In Exodus 12:21-23, hyssop was dipped in the blood of the Passover lamb and used by the Israelites in to mark the threshold of their homes, keeping them safe from the Lord’s fury. Interestingly, a hyssop branch lifted the “vinegar” soaked sponge to the Lamb of God on the cross, our way “home.” (John 19:28-30) Of course, his sacrifice saves us from the wrath of God.
Hyssop was also sprinkled onto purification sacrifices in the Jewish religion. (Leviticus 14:4,6,51,52; Hebrews 9:19) This “hyssop” was very likely what we know as oregano (Origanum Syriacum), since Hyssopus Officinalis is not native to the Mediterranean basin. (Mountain Valley Growers)
Hyssop was also used as a purgative (Psalm 51:7a). Indeed, it will not only induce the cleansing of the bowels, but is a diuretic and emetic as well. (Britannica) This stuff, taken in even small doses, will clean you out in every way imaginable. It also seems to be a ceremonial cleansing agent; but how so?
Whatever ceremonial significance, hyssop added to roasting meat would have yielded not only a better tasting dish but a pleasing aroma as well. God seems very amenable to pleasing aromas (Genesis 8:21) and accepts the aromatic soul (Ezekiel 20:41). Hyssop not only cleanses one on the inside but also makes a sacrifice aromatically acceptable to God.
Therefore it is significant to me that the Lamb of God is given vinegar mixed with gall when he hung on the cross. It is not the fluid or the sponge that intrigues me; it is that these are extended on a hyssop branch. Jesus, the Lamb of God, burdened with the sins of all people, is touched with hyssop and made a ceremonially clean offering—a pleasing aroma to God. In the midst of all that sin, God recognizes that which has been given holiness.
We see this again in 2 Corinthians 2:15 where Paul states that believers become “the aroma of Christ” unto God. In the midst of all perishing souls, God recognizes those touched by Christ’s aroma. The one who stakes his life on the sacrifice of Christ is made clean—inside and out. In fact, she is so clean that she even smells good.
…the Wordle of this post.