Scarlet cord on the window. A symbol only Rahab and the foreign spies understood. For everyone inside the safe walls of Jericho, the cord was just one of the many unusual things about the infamous prostitute. For Rahab, it was a promise of safety, of deliverance, of salvation, not just for herself but for her entire household.
The conditions of the promise were interesting. Rahab had to tie the cord she used for the spies’ escape on her window, her family had to stay indoors during the invasion and she had to keep their espionage a secret. The last two conditions were fine; it’s the flapping red cord on the window that intrigued me.
About forty years before Rahab, on the night when the Israelites were about to leave Egypt, God commanded his people to smear their doors with the blood of the passover lamb for protection. Death struck down the firstborn of every household without blood in their doors.
Fast forward thousands of years later, Jesus’ blood will wash away the sins of the world. Anyone who trusted on the sacrificial death of Christ will find eternal life in God. How exactly can his red blood purify our sinfulness, I don’t understand.
Blood of innocent lambs. Scarlet cord. Jesus’ blood. Symbols of deliverance that most people don’t really understand. We don’t too, at least not exhaustively. Like Rahab, we are offered the chance to escape the doom of a world that’s soon to crumble down. Let’s grab that scarlet cord. Let it fly in our windows. Let the neighbors laugh at the unusual sight. For as long as we hold on to that promised deliverance, our salvation is secure. We will live. Eternally.