I just finished reading Captivated by Thabiti Anyabwile (a little book that packs a punch). Since reading it, I’ve been meditating for weeks on this:
Egypt lays in darkness for three days, Jerusalem for three hours. After the darkness, Egypt’s firstborn sons were killed; in Jerusalem the only begotten Son of God was slain. In Egypt, a lamb’s blood covered the doorposts of homes. In Jerusalem, the Lamb of God’s blood covered the sins of the world. (27)
The gospel is a story we rehearse. It’s something we hear and respond to. It’s something we keep in front of us. It transforms us fundamentally. In the Old Testament, this rehearsal centered on the Exodus narrative. God steps in as Redeemer and rescues His bride from Egypt.
Thabiti highlights some of the most beautiful and frightful parallels and imagery from both the Old Testament Exodus and the New Exodus of the New Testament. Darkness in Scripture is always a picture of judgement. The Prophets, when foretelling God’s impending judgement, talk about the sun turning red and darkness becoming tangible. Revelation speaks this way as well. It’s no wonder then that when the Father pours out the cup of His wrath on Jesus it becomes dark.
Notice especially the last parallel imagery: blood. Many scholars believe, as I do, that the Old Testament angel of the Lord is a Christophany, a pre-incarnate visitation of Jesus Christ. That means He enters the land of Egypt to kill all the firstborn sons in homes where blood isn’t covering the doorpost. In the new covenant, we are the house of God and, with His own right hand, he paints the blood of His Son on us. He is the blood on the doorposts of our hearts that prevent us from being put to death for our sins.
This is a series on resurrection so here’s where I want to take one step further than Thabiti did in this quotation and tie this in to the resurrection. When God paints us with the blood of His Son, He ensures us life, but how? Jesus dies and rises again. He comes up from the grave victorious. He comes through the water and into the promised land where He rests. He is our Trailblazer. The path is clear, the resurrection path he walked, and all those painted with His blood follow His path. We follow Him into rest. We possess the same resurrection power to walk that path.
The journey set before us is life. The gospel isn’t just a set of truths we meditate on. It’s that. No doubt. We never move past the gospel. But those truths actually effect a change. They are transformative truths. They empower us to walk through the hardships of life with one eye to the rest guaranteed by Jesus Christ.
So don’t fear the journey. Live life like you know the end of the story. Live life like you’ve been redeemed. Live life like the doorposts of your life has been painted with His blood. Live life like it’s your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom (Lk. 12:32).
Mathew Sims is the author of A Household Gospel Fulfilling the Great Commission in Our Homes and also writes for CBMW Men’s blog, Gospel Centered Discipleship, and Servants of Grace. He also works as the managing editor at Gospel Centered Discipleship. They attend Downtown Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Greenville, SC.