Cleansed with Hyssop

Author: Taylor Eising — Host: Andrew StevensPosted on: April 14, 2022

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Cleansed with Hyssop

Have you ever heard of hyssop? Hyssop is a plant with long, hairy leaves that grew in ancient Israel. And it shows up several times in the Bible. First, in Exodus 12:21-22, God tells the Israelites to dip hyssop branches in lamb’s blood and spread it on their doorframes during the first Passover. This happened while the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt, and God sent ten plagues to convince Pharaoh to let the Israelites go. The final plague would kill every firstborn son, but the son would be spared if his house’s doorframe was painted with lamb’s blood. Later, in Exodus 24:6-8, Moses and the Israelites make a covenant with God, promising to obey His commands and follow Him. As a sign of this covenant, Moses took a hyssop branch (see Hebrews 9:19), dipped it in the blood of young bulls, and used the hyssop branch to sprinkle the blood on the Israelites around him. This blood signified that the people belonged to God. Then, we see in Leviticus 14 that priests used hyssop branches to sprinkle people with water or a bird’s blood to make them ceremonially clean (so they could enter God’s holy temple). And finally, we come to John 19:29. After centuries of animal sacrifices that brought God’s people temporary holiness, Jesus—the final and perfect sacrifice— was on the cross. Beaten, bloody, and exhausted, He asked for a drink. A Roman soldier took the dried stalk of a hyssop plant, attached a sponge soaked in wine vinegar to the stalk, and lifted it up to Jesus. And as the Roman guard stretched up to lift the hyssop stem toward Jesus’s bloody lips, I have to wonder if he looked like an Israelite father reaching up to paint the top of his doorframe with a bloody hyssop branch, trusting God to be merciful. I wonder if he felt Jesus—God in flesh—fulfilling centuries of prophecies and purity laws as He took every ounce of brokenness and uncleanness onto Himself. I wonder if he knew that God’s people would never need a hyssop branch again. He probably didn’t. But we do. • Taylor Eising • Because Jesus took our sins on Himself, died, and rose back to life, we can be free from sin and death. Have you put your trust in Jesus? What questions do you have? (See our “Know Jesus” page.) • Have you ever felt sinful or unclean? Jesus can cleanse any sin. You can talk to Him today. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7 (NIV)


Read Verses:

Exod:12:21-Exod:12:22; Exod:24:6-Exod:24:8; Leviticus 14:4-Leviticus 14:6; John 19:28-John 19:30; Psalm 51:7