Moses demonstrated faith in God and God’s promises in the establishment of the Passover which looked forward to the ultimate Passover lamb, Jesus. Hebrews 11:29 adds, “By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned.” Lea says, “The nation Israel displayed faith as they safely journeyed through the Red Sea (Exod. 14:13). Moses’ faith must have inspired their faith.”[1] Speaking of the Passover sacrifice, Brown says, “The instructions were strange, the demands costly (a lamb without blemish) and the ritual unprecedented, but they did precisely as they were told. In simple faith they kept the Passover. They relied on the God who had spoken to them through his servant”[2] and they walked on the dry ground to safety on the east side of the Red Sea.

With a wall of water on their left and a wall of water on their right, it definitely took faith for the mass of departing Israelites to cross to the other side. It was “faith” that moved them. Some might argue that they had “courage” to enter into the chasm, but it wasn’t courage. The Egyptians who followed them had the “courage” to enter in the chasm after them. They also exercised a kind of faith but their faith was in Pharaoh. He gave the orders to pursue! In Egypt Pharaoh was a god. The Egyptians had faith. The Israelites had faith but Israel believe in the one true God and the Egyptians put their faith in Pharaoh! It isn’t “faith in faith” as we see in this case. It’s faith in the one true God.

The writer of Hebrews includes the faith of Moses as seen in the establishment of the Passover and the crossing of the Red Sea not just as illustrations of faith in general, but as examples of faith in God’s word. For the Christian, Jesus is God’s Word. In Jesus, God’s love was fully demonstrated as Paul says in Romans 5:8: “God demonstrated His love for us in this, while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” The blood of the Passover lamb protected the Israelites from God’s judgment. But as Darby observes, “At the Red Sea it was not merely deliverance from judgment hanging over them; God was for the people, active in love and in power for them. The deliverance was an actual deliverance: they came out of that condition in which they had been enslaved, God’s own power bringing them unhurt through that which otherwise must have been their destruction. Thus, in our case, it is Christ’s death and resurrection, in which we participate, the redemption which He therein accomplished, which introduces us into an entirely new condition altogether outside that of nature. We are no longer in the flesh.”[3]

[1] Thomas D. Lea, Hebrews, James, vol. 10, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 204.

[2] Raymond Brown, The Message of Hebrews: Christ above All, The Bible Speaks Today (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988), 218.

[3] J. N. Darby, Synopsis of the Books of the Bible: Colossians to Revelation. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2008), 383.