“Mom! Get up! It’s time,” said a partially excited Brianna. She was partially excited only because she was still partially asleep.
“Okay, I’m up. Is it 3?” I asked, wiping the little bit of sleep from eyes and climbing into my favorite zipper robe and flowery mud boots.
“Yeah Mom, it’s 3,” she whispered. “Now come on or we’ll miss it.” She clambered down the hallway in pj’s, only socks and a blanket.
We entered the night as though it was another room. The quiet of Aspen Springs magnified the stars welcoming us. If ever there was a quiet, still voice, it was then. Tiarra appeared out of nowhere, as usual, and climbed into my lap for warmth (mine really) while the youngest, Sierra opted to remain snuggled in bed. We peered into the night sky for the anticipated “blood moon.”
The shadow of the earth passed over the moon before our eyes while I sat contemplating my time with my three daughters during spring break. We had begun a 12 day lesson using resurrection eggs I found at a garage sale the summer before. A donkey, coins totaling 30 pieces paid to Judas when he betrayed Jesus, the Passover cup, praying hands, a leather whip and a crown of thorns. Most of the tokens demonstrated the spilled blood of Jesus; Jesus riding humbly upon the donkey, entering Jerusalem as The Sacrificial Lamb (Mat 21:1-9) and Judas kissing Jesus, identifying Him as The King of Jews for a measly 30 coins(Matthew 26: 46-50, 27:1-5). Jesus made sure, however, that it was only His blood that would be spilled and when one of Jesus’ friends cut off the ear of a servant of the high priest in protest to His arrest, what did Jesus do? He put the ear back on (Mat 26:50)!
But the most profound of these tokens thus far was the Passover Cup. The trail of blood that we followed began in Egypt when the Jewish people were told by God to take a lamb, sacrifice it, prepare it for eating and “take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs.” (Ex 12:7)
“On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord.13 The 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.
14 “This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord—a lasting ordinance. “ Ex 12:12-14
The lamb sacrificed and blood painted around the door frames represented The Lamb of God, Jesus. A cup, like the Passover lamb, was also part of the trail of blood leading us to Christ.
Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it. “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them.25 “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
The very next day Jesus was crucified. He became that sacrificial lamb. He became that cup spilled out upon the ground. He became the blood spilled out over the doorposts of our very hearts.
As I sat there, bundled up with my daughters I marveled that in the middle of the night we were all passed over by a “blood moon.” Then it occurred to me… today is the first day of Passover.
Today the destroying angel comes, not to kill the first born of those who do not believe, but to destroy within those who do believe the things that keep us from following Him. And what are those things? Like the Israelites, freshly rescued from Egypt and lives of slavery, we share the temptation to build an idol while we wait for God. The Israelites slipped back into old patterns and out of doubt and impatience decided to forgo waiting for Moses and God, and worship a golden calf instead.
“When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, ‘Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.’
Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”
When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.” So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry. (Ex 32:1-6)
“These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt!?” Really? After everything God has done, they are going to doubt Him and give the credit to a homely little calf made from bits of gold and risk the same death that defeated the Egyptians.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, ‘These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’
“I have seen these people,” the Lord said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people. Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.”
But Moses sought the favor of the Lord his God….
Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened. Exodus 32:7-11,14
Moses isn’t here to defend our cause, but Jesus is.
“…against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment.” Exodus 12:12
As the destroying angel goes to and fro during this Passover season, you will see and know the “golden calves” and “gods of Egypt” between you and God. They will be destroyed. They must be destroyed. Yet, God will not destroy us completely; He passes over us because of the blood Jesus spilled over the door posts of our heart. Don’t wait to make your decisions out of fear or doubt. Allow God to remove these idols; the sign of the blood moon rising on the first day of Passover is significant. Do not ignore His call. My message is simple: have no gods or idols before you, it’s dangerous.
I am with you and will save you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only in due measure; I will not let you go entirely unpunished.’ Jeremiah 30:11