Tuesday, February 28, 2012

By Faith... Moses, Part 41 of 54

TEXT: “By faith he [Moses] kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them” (Hebrews 11:28).

Idea: Moses acted by faith when he instituted the Passover.

Purpose: To help listeners understand why the Passover represented an act of faith.

Do people where you live celebrate the Fourth of July?

Do you think that different sections of the country celebrate it more strongly than others?

Do you think that people in the past celebrated the Fourth of July more than people do today?

I. The Fourth of July celebrates the 1776 signing of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain.

The last sentence of the Declaration states, “ . . . and for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortune, and our sacred Honor.”

Do you think it took faith for those leaders to sign that document?

July 4, 1776, became a significant day in American history. Why has July 4 remained an important day for Americans for over 230 years?

II. Hebrews 11:28 states, “By faith he [Moses] kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.”

The word kept can be translated “instituted” (a marginal reading in the RSV).

He kept the Passover in Egypt. He “instituted” it for years to come.

The keeping of the Passover and instituting it for the future was an act of faith. Why?

It was an act of faith for Moses to pass along God’s instructions, and it was also an act of faith for the people. Each home had to carry out the instructions.

Why do Jews celebrate it today? It celebrates the fundamental fact that they were a people who were redeemed, ransomed, and released from bondage.

When it was first kept, what was the condition of the people of Israel? Why did they keep it?