As I relaxed at home this past resurrection Sunday watching the Ten Commandments (staring Charles Heston) I was moved with emotion as I pondered on the scene where Joshua was applying the lamb’s blood to the two side posts and the upper post of a Jewish door in accordance with God’s instruction from Moses. That the passover lamb and its blood are types for which the antitypes are the Lamb of God (Jesus Christ) and His shed blood are obvious to most Christians; however, the simplicity in how the Jews attained to this exclusion from God’s wrath and the sufficiency of the lamb’s blood are two types which unfortunately go unidentified by many professing Christians. The corresponding antitypes are the simplicity of the Gospel (2 Corinthians 11:3) and the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice (Hebrews 10:14).
(Exodus 12:13) And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.
God said “and when I see the blood” not, when I hear the prayers [of holy people], or when I see your good works, or when I see your penances, or when I see your nationality, or when I see your church membership; nothing could satisfy God’s wrath except the God-supplied solution (of the lamb’s blood), all that God wanted in return was obedience (1 Samuel 15:22). As long as the Jews (or anyone for that matter) believed the word of God delivered by Moses regarding the efficacy of the blood and acted out this belief, they were guaranteed to escape the coming wrath of God (Exodus 12:13). In other words, obedience to God’s word was absolutely necessary, but the lamb’s blood was the only thing that could stop the wrath of God. No other solution, no matter how pious, could have met God’s demand for exclusion from His wrath. Incidentally (and consequently), no one could boast (after the plague) that they had escaped God’s judgment because of anything that they had done outside of God’s solution, such boasting would in fact, defy reason (Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 3:27). Also, adding anything (i.e. our own sufferings) to the God-defined solution would no doubt have insulted and angered God as he would have branded this addition as “another” solution aiming to usurp the simplicity and sufficiency of His perfect and original solution (Galatians 1:6, 2 Corinthians 11:4).
Now if a person, after hearing Moses deliver the word of God, claimed to “believe” those words, but did not attempt to carry out God’s command, what do you think would happen to that person’s household? Well, obviously that person’s household would have received its measure of God’s wrath (the plague); this is precisely why God warns us in the second chapter of the book of James that faith without works is dead. If you say that you have faith or that you believe, the only way to demonstrate this claim before men (not before God as He sees the heart) is by living according to what you believe, this is what James means by ‘works.’ This is also why we are told in the first chapter of James that if we are only hearers of the Word and not doers we are deceiving ourselves.
Finally, (in Acts 16:30) the Philippian jailer doesn’t ask Paul and Silas “how was my redemption attained?” If he had, Paul would no doubt have replied “only by the blood of Jesus Christ.” Instead, He cries out to Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved…” and Paul said, “…believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Similarly, Christ (in John6:29), when asked by some “freeloaders” how they could work the works of God (which endure unto everlasting life) replied, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom [the Father] hath sent.” Therefore, let us try not to add to the solution of Christ’s Sacrifice, after all, He said, “it is finished” and we know that His blood is sufficient, all that is left to do is believe!
P.S. Incidentally, parallel “simplicity” and “sufficiency” types also occur in Numbers 21 where God’s judgement (fiery serpents) befalls the murmuring Jews and only those snake-bitten Jews who believed the God-ordained solution (of simply looking at a brazen serpent that was lifted up on a pole) attained immediate healing from certain death.