Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: There is nothing to take away our sin other than the shed blood of Christ our Savior.

Nothing But The Blood

Hebrews 9:11-15

The days were long and the nights were filled with nursing sore muscles and trying to reassure one another that hope was not lost, that YHWH would one day replace their sorrow with celebration. Days were filled with the sounds of the whip cracking on someone's back, being bossed around, forced labor, and shouting slave masters. Nights were spent feeding the family, spending time with the children, and nursing wounds inflicted from the hands of the overseers, the workers called them "slave drivers." They had been held captive for so long that nobody even remotely remembered what freedom felt like and yet the hope of deliverance never faded. Generation after generation had taken their place in Pharaoh's pits mashing mud, water, and straw until it was pliable enough to be molded into bricks. When Pharaoh grew angry he would take away the straw to punish the Hebrews.

Of an evening the fathers and mothers would gather with their children just before bed to say their prayers and try and encourage their little ones. They would tell their kids that YHWH would send a Deliverer one-day who would release them from their labors and return them to the land that He had given to their forefathers. They would tell the children stories about Abraham and Sarah and how YHWH had given them a son when they had long given up hope of having a baby fill their nursery. They would tell them about Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, Rachel, and Leah, but the story they loved to tell, the hope they held onto, was Joseph.

While their kids were nestled in bed with their covers pulled up to their chins, moms and dads all over Egypt would tell the story of Joseph with hope radiating from their faces. They would tell them how Joseph was sold as a slave, but at the right time YHWH had delivered him from the prison he had known, but never called home. They told their children that Egypt was not their home and that one day YHWH, in His faithfulness, would deliver them too. Then they would pray, "Lord, send a Deliverer so that our children will know the good gift of freedom. Grant us favor, YHWH, in Your mercy forgive us for our sins, in Your love heal our wounds, and by Your great hand send a Deliverer."

After more than four hundred years of slavery God raised up a deliverer. A man called Moses, a Hebrew raised in the house of Pharaoh. Moses heard the voice of God declaring, "I have seen the suffering of My people and I have come to deliver them." God appointed Moses to be His mouthpiece and to declare to Pharaoh, "Let My people go."

After many plagues troubled the heart of Pharaoh, he still would not release the Hebrews to freedom. God told Moses that there would be just one more plague, the death of the firstborn throughout all of Egypt, then Pharaoh would relent and the Hebrews would be slaves no more. God said,

12"On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn-both men and animals-and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. 13The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. (Exodus 12:12-13 NIV)

Each family was to take a male lamb, one year old, without blemish or spot. They were to remove him from the herd and care for him until the fourteenth day of the month. At twilight, on the appointed day, the father of the family was to take the lamb and kill him, catching his blood in a bowl. The lamb would be roasted for the family to eat, but the blood would be caught to smear on the sides and top of the doorframes entering into their homes.

When the day came each family was busy killing their most prized, precious lamb - a lamb without spot or blemish. Men all over the Hebrew slave camp of almost two million people were seen smearing the blood of the lamb on the top and sides of the doorframe of their home. The Egyptians passing by thought they had lost their mind, but the fathers stroked their doorframes with blood with a glimmer of hope emanating from their hearts. After more than four hundred years of slavery they still had hope that YHWH would be true to His Word.

That night, at midnight, Hebrew families were huddled in their homes waiting for whatever would happen. The air began to stir. The sky grew darker than any midnight sky they had ever seen. The air was ominous. All of a sudden the Death Angel began to sweep down from the heavens and search out every home throughout all of Egypt. From Pharaoh's palace to the little hut of the slave girl left alone to raise her family after her husband had been killed by one of Pharaoh's henchmen - the Death Angel searched them all out. At midnight not one Egyptian home was left untouched by the mighty hand of God. Moses records for us in Exodus 12,

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