelite, if he were true to his faith, did not go inside, and say, I hope the destroying angel will pass by me;” but he said,
“I know he will; I know God cannot smite me; I know he will not; for I have applied the blood there! I am secure beyond
a doubt; there is not a shadow of a risk of my perishing.
I am, and I must be saved.”
And so I preach a sound and sure gospel today: “Whosoever believeth on the Lord Jesus Christ shall not perish but have everlasting life.” “I give unto my sheep eternal life,” Jesus said, “and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand.” John 10:28. I have no doubt as to whether Christ will save you if you trust in his blood. I know he will. I am certain his blood can save; and I beg you, in Christ’s name, believe the same; believe that that blood is sure to cleanse, not only that it may cleanse, but that it must cleanse.
This brings us to the third and final point, on which I must be very brief, and the point is this—
THE CONDITION for the BLOOD.
One may ask, “Do you preach a conditional salvation?”
Yes I do, there is one condition, our text reads; “When I see the blood I will pass over you.” What a blessed condition! it does not say, when you see the blood, but when I see it. Your eye of faith may be so dim, that you cannot see the blood of Christ; but God’s eye is not dim: He can see it, and he must see it; for Christ in heaven is always presenting his blood before his Father’s face. The Israelite could not see the blood; he could not see what was on the lintel and the doorpost; he was inside but the blood was outside but God could see it; and this is the only condition of the sinner’s salvation—God’s seeing the blood; not your seeing it.
Fall on your knees then in prayer, (do it now) and let this be your only plea:—”Lord, have mercy upon me for the blood’s sake. I cannot see it as I could desire to see it, but Lord you see it, and you have said, ‘When I see it, I will pass over you.’ Lord, today, pass over my sin, and forgive me for the sake of the blood alone.”
NOW THIS FINAL WORD
“A husband that loves his wife may, perhaps, often give her jewellery and rings and the like; but supposing that she should sit down and begin to set her heart on her jewellery so much that she should forget her husband? Then it would be a kind husband’s business to stop those gifts to her so that she might fix her affections entirely on him.” And so it is with us; Jesus gives us the jewels of faith and love, church and sacrament, and we get to trusting in them, that he takes them away in order that we may come again as guilty, helpless sinners, and put our
trust in Christ. God wants us to live for Him, and cling to
Him alone, all the days of our lives.
The writer of our closing Hymn
put it more succinctly when he penned the words:
“Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to thy Cross I cling.”
Naked, come to thee for dress, helpless look to thee for grace
Foul, I to the fountain fly, wash me Saviour or I die”