He Will Judge The Nations
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment
– Hebrews 9:27
Exodus is one of my favorite books in the Old Testament. Its stories are epic in scale with the author sharing real events that paint the dramatic picture of God’s deliverance for his chosen people. Within its account of Israel’s freedom from slavery in Egypt, it is rich with beautiful and vivid symbols that point us to Christ, foreshadowing the work of our Savior. One of the stories that I enjoy most is the Passover.
Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household.
Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight.
They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses.
It is the Lord’s Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt. – Exodus 12:3,5-7,11-13
If you have been in church for sometime, this is likely a story you are familiar with. God is setting his people free from their captivity through bringing judgement on the land of Egypt. By this point in the narrative, God has sent nine other judgments upon Egypt as the pharaoh continues to deny the release of God’s people. Finally God warns of a final plague, he will go through the land and kill all the firstborn of every man and beast. (Exodus 11:4-5)
But there is something here that I don’t believe we always think about, and I don’t want us to miss it.
Israel was not spared God’s judgement. We tend to simply let that thought pass because they were the ones set free from captivity, however the picture is bigger than that. God’s judgment swept across the entire land of Egypt, and this included Israel. God’s people were not spared the judgement, instead, they were given a way to escape under the judgement. And what was the means of their escape? Trusting in the blood of the lamb.
What would have happened if they would have trusted in something else? What if rather than believing God’s word, they trusted in themselves to determine what would protect them from God’s impending wrath? What if they convinced themselves that God is not a God who judges, and would never do anything like that to them? Or if they decided mud would work on the door, rather than blood? Or if they decided that blood from a different animal would work, or even accepting a few blemishes on the lamb they sacrificed? What would have happened, is that they too would have suffered under the judgement. God’s wrath came out upon them, however they believed and obeyed, and it passed over them. They escaped it, but they were not spared it.
But why were they passed over?
Because something died in place of their first born. The blood of the lamb showed that the necessary death God’s judgment required had been satisfied.
Now this event that took place in the ancient world will happen again. However it will not be localized to the land of Egypt, instead it will cover the entire earth. There is a judgement coming that every person will face, and it is a judgement of life or death. Not one person will be spared it.
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment – Hebrews 9:27
The mortality rate of every person is 100%. We are appointed by God for death, and then the judgment. No one is spared it, yet just as Israel had hope in the death of the lamb, so do all men today have hope in the blood of Christ! He is the lamb that was slain to provide freedom from sin’s penalty! (John 1:29)
We all have earned death from our sin (Romans 6:23), but this death is maybe not what you think. We have all sinned against a holy God, yet you are alive reading this. Your heart beats, and your lungs work, so what is this death? It is the death that comes after the judgement. It is the casting away that God will do to those who have not had their sins paid for by the death of Christ.
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death. – Revelation 2:11
So have you conquered? Has the penalty and power sin has over your heart been conquered by Christ? Do you love, submit, pursue, desire, and trust him? There are many today, who refuse to believe and obey what God has said on this subject. They are busy trying to find something else to put on the doorposts of their heart, rather than submitting to Christ. Perhaps they have convinced themselves that his words are not true, and he will not judge anyone. However, the judgement will still come and Christ is our only hope to escape it, and that escape gives us everything!
The escape is not the end, but a means to the end. It is the means to be with God forever. To enjoy his glory forever, and to see and experience him as our source of all joy, peace, and satisfaction.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. – Psalm 16:11
If you do not know him, I beg you to see him as beautiful in his death on the cross. He is the lamb that died in your place. See what he offers you, a right relationship with God, then abandon your sin and run to him!