I recently studied and taught a lesson about the Passover in Exodus 12. I tend to have a love/hate relationship with this story. I absolutely hate the thought of thousands of baby boys being slaughtered in their sleep and my mommy heart breaks for the parents who found their tiny son unresponsive in the darkness of that Egypt night. On the other hand, I love the foreshadowing of a better and perfect lamb who would become our Savior.
What did the families with spared sons do differently that night? They followed the instructions to paint the blood of a spotless lamb on their doorposts and depended on Yahweh that He would fulfill His promise of protection. Their safety wasn’t based on their behavior earlier that day or week or month. Their family heritage had no bearing on whether their child would live or die. They couldn’t hold up the attendance sheet from the synagogue to prove their worthiness for being passed over (not to mention the Israelites didn’t even have a tabernacle at that point!). It wasn’t the greatness of their faith that rescued them, but the object of their faith – the almighty, faithful God.
The simple fact is that none of us are “good” Christians. When the world looks at us, they may not be able to tell much about our family history, church attendance, or past sins. What they should be able to see is a broken, sinful people who have placed our dependence on the One who was perfectly good!
Therefore in order to be a consistently good Christian (and to teach our children to follow that example), we must consistently preach the gospel to ourselves. “I was a rebel – an enemy – against God. In His abounding mercy and love He sent His own Son who faced the wrath of God in my place so that I may now be called His friend.”
In other words, I become a “better Christian” not by doing more and more on my own, but by becoming more and more dependent on Christ. I pray that I remember this truth when my boys are arguing about their toys for the umteenth time or when a disrespectful attitude rears its ugly head once again. There is nothing in me. There is nothing in you. There is nothing in your children that deserves to be passed over. May we rest in the might and faithfulness of the God who promises to rescue us!