Redemption Calls For Relationship

Grace slapped, offers the other cheek. Slapped again, it offers it back. There is, however, a 'cut off' point where grace says, "Enough!" When that line is crossed, grace dons the judge's apparel.

That is one of the many lessons discerned from the Biblical account of the Passover. The Eternal offered all a safe haven from impending judgement. When wrath was coming, grace secured a place of refuge. The slain lamb and the blood splattered door posts and lintel were expressions of gratitude, as well as acts of faith. Those from Pharaoh's house and beyond, whose arrogance made them unyielding to grace became engulfed in the avalanche of grief, when grace gave way to wrath.

It is said that the unique revelation of the God of the Bible is summed up in that beautiful word, grace. Unmerited favour, long suffering love, are expressions which try to define it, but grace has its own exuberant fragrance beyond explanation. In a sense, only when it is demonstrated is it understood. That was what God did on what became known, as 'The Passover Night'.

God told Moses, "Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: 'On the tenth day of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household . . . Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight . . . And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it . . . Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt." (Exodus 12:3-13)

The descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob turned their homes into a safe place, with the sign of the blood. Whether any Egyptians did the same is not recorded. However, to ignore the invitation was to have no place to hide.

The Passover, in Egypt, is a demonstration of how God would offer salvation to all, both Jew and Gentile. Refuse it is to taste an eternal grief. From the exodus account, there appears to be many outside the framework of Israel who took the message to heart. "A mixed multitude (people) went up with them (Israel) also, and flocks and herds – a great deal of livestock." (Exodus 12:38) Just who they were is not defined, but it does not take much imagination to see all types and races who were living, working, or enslaved in Egypt, at that time, being caught up in God's power and grace.

There is a world of difference however, in being a recipient of grace and entering into a relationship which grace affords. This is so dramatically illustrated in Exodus 24:1-11.

"Now He said to Moses, 'Come up to the LORD, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship from afar. And Moses alone shall come near the LORD, but they shall not come near; nor shall the people go up with him.' So Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD and all the judgments. And all the people answered with one voice and said, 'All the words which the LORD has said we will do.'

"And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD. And he rose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars according to the twelve tribes of Israel.

"Then he sent young men of the children of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the LORD. And Moses took half the blood and put it in basins, and half the blood he sprinkled on the altar.

"Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people. And they said, 'All that the LORD has said we will do, and be obedient.' And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, 'This is the blood of the covenant which the LORD has made with you according to all these words.'

"Then Moses went up, also Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel. And there was under his feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity. But on the nobles of the children of Israel He did not lay His hand. So they saw God, and they ate and drank." (Exodus 24:1-11)

The aim of the Passover was to bring people into a relationship with the God of grace. That relationship flowed out of redemption, but was separate from it. For what is being declared is that God has paid the penalty of sin's rebellion and treason and as such sin is no longer the problem. What is the issue now? Will you respond in gratitude by entering into a relationship based upon faith and expressed in obedience?

Whilst, the people had been redeemed, there was no relationship until the 'Blood of the Covenant' had been shed for and spread over the people. They only received the 'Blood of the Covenant' after they had heard Moses read from the Book of the Covenant, and when Israel had responded, "All that the LORD has said we will do, and be obedient." (verse 7)

Notice also the difference after this experience to what was the case before. In verses, 1 and 2, God tells Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and the seventy Elders that they had to worship Him from afar. Moses was the only one who could come close.

Why? Surely, they had beheld the wonder of deliverance in the land of Egypt. It is because the Eternal, who is holy, can only enter into a relationship with man, who is unholy, through the 'Blood of the Covenant.' This takes salvation from sin as a general achievement of God into a personal discovery. Sin is no longer an issue. Relationship by faith and obedience is the hallmark of accepting 'the Blood of the Covenant.'

This is beautifully described in the passage quoted above because those who were formally forbidden, now in verses 9-11, are allowed to go up. The 'Blood of the Covenant' made it possible for them to see God and to eat and drink in His presence. How God revealed Himself to them and what they 'saw' of Him is not mentioned. What is grasped is simply this; what was impossible before the application of, and response to, the 'Blood of the Covenant' was now possible.

What are we to reflect upon from the two momentous experiences offered by grace, and recorded in Exodus 12 and 24? Both look beyond themselves as shadows to a fulfilment in substance. The longed for Messiah must surely fulfill the spiritual significance of the Passover Lamb and the Blood of the Covenant. Isaiah 53, the Suffering Servant passage, foretells the Passover Lamb's experience and its significance in the life of the Messiah. His achievements are for all.

"The God of our fathers raised up Jesus (Yeshua) whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. Him God has exalted to his right hand to be Prince and Saviour, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him." (Acts of the Apostles 5:30-32)

Whilst His death takes away the sin of the world, it does not automatically bring a person into a relationship with the Redeeming Lord. There must be a personal response as shown by the application of the Blood of the Covenant. It is this Blood that makes those who respond a sanctified people, set apart for fellowship with the Eternal God. It is as people set apart that Redemption by the 'Passover Lamb' is fully realised. How wonderful to know that it is in Messiah Yeshua and the shedding of His Blood that both redemption and relationship are personally achieved for all who respond to Him in faith.