Marked Houses


“Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted, its head with its legs and its inner parts. And you shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. 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 12:7-13 ESV

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:7-9 ESV


In the United States some years ago, especially during the Great Depression of the 1930s, there were many men who had no work and no homes. They were called hoboes, and they traveled from place to place getting whatever food, work, or shelter they could find. Hoboes developed many secret signs that they might scratch or draw on different places as messages to each other. Some of these signs might be put on a house, perhaps at the fence or at the gate. A drawing of a cat meant that a kind woman lived there, and two shovels meant that there was work available. An “X” with a smiley face above it meant there was a doctor in that house. And an oval meant no one in that house would help. This mark would make hoboes skip that house.

God gave his people Israel a sign to put on their houses for the Passover. The sign was the blood of the lamb they killed to eat that night. The blood of the lamb was put at the top and on the sides of the door of their houses. When the Angel of Death saw the mark of blood on the doors of the houses of God’s people, he would pass over that house. The firstborn child inside would be safe from the plague of death.

The Passover lambs pointed ahead to Jesus, who was killed on the cross for us. He spilled his blood so that our sins could be forgiven. We are marked with Jesus’ blood, and we belong to God. He forgives us our sins and calls us his own people. We are safe forever, even from death. We live with Jesus, now and always, and death only brings us closer to Jesus in heaven.


Dear Jesus, thank you for spilling your blood for us so that we could be your people always. Amen.