A Lamb For a House

God chose that sheep would be used as a sacrifice of worship and as a sacrifice to bring protection and blessing to people. At a particular key time where lambs were killed to protect an entire nation the concept of a ‘lamb for a house’ was articulated. That concept is an important one.

The Angel of Death

In order to rescue the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, God sent Moses to tell Pharaoh that God’s instruction was to “Let my people go”! Pharaoh resisted and so Moses proved that he was truly sent from God by applying ten horrible plagues against Egypt.

In Exodus 12 we read about the final plague which God sent against Egypt in order to set Israel free. That plague involved the visit by the Angel of Death. At midnight an angel visited every household and killed the firstborn sons throughout the land. The firstborn male of humans and animals was killed by this angel of death.

In order to be spared from this deadly angelic visitation each Jewish family was instructed to kill a lamb and put its blood on the top and sides of the door to their house. The angel of death would see the blood and pass over that house. The Jews ate the roast lamb as their meal that night, and were dressed for travel, ready for God’s deliverance.

The event is remembered as the Passover (because the angel passed over the houses) and each year the Israelites repeat that Passover meal as a memorial of their deliverance thousands of years ago.

The Blood of Jesus

The Passover Lamb is an allegory: a picture story of how the blood of Jesus saves us.

Jesus is God’s lamb and is called “our passover” by Paul.

“The next day John (the Baptist) saw Jesus coming to him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.” John 1:29

“And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent into all the earth.” Revelation 5:6 (See Revelation 5:1-13 for the full description of this event)

“Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us” 1Corinthians 5:7

God could have spared the Jews without asking for the lamb to be killed, but He wanted to make it plain to the world that He would send a human lamb (Jesus) to be killed so those who applied Jesus’ blood to their life would be saved.

In The House

On that Passover night all lonely people or small families were welcomed in with others. This was more than just a convenient arrangement, as it shows God’s plan of finding a place for everyone.

God sets the solitary in families: he brings out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.” Psalm 68:6

Now when the angel visited Israel on that dreadful night the people had to be in the house. Those who stormed out in a huff, or ran away were not protected. Those who decided to go for a walk, try fishing at night, or who crept out on some private errand were unprotected by the blood.

Importantly it didn’t matter who put the blood on the doorpost.  If dad was ill, mum could do it. If both were ill, a child could do it. The angel did not look to see who put the blood there as long as the blood was there. Even if the father or parents had said “I won’t have blood on my door!” and someone put it there secretly the angel would pass over.

Protection By The Blood

The blood brought protection. The curse of death was on God’s enemies, not on God’s children. Protection came simply by smearing the blood on the house, to show that the house was claiming protection under the blood.

The blood marked the people as God’s property.

Early in the morning the Egyptians went to every house where they saw the blood and begged the people to leave their land. They even gave them their jewels to encourage them to go.

Protection Today

How does this apply today?

There is an eternal death sentence on everyone unless God sees the blood of Jesus on their life. When you accept Jesus into your life you are washed in the blood of Jesus and your life is marked. Death and judgment pass over you and you live forever with God in Heaven.

And by being a Christian you bring the blood of Jesus into your home. You can ask God to bless and spare your family because you, figuratively, have put the blood upon the doorpost of your home.

Take time to pray right now to invite Jesus into your life, then pray that God save all of your family. Ask Him to heal, restore, encourage, protect and release you and yours.

The Lamb Song

This Easter I wrote a song about the protection which comes through the blood….

Only with Blood could the Price be Paid
Only with Blood could our Lives be Saved
Only with Blood could the Curse be Stayed
Only with Precious Blood

Only with Blood could we be Set Free
Only with Blood could we Righteous Be
Only with Blood would the Darkness Flee
Only with Precious Blood

So Take you a Lamb for a House
Put its Blood out in Open View
Keep Yourself by the Blood of the Lamb
And the Lord will Rescue You

Take your Place of Protection There
Take your Place in that Crimson Flood
Keep Yourself through the Death of the Lamb
Find Salvation in the Blood.

As For Me and My House

Do you claim God’s blessings for your family? If so, what blessings do you claim? Maybe you have been expecting less than you should.

I was blessed this past weekend to enjoy an encouraging message from Pastor Roland Seow, speaking at the Sunday night meeting I oversee in Melbourne. He was challenged many years ago by Watchman Nee’s teaching on family salvation. He caught a vision for God bringing salvation to his whole family.

Using the analogy of ripples in a pool he realised that the reach we can have in the wider circle of our family and friends is simply limited by the size of the initial splash. “Family” is identified in the Bible with ‘household’, which includes family members, servants and even the guests within a home.

God’s favour on a person automatically spilled out to their extended family. Noah found grace in the sight of God, and so his wife, sons and daughters-in-law were all privileged with salvation (Genesis 7:1). The Israelites were to circumcise their entire household, including the servants (Genesis 17:12,13). Lot’s sons-in-law were offered salvation, due to their family connection to Lot (Genesis 19:12). One Passover Lamb was sufficient for a whole household, including where two smaller families united for the feast (Exodus 12:3,7). Rahab’s whole family was saved (Joshua 6:19).

In the New Testament we see that Zacchaeus received grace for his whole family (Luke 19:9). Cornelius also had this outcome (Acts 10:2, 11:14). The Philippian jailor’s conversion is famous for Paul’s quote “you will be saved and your household” (Acts 16:31).

The Bible has much more evidence for the reality of family salvation. However, what impressed me the most was not found in these Bible verses, but in a richer meaning from another well known verse on family devotion.

When Joshua concluded his leadership role in Israel he challenged the people to be devoted to God. His speech contained the well known declaration, “as for me and my house we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). That text has long been claimed by parents and others to believe that all family members can be brought to faith in Jesus Christ.

When Pastor Roland quoted this text he gave it a fresh twist that delighted me. Joshua was not simply saying that all his family would hold to faith in God. He wasn’t speaking only of their salvation or their religious focus. Joshua declared that his entire family would ‘serve’ the Lord.

In Roland’s case he notes that of his many family members which have become Christians a large proportion are ‘serving’ God, not just claiming personal salvation.

Do you claim God’s blessings for your family? If so, what blessings do you claim? Maybe you have been expecting less than you should.

It is possible that you have been trusting God for your family members to be ‘saved’, when you could be dedicating them to go beyond just personal faith in Jesus Christ. You could use the same Bible verses to believe that your family members will ‘serve’ the Lord.

I encourage you to refresh your faith and to look to God to do more than you may previously have expected.