Hebrews – Chapter Eleven XLVIII

by Ed Urzi

“It was faith that made [Moses] establish the Passover and order the blood to be sprinkled on the doors, so that the Angel of Death would not kill the first-born sons of the Israelites” (Hebrews 11:28 GNT).

The seventh to twelfth chapters of the Biblical book of Exodus detail a series of disastrous plagues that were imposed upon the nation of Egypt. Those afflictions culminated in the most devastating plague of all: the death of every firstborn son who was outside a dwelling under God’s protection.

One source offers a valuable synopsis of that final event and its relationship to our text from Hebrews 11:28…

“Moses was warned in detail about the fatal tenth plague, and he prepared the Hebrew people so they could protect themselves from it. At midnight, the Lord would sweep over Egypt, killing the firstborn of every living thing, man and beast, except for those who were protected. That protection was afforded by the sacrifice of a spotless lamb. Each family was to sacrifice such a lamb and to sprinkle its blood on the doorposts. The blood, symbol of God’s protective power, would cause the angel of death to pass over.

Thus was instituted what is still one of the most holy Jewish holidays, the Passover. When Jesus Christ came, his followers realized the further significance of the Passover rites: they foreshadow the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as the true Passover Lamb. His blood shed on the cross is the true blood of atonement and protection, and God’s judgment on sin ‘passes over’ those who have been protected by that blood.

Pharaoh heard the cry of grief and mourning throughout his land. His household, too, had been affected: his firstborn son was dead, and now he was ready to give up the fight. The God of Israel was too powerful for him. Relenting from his stubbornness, he summoned Moses and Aaron and permitted them to lead the people, with all their possessions, out from the land of Goshen in Egypt and to their God in the wilderness. Not until after the last one did Pharaoh finally agree to let the people leave Egypt.” (1)

As another commentator observes, “It took faith to believe that the blood of a lamb on the doorpost would save a household from the terror of the angel of death; but Moses had that faith, and led the nation in observance of Passover.” (2) These insights should lead us to a greater appreciation for this historical narrative and its appearance here within the Hebrews 11 “Faith Hall Of Fame.”

(1) McDowell, J. (1997). Josh McDowell’s Handbook On Apologetics (electronic ed.). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson. Page 29.

(2) David Guzik Hebrews 11 – Examples Of Faith To Help The Discouraged © Copyright – Enduring Word https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/hebrews-11/