Inspired by a family friend whose blood donation saved his life when he was a baby, Marco Perez decided to do the same. An Air Force veteran and postal worker in Texas, he donated blood every two weeks (the maximum possible). In 2017, he gave his 100th gallon! Said a spokesperson for the blood bank where Perez gives: “It’s safe to say he’s saved over 1,500 lives with his donations.”
Blood saved lives in today’s story as well. At the Lord’s command, Moses had been confronting Pharaoh, demanding that the Israelite slaves be set free. Nine plagues later, however, Pharaoh had failed to change his mind. The tenth plague would be the last straw. To demonstrate God’s absolute power over life and death and finally break Pharaoh’s will, every firstborn in Egypt would die. This would be “judgment on all the gods of Egypt” (v. 12).
What about the Israelites? They were instructed to slaughter and roast an unblemished lamb, cooking it with certain bitter herbs and eat it with bread made without yeast. Furthermore, they were to take the blood of that lamb and put it on the tops of the doorframes of houses in which this special meal would be eaten (vv. 7, 22). Death would not come to anyone in these houses (vv. 13, 23).
The blood was a symbol of substitution—of one life given for another (Lev. 17:11), as the ram in the thicket that had taken Isaac’s place (Gen. 22:13–14). The principle? “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Heb. 9:22; 1 John 1:7). This event, called Passover, is so crucial in the history of Israel that it signals its very beginning (v. 2). It would become a defining narrative, passed down from generation to generation (vv. 14, 17, 24–27).
>> The Book of Exodus was our Today in the Word topic for October 2019. If you missed it, why not go to our web page and study it? Or, if you need a review, this and other back issues are available to you at any time.