Faithlife Sermons

The Great Escape

Hebrews  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  16:00
0 ratings
Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →
Last year a movie was released that told the story of the miraculous rescue of over 300,000 British soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk. The story was told through the eyes of several men: a RAF pilot, a civilian boat owner and a young infantryman. At one point in the story the young infantryman found himself in the belly of naval ship that had just been torpedoed by a German u boat. As water filled to the hull he looked up and saw a hatch door being opened, struggling against the current he swam towards the hatch door, reaching the hatch door he passed through to the surface and escaped with his life.
I tell this story because it is a powerful illustration of saving faith and the Exodus of Moses from Egypt. The Exodus is the defining saving event of the Old Testament and it serves as a template of the even greater salvation offered through Christ in the New Testament. These three acts of faith are at the heart of true saving faith: Seeing, Trusting and Passing Through. Let me read our text and as I read see if you can see each of these acts of faith in our text:
Hebrews 11:27–29 ESV
By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them. By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned.
The first step of salvation is recognizing the danger we are in and that God is the only way of escape.

Seeing the Way of Escape (vs. 27)

No illustration is perfect, in my opening illustration all the soldiers, seamen and Red-cross workers on the torpedoed ship recognized the danger they were in. In real life, our situation is much more serious because “the world, the flesh and the devil” all deceive us into thinking they are the way of salvation. By salvation, I mean salvation in its most complete sense: Not just escaping danger, but arriving at true happiness.
You see, God designed this world and all the pleasures in it to act as appetizers. All the joys of this life point to the greater joys of heaven. They are meant to make us hungry for being with God. The Devil and sin have perverted these earthly joys to make them ends in and of themselves. When our text says that Moses was not “afraid of the anger of the king,” it wasn’t just the king’s punishment, but the loss of the king’s favor. We know this to be true because of what the previous verse says:
Hebrews 11:26 ESV
He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.
As the son of Pharaoh's daughter, Moses had all the pleasures this world has to offer at his fingertips, but as verse 27 says, he saw a “greater wealth then the treasures of Egypt.”
Secondly, by “not being afraid of the anger of the king,” Moses demonstrated that he was more afraid of the anger of God. There is a judgement coming to this world. Just like the pleasures of this world are appetizers of greater pleasures, the sorrows of this world are previews of greater sorrows to come. The plagues that devastated Egypt were but a foretaste of the eternal plagues of Hell!
Make no mistake, we are all in great danger: We are being deceived by “the world, the flesh and the devil” and we are under God’s wrath because of our sin, but there is hope.
God is not just a God of wrath, but of mercy:
John 3:16 ESV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Here is where the opening illustration is so powerful, as the flood waters of life rush in on us, if we will but look up we would see the way of escape! Jesus said,
John 14:6 ESV
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Do you see Jesus as the God given way of escape from deception and judgement? If you do you must act on that knowledge. There is no time to waste, the ship is sinking. You must take the way of Escape.

Taking the Way of Escape (vs. 28)

Let me read verse 28 again:
Hebrews 11:28 ESV
By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.
The Passover was designed by God to point Israel to Christ. On Passover, a lamb without blemish was sacrificed and its blood was spread over the door posts in order that the Destroying Angel would “passover.” According to the prophetic testimony of the greatest of the Old Covenant prophets, John the Baptist, Jesus is “the Lamb of God” (Jn. 1:29) and the Apostle Paul wrote the Corinthians that Jesus is “our paschal lamb” (1 Cor. 5:7) and the Apostle writes this about Jesus:
1 Peter 1:18–19 ESV
knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
In the movie Dunkirk, only a few swam towards the light of that open hatch door. What a powerful illustration of people’s response to the gospel. It is almost impossible in America not to see some testimony concerning Jesus as Savior. Be it a billboard along the highway, a bible in a hotel room or a Christmas carol on the radio, everyone knows that Christians claim that Jesus is the Savior of the world. Many have had an even clearer witness: Parents teaching, Sunday School, countless sermons and the witness of loving friends, yet they don’t swim towards the light!
Are you one of those people? You see the danger, you see the way of escape, yet you do not swim towards the light. In the book of Acts we hear the Apostles calling people to “repent and believe” again and again. Repentance mean turning away from all other hopes and faith means trust in only one hope—Jesus!
If you have not done so, I urge you today, “repent and believe the Good News!”
We now come to the third stage of saving faith:

Passing Through the Way of Escape (vs. 29)

As we have been learning throughout the book of Hebrews, saving faith is persevering faith. This is why the author of Hebrews includes verse 29. Let me read it again:
Hebrews 11:29 ESV
By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned.
Their faith had brought the people to the very border of Egypt, to the Red Sea, but there was a problem, Pharaoh and his army had pursued them and was ready to attack them before they made their final escape.
What a powerful picture to help us understand what happens to us we place our faith in Christ. Just like the children of Israel, we are slaves to “sin, the flesh and the devil” and when God breaks us free from that bondage the old forces which once controlled us attempt to recapture us!
Here too, with our backs against the wall, God comes to rescue us—God opens for us a way of escape and once again it is Jesus! Salvation is a lifelong process and the Savior from beginning to end is Jesus! In the Exodus, Pharaoh was hot on the heels of Israel all the way through the Red Sea. In your life “sin, the flesh and the devil” will be hot on your heels until the day you die! If you do not continue to look to Christ in faith you will not make it safely to the other side, but if you do continue to look to Jesus, be assured of this: All the forces that have been fighting against you will be destroyed as surely as Pharoah and his army was destroyed in the Red Sea!
This morning, we celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. It was given to us by our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ to remind us of how powerful His salvation is. Those who take the Lord’s Supper are those who are at this third stage—they are passing through the Red Sea. Imagine what a fearful journey that was for Israel to walk between those two great walls of water with the wind of God blowing in their faces and the chariots of Pharoah behind them! Our journey is just as perilous. Thank God, He has given us this Sacrament to remind us that He has the power to get us safely through to the other side.
Let us pray.
Related Media
Related Sermons