Hebrews 11:28

Monday, 25 March 2019

By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them. Hebrews 11:28

Still speaking of the faith of Moses, the author again states, “By faith.” What will be described was obviously an act of faith. It was something which was stated would occur, and the consequences for not doing as instructed would be fatal for the firstborn sons in the land. It is “By faith that he kept the Passover.”

The Greek more precisely reads, “By faith he instituted the Passover.” Moses did not keep a Passover that was already observed from time past. Rather, he observed it for the first time, bringing it forth from that time forward. The Greek is in the perfect tense, signifying the completion of the act in the original Passover, and the continued significance of that observance, even down to the time of the author’s writing of the epistle. The author continues on with “and the sprinkling of the blood.”

This speaks of the application of the blood on the doorposts and lintel of each of the houses in Egypt. This was never done again after the first observance, showing the completed nature of the Passover, despite it having on-going observances in the future. The first Passover alone set the type for the coming of Christ, and all other annual observances looked forward to the fulfillment anticipated by that first Passover. This is also true with the final clause, “lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.”

Again, the Greek reads differently than this. A closer translation would be, “lest the destroyer of the firstborn,” or “the one destroying the firstborn.” It is a present participle. It is as if the author is describing the first Passover as it was happening to Moses while he was writing down the events in the epistle.

These things that occurred to Moses required faith. The Lord said what would occur, and any who didn’t believe and failed to act would suffer the consequences. Those who did believe, and who followed through in their belief by applying the blood, would be passed over. Thus, in this, Moses instituted the Passover for all generations who followed. From that typology, the fulfillment is found in the work of Christ Jesus and the acceptance of His work by the people of the world.

Life application: To this day, Jewish families around the world observe the Passover. It symbolized the redemption of the people from Egypt and its bitter bondage. An innocent lamb was killed, and its blood was applied to the lintel and sides of the door as a sign that there were faithful believers inside the home. When the destroyer saw the blood, he passed over. As it says, “by faith” Moses instituted this ordinance and applied the blood. The blood is the material cause of salvation, while faith in its application is the instrumental cause. Under the New Covenant, Paul says in the Colossians 2:16, 17 –

“So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.”

The Passover, along with all of Israel’s other mandates which came under the law, was only a shadow which prefigured the work of Jesus. Jesus, as John states in his gospel account, is the true Lamb of God. It is His sacrifice that brings us out of real bondage – that of slavery to sin. It is faith in what He did that redeems us and gives us new life.

The question for every person then is, “Have you applied the blood of Christ, by faith, to your heart?” Christ’s blood is the material cause of salvation. Faith in his shed blood is the instrumental cause. Belief in the heart fulfills the typology of the application of blood (see Romans 10:9, 10). As the Passover only looked forward to Christ, then it is Christ alone who can truly save you from destruction. Again, as Paul says, “For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.” As Moses acted by faith, so those who look for salvation, while living in this world, must also look to what God has done, in faith. Have faith in Him and in His work, and you too, like Moses, will be known as one of God’s faithful – chosen and loved.

Thank you, O God, for the precious Lamb, our Lord Jesus. Thank You for freeing us from the chains which bound us in slavery to sin and which could only result in death. Now, through Christ and His sacrifice, we are not only free from condemnation, but we have also been given new and eternal life! Hallelujah and Amen!

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