Evening, October 15, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“You shall redeem with a lamb the first offspring from a donkey; and if you do not redeem it, then you shall break its neck.” — Exodus 34:20
Every firstborn creature must be the Lord’s, but since the donkey was unclean, it could not be presented in sacrifice. What then? Should it be allowed to go free from the universal law? By no means. God allows no exceptions. The donkey is his due, but he will not accept it; he will not absolve the claim, but yet he cannot be pleased with the sacrifice. No way of escape remained but redemption–the creature must be saved by the substitution of a lamb in its place; or if not redeemed, it must die. My soul, here is a lesson for you. That unclean animal is you; you are justly the property of the Lord who made you and preserves you, but you are so sinful that God will not, cannot, accept you; so it has come to this: the Lamb of God must stand in your place, or you must die eternally. Let all the world know of your gratitude to that spotless Lamb who has already bled for you, and so redeemed you from the fatal curse of the law. Must it not have sometimes been a question with the Israelite as to which should die, the donkey or the lamb? Would not the good man pause to estimate and compare? Assuredly there was no comparison between the value of the soul of man and the life of the Lord Jesus, and yet the Lamb dies, and man the donkey is spared. My soul, admire the boundless love of God to you and others of the human race. Worms are bought with the blood of the Son of the Highest! Dust and ashes are redeemed with a price far above silver and gold! What a doom had been mine had not a wealth of redemption been found! The breaking of the neck of the donkey was but a momentary penalty, but who shall measure the wrath to come to which no limit can be imagined? Inestimably dear is the glorious Lamb who has redeemed us from such a doom.