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Faith in the Passover Lamb

A Word for Today | Hebrews 11:28

Hebrews 11:27 tells us Moses trusting God so as to leave from Egypt when he was forty years old, spending the next forty years awaiting God’s call to return for Israel’s deliverance.  Summoned to the Lord’s service at the burning bush (Ex. 3), Moses returned to the land of Pharaoh by the same faith he had honed as a herdsman.  Exodus chapters 4-10 show his bold confrontations with Egypt’s king, after Moses declared for God, “Let my people go” (Ex. 5:1).  When Pharaoh refused, a series of ten deadly plague fell on the unbelieving Egyptians.  Hebrews 11:28 points to the end of this drama, the tenth and final plague as God explained: “One plague more I will bring upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here. . . . About midnight I will go out in the midst of Egypt, and every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle” (Ex. 11:1, 4-5). 

God further told Moses that Israel would be spared when the blood of a sacrificed lamb was spread on their doorposts.  The angel of death, seeing the blood, would pass over and the terrible plague would not visit them (Ex. 12:1-13).  Under Moses’ direction this was done and Israel was spared, even as loud laments filled the homes of Egypt.  It is unclear exactly how much Moses understood, but he still acted in careful observance of what God had said.  We thus see a clear contrast in Hebrews 11:27 and 28: Faith does not fear or listen to the world, to its powers and rulers, but faith does fear and listen to God, carefully obeying all his Word.  Moses kept God’s Word just as he was told, and in that manner he and countless others were saved from the wrath of God.  The same is true for everyone who hears God’s Word and believes.

Looking back on these events in Scripture, Christians see the full meaning of the Passover Lamb in the blood that Jesus came to shed on the cross.  God’s wrath will come on the ungodly world, but believers will escape God’s judgment as they are found secure behind the blood of Jesus Christ.  This being the case, faith’s most important act is to lay hold of Christ as Lamb of God, to remove our sin and preserve us against the coming of God’s sure and holy wrath.  As John Chrysostom wrote long ago:

If the blood of a lamb then preserved the Jews unhurt in the midst of the Egyptians and in the presence of so great a destruction, much more will the blood of Christ save us, for whom it has been sprinkled not on our doorposts but on our souls.  For even now the destroyer is still moving around in the depth of night; but let us be armed with Christ’s sacrifice, since God has brought us out from Egypt, from darkness and from idolatry.[1]

In Christ’s Love,

Pastor Phillips

[1] Ibid., 151.

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