Don’t know what hyssop is? Then you’re not alone. I first time I stumbled across it was in John.
“A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips.” John 19:29
Hum. That was interesting. At first I just thought John was adding detail to his account because he was there. Then, I stumbled onto the word again a few days later.
“[First Passover] Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. None of you shall go out of the door of your house until morning.” Ex. 12:22
This caught my attention. Jesus’ sacrifice often ties into the first Passover, when the angle of death passed over the houses with the lamb’s blood. So, what is the connecting between the first Passover and Christ’s death? What is hyssop?
Hyssop is a common herb which grew in Bible times. Common varieties grow to about two feet tall and spread about a foot. It has beautiful purple blue flowers and a strong mint smell. If you have ever seen or grown catmint, hyssop looks somewhat similar. Hyssop was often used as a cleaning agent and was widely used to clean sacred places such as temples.
At both on Passover and Good Friday, a cleansing and forgiveness of sins was taking place. In both cases, someone else was taking our place and met death. In both cases, hyssop was used, and our sins were cleared.
In Palms 51:7, David cries out “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean!” If you have accepted the forgiveness of Jesus, then you have been cleansed with hyssop! By the blood of the lamb, death was satisfied. Our sins were gone. We are clean!