Chaplain's Corner - Hyssop

October 5th, 2021

Hyssop is a herb but unlike most herbs it doubles as a beautiful flower.

It grows in places like Texas and Israel and grows about 3 feet tall. It has a tough, wood-like stalk and produces small amounts of honey. It also has a nice distinctive scent. [1]

The passages in the Bible that describe hyssop and its uses can be pulled together to paint a spiritual description of the Holy Spirit. In Exodus 12:22, hyssop is the instrument God directs the Hebrews to use to paint the blood of the lamb on the door post the night of Passover. Hyssop is the delivery system to apply the saving blood of the lamb.

In Leviticus 14:4, 6, 51 & 52, hyssop is dipped in the blood of birds (that were killed over fresh water – Jesus is known as living water) for the cleansing of sins and diseases. Again, the hyssop is the delivery system that is used to sprinkle the blood on the diseased person before they are pronounced clean.

Numbers 19:6 and 8 are the passages that speak of the red heifer, a very important symbol to the Jewish nation. The hyssop is thrown into the fire of the burning red heifer along with cedar wood and scarlet wool. The ashes were saved and used with clean water (John 7:37-39, 4:14, Jeremiah 17:13) to make the unclean, clean. The blood of Jesus Christ is what saves a sinner and makes them clean.

In 1 Kings 4:33, King Solomon showed his wisdom when he spoke about the hyssop. An interesting note, hyssop is contrasted with the cedar of Lebanon, from the greatest to the least, the first shall be last and the last shall be first. Also, in Numbers 19 when the red heifer is burned, hyssop AND cedar were both burned to make the ashes.

Psalm 51:7 speaks for itself. David wrote, “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.”

John 19:29, “A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop and brought it up to His mouth.” Here hyssop is used to deliver the cup of God’s wrath to Jesus who drinks it in, taking in all the sins of mankind.

Hyssop is God’s delivery system just like He used the Holy Spirit, in Matthew 4:1, “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”

Hebrews 9:19 is a retelling, or recap, of Moses using hyssop, to cleanse with blood - “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”

What do you think? Is hyssop symbolic for the Holy Spirit?

[1] -

Charles (Chuck) Gilliland, Chaplain to the National Board
and Executive Director

In addition to being a veteran police officer himself, Chuck is also a past president of FCPO-USA and the author of the Through the Eyes of a Cop daily devotional book series. Chuck can be contacted at [email protected]

Posted by Steve Rogers | Topic: Chaplains Corner
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