Friday, June 27, 2014

Set Apart

"On that night I will pass though Egypt and strike down every firstborn -- both men and animals -- and I will bring judgement on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. 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. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt." Exodus 12:12-13

Camping out on verse 13 about the blood, I take in the rich symbolism. God had asked the Israelites to choose a lamb, one per family, to be used for Passover. The lamb was to be a "year-old male without defect," either a sheep or a goat (v. 5). After a period of four days if it was proven to be without blemish it could be used. This represents the testing of Christ that proved His holiness. The lamb, once proven, would be killed representing Christ's death on the cross. 

Then we come to the blood. It was to be applied to "the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs" (v. 7). This represents the choice we have to by faith, "apply" the blood of Christ to our lives for the redemption of sin (salvation), and therefore rules out the belief that everyone will be restored to God, otherwise known as universalism. I like the footnote in my NIV Bible on this that implies the blood and the blood alone, nothing added to it, "constituted a perfect protection from judgement". It was a sign that those who dwelled in that home belonged to the Lord and the house should be passed over. As the old hymn "Rock of Ages" goes, "Nothing in my hand I bring, Simoly to thy cross I cling." The cross and blood are enough.

Hebrews 10:14 elaborates on this stating "by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy". Those "being made holy" are those who have chosen to turn from sin, accept Christ's sacrifice, and put their faith in Him.

The natural outcome of putting one's faith in Christ is to start looking less and less like the world and more and more like Him. We are called to be "set apart". "Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the LORD" (2 Corinthians 6:17). And when we live "set apart" as unto the Lord, delighting ourselves in Him, we have a divine protection. Charles Spurgeon speaks to the "one condition" of this verse as it relates to God's protection. Speaking of Christ he says, "Where 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." Nothing but the blood of Christ can save. He is the one that must see we have applied it to our lives. It is His blood that covers over our sin and makes us acceptable in God's sight. Trials will come. His Word promises that. But for the one in Christ, the sting may be less. Healing will come. Glorious healing whether this side of heaven or that. In Christ is the safest place to be. 

On a practical level I consider myself and my own home. Am I living as one set apart for God's good works? Is my home set apart for His work and our refuge, free from filth and idols? If judgement came upon my neighborhood today would my house be "passed over" and see less destruction, less of a sting, than one not set apart for Christ? Food for thought...

Father God, fill me up with Your Holy Spirit today. Empower me to do Your will. Help me as I strive, and my family strives, to live lives set apart from the world for Your purposes and Your glory. In Jesus' name, amen.

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