A bitter taste, a pleasing fragrance

hyssop, (Hyssopus officinalis), evergreen garden herb of the mint family (Lamiaceae), grown for its aromatic leaves and flowers. The plant has a sweet scent and a warm bitter taste

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “hyssop”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 16 Jun. 2021, https://www.britannica.com/plant/hyssop. Accessed 30 September 2021.

Hyssop is a beautiful perennial plant, one with a bitter taste but a sweet scent. We see this plant in Scripture and it shows up in some incredible places.

Did you know that when God instructed the Hebrews in Egypt to “strike” their lintels and posts with the blood of a lamb he instructed them to do it with a “bunch of hyssop”.

22 Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning.

Exodus 12:22

Do you recall what the lamb’s blood was for? What purpose it served?

12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. 13 The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.

Exodus 12:12-13

The blood would be a sign for them. And the Lord would passover their house, the house covered with the lamb’s blood and he would not strike them as he would strike the land of Egypt.

Where else do we see hyssop in Scripture?

We find it at the cross.

28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

John 28-30

Stop for a moment and reflect on these two uses of hyssop in Scripture.

In the former instance the sweet smelling hyssop is the instrument by which the lambs blood covers and protects God’s people from his righteous wrath. In the latter it is the bitter herb, the instrument by which the Lord is given sour wine to drink upon the cross. The cross where he would drink the righteous wrath of the Father against sin.

What is the Holy Spirit saying to us? Do you have ears to hear his voice? The Scriptures testify and the Spirit speaketh…

15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing,

2 Corinthians 2:15

looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:2

The Lamb drinks the bitter cup, that we might serve as a sweet aroma to God. Hyssop, the bitter root that brings him sour wine, is the same sweet smelling herb that applies the blood that covers God’s people from their sins.

His bitter suffering is our sweet aroma unto God.

9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation,”

Revelation 5:9

How wonderful. Lord you are so very worthy of our praise. May it be a sweet, sweet fragrance to him who endured the bitterness of the cross on our behalf. Thank you Jesus. Lord we love you.

About R Kyle McDaniel

Hey there! My name is Kyle McDaniel, I’m 39 years old and I live in Fort Worth, TX with my wife Kitty and our two kids, Henry 3 and Catherine 1. Both Kitty and I are “from” North Texas but have moved around here and there throughout our lives but this area has always felt like it was home for us. 1/7/2021: I figured it was time for an update. The four of us became the five of us this year as we welcomed our third child to our family, our precious baby girl Vivienne Coers McDaniel. Vivivenne means “alive” and Coers was my wife Kitty’s maiden name and it’s French meaning “heart/s” and it’s our faith the Lord will one day give her a new and living heart to fulfill the meaning of her name. Kitty and I met in December of 2010 and were married on July 28th, 2012. We had both come to know the Lord and be born again before meeting each other and have seen our relationship with Him grow and mature through the years of our marriage as we’ve learned to love each other as He has loved us. We are just a regular family I guess, just people who really need Jesus and love him very much. If you feel lead to reach out, please do so, we’d love to hear from you or anything you think the Holy Spirit would have you share with us. God Bless, Kyle
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