Wednesday, February 29, 2012

By Faith... Moses, Part 42 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: Old symbols can take on new meanings.

Purpose: To help listeners understand how symbols can take on wider meaning.

Do you have an American flag in your home? Is it a genuine American flag?

How many stars does it have? What do they look like?

A genuine American flag has 13 stars in a circle.

I. Symbols can take on new, expanded meanings.

The directions for observing the Passover (Exodus 12:1-14) were followed by instructions (undoubtedly given at a later period) for instituting the Feast of Unleavened Bread (vv. 15-20).

The two feasts were so vitally related that these subsequent instructions are inserted after the instructions for the Passover. The term “Passover” came to be understood to include both feasts.

It was a glad festival, and the main feature of the feast was the exclusion from every home of all leaven during the period of the feast.

What was the historic reason for having a Feast of Unleavened Bread? (Exodus 12:39).

As time went on, an expanded meaning was related to the prohibition of leaven. Leaven became the symbol of corruption.

Paul uses the expanded meaning in 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 in dealing with sin in the church: “Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

II. The Passover Lamb was expanded to Jesus.

What did the blood of a lamb bring about for the Hebrew people in Egypt?

What does the blood of Jesus bring about for Christians today?

III. Moses by faith instituted the Passover (Hebrews 11:28).

When Moses by faith instituted these feasts of the Passover and of Unleavened Bread, he and the Israelites may have had only a glimpse of what they would come to mean.

But Moses accepted God’s provision for deliverance from Egypt and by faith he trusted in God’s promise. That was all God asked of him.

What does God ask of us today?