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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Cardel

Either HE dies, Or I Die

“Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, ‘Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning. When the LORD goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.” –Exodus 12:21-23 NIV

I don’t like guns, but I have a carry permit. And I don’t actually carry a gun around with me because I don’t think it’s secure in my purse. So why did I get it? To defend my household. There have been times when my husband was out of town and I was left to protect my children and I wanted to be able to do that. Now that my children are grown and gone, I need to be able to defend myself. You may think that’s paranoid or crazy, but the husband of a friend of mine made national news holding two escaped convicts in his backyard until police arrived. Thankfully, he never had to draw his loaded weapon, but he was prepared to do so to defend himself and his family. Stuff happens. Better safe than sorry.

I wonder how many of the Israelites thought Moses and the elders were out of their minds when they asked them to do this bizarre thing of painting their doorposts with the blood of a lamb for protection. Did they hesitate? Did they find it too brutal? The Bible doesn’t tell us if any of the Israelites hardened their hearts and ended up with broken hearts because the “destroyer,” the Angel of Death, killed their firstborn son.

And just like with my handgun, I don’t care how brutal or disgusting I thought it was, if Moses said to kill the lamb and put his blood on my doorposts to protect one of my children, you better believe I would have done it.

If you think God was mean to kill the firstborn sons, remember that he gave up his own firstborn son.

Of all the symbolism that points to Jesus in the Old Testament, Passover is the most important.

This is why Jesus is called the Lamb of God. A blood sacrifice was required for our sins, but an actual lamb wouldn’t do. No animal sacrifice was good enough. Only God himself could pay the price to redeem the whole world. Only his blood was holy enough to accomplish this purpose.

I love my children so much that I was willing to overcome my dislike of guns to protect them. And yes, I would lay down my life for them. So I understand a tiny bit about the love God has for me, for his people. Death on a cross is brutal. The sun is scorching; your mouth is parched. The pain where you are nailed is non-stop, but the gravity pulling on those wounds and on the weight of your body that causes you to suffocate to death is the worst part. And don’t forget, Jesus went to the cross after being brutally beaten, mocked and spit on.

He did that for me.

He did that for you.

It may be hard for us to understand. We never had to hold a lamb’s head with one hand and slit his throat with the other. We never had to look into his eyes knowing either he dies or I die. Either he dies or my firstborn dies. God took away all of my sin and laid it on Jesus and made him pay the price. It is only because his blood covers me that God is able to find me acceptable to enter heaven. Either he dies, or I die eternally. I am too sinful to have eternal life without him. God looks at me and sees Jesus’ sacrifice, his blood.

Jesus’ blood is painted on the doorpost of my heart and now the destroyer will pass over me and Jesus will hold open his arms to embrace me.

There is nothing brutal about that.

With love in Christ,


Oh Lord, your love is too big for me to comprehend and your sacrifice is too great. There are no words to thank you enough. There are not enough good deeds for me to do to repay you. But you don’t care about that. You only care that I humbly repent daily, hourly, never forgetting your sacrifice which allows you to forgive even my most grievous sins. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.

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