These may seem to be just five simple words, but they held deep meaning for the eldest (firstborn) in each Israelite family. These were words they would tenaciously hold on to over the next few days. They were anticipating a night like no other they had been through.
An edict had come from God; judgment was to be enacted. God’s great finale, that would break the heart of even the hardest Pharaoh, was about to take place.
There were four steps that would be fulfilled before the promise “I will pass over you” could be enjoyed. They were:
Judgment was declared
God had suffered Pharaoh’s rebellion long enough. At last came the final blow. The firstborn in each family not covered under God’s provision would die. This would break the stranglehold that had held God’s people in bondage for years. It was serious, final, and fatal for those who were under its scope. “I will execute judgment: I am the Lord” (Exo 12:12). Could it be clearer?
God speaks to us today through His Word (the Bible) and He says, “The soul that sinneth it shall die” (Ezek 18:4). He also says, “The wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23). The message is crystal clear: death is coming due to our sin. Not only natural, physical death but eternal, spiritual death. This means the sinner will be banished from God’s presence for ever, will be lost, will be in hell for all eternity. You would do well to ask – “Is there hope? What is the means of escape?”
Sacrifice had to be made
God devised a way whereby the eldest in each household was spared the judgment. It wasn’t “fair” – an innocent lamb was slain. The lamb had done nothing wrong. In fact, the lamb was more than innocent, it was to be “without blemish” (Exo 12:5). As the eldest watched the scene play out, was there a sense of gratitude in his heart? There before him was the terrible, yet necessary means of his escape. The judgment was being borne by another.
As you see the certain judgment of God approach, take a look at the innocent, blemish-free “Lamb of God,” His Son, Jesus Christ. John the Baptist added, “… which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). He alone is your only means of escape. He became a sacrifice for sin at Calvary, an innocent, pure sacrifice, One Who gave His life, shed His own blood, that He might cleanse you from your sin. The sacrifice of the Lord Jesus at Calvary stands as a means whereby He could make a sinner right (justify him) and “pass over you.” So, you ask, “How do I benefit, how do I make it good to me?”
The Blood had to be applied
From the sacrifice of the lamb, the blood was saved in a basin. We can picture the father taking the basin and the “brush” of hyssop, dipping it in the blood and painting it onto the door jambs and the lintel. The eldest in the family would watch with rapt anticipation to ensure it was there, as God had commanded.
The sacrifice had to be acted upon
To us, it intimates faith. God has provided the means, we simply accept it by resting on His Word and in doing so we are in that manner “applying the blood.” Nothing has to be physically “done,” just a simple acceptance of what has already happened on the Cross at Calvary. It was there that our Lord Jesus Christ made an end of sin by shedding His precious blood. Have you “applied” the blood? The eldest watched it all unfold and simply stepped into the house. The work had all been done by another, his place was to rest upon it. God would then be satisfied. God said, “When I … .” Notice it was not the eldest who saw the blood in this sense. The eldest was inside the house. The blood was facing out; it was for God to see. Today when God looks at the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus He is fully satisfied. Are you?
His work is complete. The hymn writer said, “Done is the work that saves.” He asks no more of us than to rest in faith. He will “pass over.” Judgment is stayed! The punishment is borne by another and we can go free. God’s provision has been made. All that remains is for you to step out in simple faith on the Word of God. He says, “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” Come now, shelter under the blood! He promises, “I will pass over you.”