"And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt." — Ex. 12:13.
I knew a person who had, for some years, been deeply anxious about her soul. She longed to know, for certain, that she had redemption through the blood of Christ; even the forgiveness of her sins. She felt that if she died without redemption, she was lost for ever. She went from place to place, to hear the preaching of the word. Her, anxiety became very great; yet nothing that she heard gave her peace. She was constantly thinking that she had something to do, before she could have redemption. She tried to lay hold of the promises; but they gave her no relief. She tried to serve God and keep His commandments; she found she failed at every step. She tried forms and ceremonies; but all in vain. She then thought she must have stronger faith, and tried to understand, more clearly, the value of the blood of Jesus; still all was darkness. God would not even have her faith, as the price of her redemption. Her heart sank in despair; she could do no more. It was when she was in that state of self-despair, she heard those words, "When I see the blood, I will pass over you." The Holy Ghost spake, in her soul, in that moment, and said to her, "It was God who spake these words." In a moment she felt the vast difference betwixt herself seeing the blood of Jesus, and God seeing it. She thought, Yes, God sees such value in the blood of Jesus, that He will pass over me; and the destroyer shall not touch me. From that moment, she believed what God hath said about the blood of Jesus. From that moment, she had peace through the blood of Jesus. Now she knows, with certainty, that she has redemption through the blood of Christ, even the forgiveness of her sins.
Surely, this one case, out of many thousands that might be told, shows the importance of the subject before us.
Before speaking of these wonderful words, "When I see the blood," &c., let me remind you of the condition of this people, Israel, as described in the previous chapters. They were slaves under Pharaoh, in bitter bondage. "They sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God." (Ex. 2:2, 3.) God heard and pitied them; He said, "for I know their sorrows." Yes, such also is the plain fact, man has sold himself, a bond-slave, to Satan. There is no denying it. Oh! what a cry of misery ascends from this world of sin. How bitter is the slavery of sin, if there were, no lake of fire hereafter; even now, what bitterness and anguish has sin brought. Every heart knows its own bitterness. God heard their sighs; and has he not heard yours?
God is love! He heard their sighs, He knew their sorrows, and He came to save. The people heard that God had looked upon their affliction (Ex. 4:31), and they desired to go forth and worship him. Just like the person above, they anxiously desired to go forth and serve God; but, as it was with her, this only made their burthens the heavier. Their affliction and sorrow were now very great. How often is this the case, when the soul is awakened to thirst after God. Then Satan brings all, his force to crush the sin-burthened soul. The next thing, we find the promises of God, in chap. 4, entirely fail to give the least comfort. "They hearkened not for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage." In the following chapters, 5-12, we see, by the conduct of Pharaoh, how loth Satan is to give up his victims.
How many who read these lines will say, "How like me all this is! The more I have desired to serve God, the heavier has been my burthen. I have tried to get comfort from the promises; but all in vain. Still anguish of spirit; still the burthen of sin; still uncertain as to my interest in Christ." Poor soul! if this is your condition, let us now look at this redemption chapter. God grant that this may be the beginning of months to you. Do you see, the Lamb was slain and the blood was sprinkled on the doorposts? And do not you see, that every soul, young or old, that took refuge in the blood-sprinkled house, had an interest in that blood. God said, "And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you." He did not say, When I see how good ye are; or, When I see that you deserve my favour; or, When you have repented enough or believed enough. No; the blood is first and uppermost in God's thoughts. It was His token of love to them, just as and where they were. He did not even say, When ye see the blood; but, "When I see the blood." Now, I repeat, did any person within that blood-sprinkled house need to ask, How may I know that I have an interest in the blood? It was most certain he had, on the authority of the word of God. And every soul that simply trusted in what God. Said about that blood was saved that night.
Now, we all know that redemption from Egypt was a type of redemption through "the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." And, in the very same way, is not the blood of Christ God's token of love to lost, burthened sinners? Jesus did not die that God might love us; but because He loved us. "In this was manifested the love of God toward us." "God did so love the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son." "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (1 John 4:9, 10.)
Mark, it is not what you see, but what God sees, in the blood of Christ. He knows all your sins; and yet He sees the blood of Christ. He sees that the sufferings and atoning death of His beloved Son justify Him, in passing over all your sins, however deep their crimson dye. He says so, plainly; and is righteous in "justifying freely every sinner who believes in Him, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." (Rom. 3.) Do you say, How am I to know that I have an interest in that atoning blood? Why, do not you see, every Israelite who believed God had an interest in the sprinkled blood. And if you search the New Testament through, you will find that every sinner who trusted God about that precious blood shed on the cross, knew, with the utmost certainty, that he had redemption through the blood of Christ. Mark, you have not to trust in a promise. Redemption is no longer a promise, but an accomplished fact — a finished work. If you were dying with thirst, and a person promised to bring you water, you might trust his promise; but when he has brought the water to you, you have not then to trust in his promise, but to drink the water. God has fulfilled His promise: He has sent His Son. The blood has flowed through His pierced wounds. It is all finished. Peace through that blood is come to you. May God open your heart to receive that peace on the testimony of God, who raised up Jesus from the dead. Oh! how strange that men should forget this, and go back to the promises, as though God had still to do something to save sinners. It is done. The blood has been freely shed. God sees that blood. I only ask, Have you been brought to take your last refuge in that blood? Can you say that the blood of Jesus is your only trust? Then it is most certain that you have an everlasting interest in that atoning blood. You have redemption through that blood, according to the infinite value that God sees in the death of Christ. Up, then, arise, and away from Egypt! With girded loins, and staff in hand, as the redeemed of the Lord, away, away! Adieu, adieu, to Satan's bonds and Satan's world! You are no longer your own, but bought with a price — and such a price. Christ died, the just for the unjust, to bring you to God — and to such a God.