Thursday, February 2, 2006

Wash me with hyssop...

Exodus 12:21-24 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover. And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip [it] in the blood that [is] in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that [is] in the basin; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite [you]. And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever.
Hubby and I are working on reading through the Bible this year.... Anyway, middle of last month landed us in Exodus 12, dealing with the first Passover. As we were reading through the verses above, I had one of those *ding--light going on* moments that I thought I'd share.. but first a bit of background.

Back when I was in 5th grade, we were attending Newport Baptist Church--very near the homestead of the Knipe family. The church tossed out a challenge to us kids: memorize Psalm 51 and bring 3 visitors to SS between now (the fall)and the following summer & the church would sponsor us for summer camp. I still remember c-o-l-d winter mornings, mom waiting with me for the bus drilling me on Psalm 51. :-) Well, I never went to camp, but I did get the major part of Psalm 51 down cold. It starts: Have mercy upon me oh God, according to thy lovingkindness, according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquities & cleanse me from my sin for I acknowledge my transgressions & my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only have I sinned and done this evil in thy sight, that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest & be clear when thou judgest. Behold I was shapen in iniquity and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold thou desirest truth in the inward parts and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean. Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness..........
So last month as hubby and I are reading in Exodus 12 about the Passover, the hyssop imagery hit me... hard. See, Psalm 51 has always been my favorite "repentance" passage. Purge me with hyssop. I've kinda viewed it as the OT equivalent of 1 John 1:9 ...if we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive--especially with David's reference to the restoration of the joy of salvation. But as it occurred to me, that (the believer's repentance) might not be the big point.

Ultimately, the hyssop imagery is salvific. It wasn't the hyssop plant itself that was in focus--it was the blood in which the hyssop was dipped. The Israelites didn't have to stand outside all night, dipping the hyssop & re-applying blood to the doorposts. They were to do it once & then stay inside. The blood did the work. So, too, for me today. 'Tis the washing in His blood that makes me whiter than snow. I don't have to keep dipping the hyssop, so to speak. I'm forgiven--freed, by His blood.

Bottom line?? It's not the hyssop that was so important... it was the blood of the Lamb.

2 comments:

Riv said...

Posted 2/3/2006 7:57 AM

wow. that's powerful. i'd never made that connection.

LoroJoro said...

Posted 2/4/2006 11:01 PM

mmm. excellent reminder. kinda like how Barrett used to drive home the fact that our union with Christ is the foundation of every aspect of life. Took me a while to really figure out what he was talking about. ;)