“ Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb. 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. For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you.” Exodus 12:21-23
“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7
“After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), ‘I thirst.’ 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. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, ‘It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:28-30
The hyssop used to spread the blood of the Passover lamb over lintels of doors was a branch of protection from the angel of death, swathing a sign of faith and the mark that would free from slavery.
In David’s prayer of deep repentance, hyssop was requested as the branch of cleansing, and freedom from sin.
At Jesus’s crucifixion, the hyssop branch offering a sponge of vinegar quenched Jesus’s thirst so His work of the cross could be announced as finished. Thus, it wrought freedom, by Christ’s death, from eternal death, that we might live forever in our Savior’s presence.
Hyssop, an herb in the mint family that was used in ancient times for cleansing, medicinal application, and flavoring, is a sturdy, fragrant creation of God. We can follow its use through Scripture with figurative hands, and apply its properties to our daily needs. Will we hold fast the stalk of God’s promised ministry to us?
Apply the hyssop, Lord, when looms the dreaded death of dreams, hope, vitality, or opportunity. Guard me from its sting, protect me from its victory. Deliver me from fear, and secure me under Your heavenly cover. (Psalm 91:3-6; 1 Corinthians 15:54-55)
Apply the hyssop, Lord, when I fall to temptation. Wash me clean from every sin of thought, my complaining attitudes, my selfish actions, my careless words and huffy tone of voice against others. All are an affront to You. Forgive me. Purify me through and through. Heal me once for all from long-held sin habits, freeing me to new spiritual vitality.
Apply the hyssop, Lord, as I thirst for Thee. In me deepest pain and lack, “as a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.” I yearn for Your grace, for more of Your Holy Spirit, Your wisdom, patience, perspective, strength, zeal, insight, and peace. Slake my thirst until I want no more. You alone satisfy the longing soul. (Psalm 42:1)