The Bible teaches that sin produces death, but God gives life. There is a wondrously mysterious dynamic at work here in that even by the very penalty for sin God has provided a way to redeem!
It must have seemed strange, that evening long ago in ancient Egypt, when the descendants of Jacob took the blood of the lamb they had just killed and sprinkled it on the doorposts and lintels of their houses. Oh, they had been given an explanation for doing it — the LORD was to “pass through” the land that night to execute a terrible judgment against those who stood against Him. The only hope of being spared was the blood of that lamb adorning their homes. You see, through the death of that victim they gained life, they gained deliverance, they gained freedom, and they gained redemption. (Exodus 12.1-13)
We know the story well. We also know it as “symbolic salvation drama,” acting out in real time and circumstance a symbol of an event God was planning for a later time. On the night these events actually happened, the people involved had no idea of their greater spiritual significance. They did what they had been told to do. They obeyed. They killed a lamb, collected its blood, sprinkled the blood on their houses, roasted and ate the lamb and as God “passed through” Egypt that night, He “passed over” every house where the blood was applied. They were safe; they were delivered; they were free — that’s what the event was to them.
Centuries later, the actual drama also occurred in real time and circumstance. Again the people selected a lamb and killed it — only this time the lamb was a man. The ministry and mission of Jesus was announced by John the Baptist as “the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1.29, 35).
Deliverance from Egypt was very real for those being delivered, but that event was a mere shadow of a greater deliverance God held in store. By the death of an innocent lamb they were delivered from a temporal tyrant — by the death of an innocent man we are delivered from a greater tyrant. The penalty for sin is death. But He who “knew no sin” assumed the responsibility and paid the penalty for our sins so that by His death we are granted life. We are blood-bought and blood-cleansed people — the blood of the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. So that now, as then, when God “sees the blood” He “passes over.”