from Veronica Amundson
Reading: Psalm 126, Exodus 12:21-27, John 11:45-57
When the kids were young they sometimes had nightmares. It was tempting to tell them the nightmares weren’t real and just to go to sleep. But I struggled with the truth of that statement. How can I who believe in principalities and powers, in things seen and unseen, in angels and demons – how can I tell them that the monsters they encounter in their nightmares aren’t real?
It seemed much more truthful to me to instead remind them of who they are and the power they have in Christ. It was during this time that Exodus 12:21-27 came to life for me. I remember sitting down with one of my children who had particularly vivid and frightening nightmares. We talked about what happened at the Passover as described in Exodus 12 - how the destroyer was not allowed to enter the houses that had been marked with the blood of the lambs.
We talked about what it meant that he had been baptized as a baby. How Jesus has claimed him as His own and how he has been washed in the blood of the Lamb. And just as the destroyer could not enter homes marked with blood, the monsters that visit him in his nightmares cannot harm him because he has been marked with Jesus’ blood. How in the power of that blood and in the name of Jesus Christ he can command the monsters to leave.
Yesterday I shared the story of Jed’s dramatic birth. But there is one part of the story I didn’t share yesterday and that’s what happened immediately following Jed’s birth.
Because Jed was an emergency c-section the doctors made the decision to put me under during the surgery. While I was under a woman came to me who I thought was a nurse. She told me not to be worried and that the baby was going to be fine. As she smiled down at me she said something that I will treasure in my heart forever. She told me, “Your baby is very special to have come through what he’s come through. He’s been set aside for Jesus.”
At the time I was comforted albeit a bit surprised that in this day and age hospital policy allowed nurses to talk to patients about Jesus! It was only after I woke up in the recovery room that I began to piece together the chain of events and realized that what I had thought was a real conversation could not possibly have occurred. I now believe that God sent an angelic messenger to me while I was under.
In baptism we’ve all been “set aside” for Christ. He has marked us as His own. What is invisible to us in the earthly realm is visible within the spiritual realm. We can face our deepest fears - the monsters that we encounter in our nightmares and the horrors that we witness while awake – knowing that God is with us.
As we draw nearer to Good Friday let us reflect on the power of the blood. What does it mean to you to be marked by the blood of Jesus? How have you found freedom in facing the monsters in your life knowing that you have been washed in the blood of Christ?