Is It Sprinkled
“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 . . . 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-post with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning” (Exodus 12:13, 22).
These verses show us God’s way of salvation, and the way man must act in order to avail himself of God’s rich and wondrous provision for his need. Judgment was about to fall on man. Egypt and all its households were exposed to this sure and certain judgment, the Israelite as much as the Egyptian—true figure of the world’s present condition, with God’s eternal judgment of sin looming in the distance. Death is at the very threshold. The Judge is passing by. Can His righteous wrath be averted? Can His entrance in this terrible character be arrested? These were the momentous questions of that night, and are not less urgent at the present moment. Reader, can you answer them? Unless you know in reality the meaning of the two verses I have quoted you cannot do so; and if still in nature’s darkness, may God in His infinite mercy open your eyes, ere it be too late.
There are a great many people who would tell you without hesitation that they fully believe the Word of God as to the death of Christ being the only ground of a sinner’s hope before God, that they had given up all idea of self-righteousness as a means of staving off the coming judgment—and yet they are not saved. Why is this? They believe Jesus died, and yet they are not saved. Why is this? “Oh,” you say, “they have not faith,” I suppose that is at the root of it. No sensible man—no honest man, no man who has a notion of what God is, but must come to this conclusion, “I stand in danger.” And then too he must believe as a historical fact the death of Jesus. Still such are not saved. The reason is not far to seek. Historically they believe everything. Really they believe nothing. There is no saving link of divinely given faith between their souls and Christ. To use my illustration, the blood is still in the basin, and not sprinkled on the lintel and two side-posts.
It is as though YOU had gone into the house of an Israelite that night and put the question to him, “Do you believe judgment is coming? Nine woes are past, but do you believe the last, worst woe is coming?”
“Oh yes, I believe it, and I have done as the Lord commanded: the lamb is slain, the blood is shed.”
“But where is the blood?”
“Oh! it is in the basin.”
“Is it not on the lintel and side-posts?”
“No, not yet.”
“Why have you not put it on the lintel and side-posts?”
Well there are a good many reasons. First of all, it seems to me only a small matter of detail the putting it on the lintel. Surely if the lamb be slain—the blood shed—that is enough. The sprinkling of the blood outside, where everybody will see it, cannot surely be necessary to safety. Besides, I don’t care to be a marked person in this way. There is no need to make oneself conspicuous to every eye—it seems rather like calling attention to one’s house to sprinkle the blood without. It seems to me that to have the blood in the basin within is quite enough.”
“But with the blood only in the basin you are not safe from the destroyer.”
“Well, I hope I shall be at any rate, though of course I am not sure.”
Now, this, dear reader, is just your case perhaps. You believe the blood of the Lamb has been shed; you know Jesus died. You know there is only shelter beneath His precious blood, but there has been no real application of the death of Christ to your own soul. Why is this? There has been no taking the bunch of hyssop and sprinkling the blood with it. The bunch of hyssop is a very insignificant thing—a poor contemptible thing—and people are not readily willing to go down in the confession of absolute need and nothingness.
Mere knowledge of facts will not save, and will certainly ruin your soul if there be not the application of the thing known to the heart. Remember you may go down to hell with the Bible at your fingers’ ends, for knowledge is not faith nor repentance. But the bunch of hyssop, though a very poor, insignificant thing, is a Divine necessity. Solomon spake of all things “from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon, even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall.”
The hyssop is a little scrubby thing that does not take root in a decent fashion even, but springs out from between two stones. The cedar and the hyssop represent the two extremes in nature, the highest and the lowest. You must take the blood up with a bunch of hyssop; that is, you must go and shelter yourself under Christ’s precious blood with the full consciousness that you are a lost soul, without a particle of innate worthiness or goodness
In many parts of Scripture we read of the use of the hyssop. When the leper was to be cleansed in Leviticus 14 the hyssop was buried out of sight; in Numbers 19, when the defiled man was to be cleansed it was burned out of sight. David says in Psalm 11 “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean.” There is no mistake about that man; he wants cleansing. “I will take hyssop,” says David. “Oh, cast me where you will, treat me as you will, only cleanse me. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”
But further, it was on the end of a bunch of hyssop, that spake of the lowest and most degrading thing in nature, they gave the Lord Jesus a sponge of vinegar in the day of His death, when He was suffering to put away sins. Yes, they could taunt Him with the bunch of hyssop in the hour of His agony, His deep untold suffering—His suffering for us; and Jesus in the grace of His heart received it, and said, “It is finished.” What does that mean? It means He there was undergoing from the hand of God the wrath, the dark, bitter agony that was due to you and me. He died for us that we might live with Him.
Are you prepared, dear reader, to accept the bunch of hyssop yourself; in other words, to take the place of repentance and self-judgment before God? Mark! there never entered an unrepentant soul within the doors of heaven. Faith and repentance go together. Using the bunch of hyssop is a man going down before God in the acknowledgment of his true lost and ungodly state; not resting content with saying, “I know Jesus died, but I must wait till I go through some edifying experience, as I have heard of others having done, before I can know I am saved.” The one who uses the hyssop, is the sinner who shelters himself as a lost man under cover of that precious blood—applying it to his own heart. “But,” you say, “I never saw the blood of Christ.” Nor did I! I never saw the blood of Christ, and never shall see it, but I believe what God has told me about it. It is not when you see the blood, but God says, “When I see the blood I will pass over.”
But you ask, “Why sprinkle it only on the lintel and on the two side-posts? Why not on the ground, why not on the threshold?” I will tell you why. Because it is left for a careless soul like you to trample the blood of Jesus beneath the feet—to despise and scorn it. What does faith do? Faith sprinkles it, shelters beneath it, and says, I stand beneath a blood-stained lintel. There was but one eye saw the blood that night in Egypt. No Israelites saw the blood. They simply obeyed the Word of God, they put the blood on the outside of their houses in faith, and they remained inside in peace, secure under its shelter, and if God has told you that on the cross His blessed Son died to put away your sins, what have you to do? Simply to repose on the truth of what God has told you. God bids us shelter ourselves beneath that blood, that precious blood which has been shed (Heb. 9:11-12). Christ’s blood has been shed on the cross, and He having there suffered in our stead, once, and only once—having borne the judgment—has entered in once into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. On the ground of what He is, and what He has done and endured, we can enter in also.
Christ having borne sins, having taken them upon Him, having been on the cross made sin, put Himself in grace as a substitute in a place: out of which He could not extricate Himself save by putting away those sins. He was there on the cross with sins upon Him. He was on that tree under the judgment of sin, not His own, blessed be God, but ours! OURS! On the cross, in the deepest grace, He hung in the sinner’s place. He endured the wrath for the sinner, He died for the sinner. He was sacrificed for us. “Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us.” “Sacrificed for us!” Oh charming word! It might charm the heart of the most hardened sinner. He sacrificed Himself. Yes, HE SACRIFICED HIMSELF FOR US, and yet you have never sacrificed a single half-hour for Christ. You never sacrificed a bit of pleasure for Christ, you never sacrificed your own will or your own way a single moment for Christ. You have sacrificed many a thing, everything, for your own pleasure, but nothing for Him. Is this not so?
Pause, think for a moment. He sacrificed Himself for us, and then passed into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. And the apostle then adds: “How much more shall the blood of Christ purge your conscience from dead works, to serve the living God?” If, in Exodus 12, the blood of the lamb could preserve the greatest sinner through that solemn night, so that no death or destruction could enter in there, “How much more,” O anxious soul, “How much more shall the blood of Christ purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” The blood that has met the claims of God—the precious blood that has silenced the accuser—how much more shall it bring a defiled, guilty sinner into God’s presence pardoned, blessed, forgiven, saved, to serve Him! Magnificent word, “How much more!” Scripture all through speaks of the blood of Christ, and points the sinner to the blood of Christ that has met God, and satisfied His claims, and now there is nothing for you to do but trust it. If you despise it you must perish; if you shelter beneath it you receive eternal life.
It is an awful thing to despise the blood of Christ. Mark well the word in Exodus 11 which God whispers as it were in the ear of Moses to tell to Pharaoh. “Yet will I bring one plague more.” Mark it, you who care not to be ranked among the despised followers of Jesus, who have trampled under foot His precious blood, there remains for you one plague more—one plague more—and oh! tell me, what will you do when this plague overtakes you? Will you try and escape it? Impossible! Will you try to put it off? Impossible! impossible! Will you say as a dying man, a rich man, once said to his physician when he told him the plain truth that he could not live much longer? “Oh! doctor, I will give you all I possess if you can only give me one day more of life.” Impossible! impossible! that day he died. And, sinner, what will you do the day that plague overtakes you, the day the iron hand of death seizes you in its relentless grasp? “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”
God had only “one plague more” for Pharaoh, but, O Christless soul, God has two plagues more for you “After this the judgment!” Death first, and then the judgment! How will you meet them? Oh! if you have never decided for Christ before, will you not decide for Him now? Will you not come to Him now? Will you not put yourself under the shelter of His precious blood before this coming judgment day arrives? I put my queries to you specially who have been moved under the Word of God before, but are still undecided for Christ, still unsettled. Oh! I appeal to you, risk no longer meeting these two awful plagues. No longer let the god of this world blind your eyes to the coming danger, or harden your heart. Let not procrastination lead you astray.
I would you knew my Saviour! my Jesus! the Saviour I know, the Jesus I know—my blessed, precious Saviour. Now just tell me, would not you like to know Him? Does not your heart sometimes long to know rest and peace? You will find it nowhere else; but you will find rest in knowing Him. Do you tremble as you think of meeting these two plagues more—these two coming plagues, from which there is no escape? Then listen to this. “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many.” “So Christ.” If my sins demand death and judgment—so Christ was once offered, bearing sins, and enduring judgment from the hand of God to bring me salvation! “I am content,” I say—“I am content.” Beneath the shelter of that precious blood I will crouch—I am safe, I am happy. I am to stay in the house until the morning peaceful and happy, keeping the feast within—feeding on Christ, enjoying Christ—feasting on Him each day.
“None of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning,” was the word of counsel to Israel. Outside there is only death and destruction. The long dark time of Jesus’ absence He calls the night. In the morning Jesus will come and take us right out of the scene, and until then we are to remain in the house. Safely resting beneath the shelter of that blood, done with the world, we only wait till the morning, that bright and sunny morning, when He shall come to take us into the Father’s house—when we shall hear His own voice calling us: “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away, for, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth, the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.”
“Ah!” you say, “I would like to be there in that morning.” Well, if you would be there then, decide for Jesus now. Who can say you will get another opportunity? And mark! mark well! there are two plagues more. Two plagues more! but not for me. Christ has taken those two plagues for me, and now what is a Christian looking for? Looking for Him “To them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” An unconverted man is looking for two plagues more—he may shut his eyes to the fact—but there they are before him. Do you ask me, “What about the two plagues for you?” I answer, “They are behind me; Jesus has taken them for me, and I am looking for Him!”
May the Lord bless this appeal to you, dear reader, and give you strength and courage to come clean out of the world, and to live only to please and serve and follow Him. Do you think that is hard work and dreadful bondage? That is because you know nothing about it. It is hard work and dreadful bondage to labour in the brick-kilns of the world, and then go down into the depths of hell at the end. I call that dreadful bondage to go on serving Satan now, and then to go down with him where no drop of water shall ever cool your tongue—where the voice of God is never heard—into the darkness of an eternal night, which no ray of light shall ever penetrate. Shut out from Jesus? Yes, shut out from Him for ever then! Oh decide for Him now. You must decide for yourself; no one can decide for you. What a difference! Shut out from Him for ever in the depths of hell, or going to be for ever with Him! Oh will you not decide? I made my choice long ago; so now I know that death and judgment are behind me, and only Jesus before me. Will you not make your choice and choose Him just now? The Lord grant it. God has provided the “Blood,” do you use the “Hyssop,” and sprinkle it in faith on the “Lintel” of your heart, and you will have present and eternal peace, for God says:—
“WHEN I SEE THE BLOOD I WILL PASS OVER.”
The Gospel Messenger 1886, p. 169