Sunday, 18 March 2018

Road to Revelation: Exodus

After Joseph died, years passed and the Egyptian rulers gradually forgot who Joseph was and what he had done to save their people during the great famine of the past.  Racism grew (as it always does) and the Egyptians enslaved the Israelites.  Things got so bad the Israelites cried out to God for rescue.  He sent them a man, Moses, who was used by God to free the people from Egypt (10 plagues) and they escaped into the wilderness (through the Red Sea) Exodus 1-19. 
Extra Reading:  The last plague killed all the firstborn sons in Egypt.  The only ones who escaped this plague are those who believed God and therefore killed a lamb and sprinkled it’s blood around their doorposts.  This was the first Passover meal: lamb and unleavened bread.  Moses was commanded to institute this as an annual festival so that God’s people never forgot the great rescue from Egypt and the power of God.  Key Verse: Exodus 13: 14-16
When Jesus came he instituted a very similar meal  at the last supper (held at Passover time).  He commanded his followers to drink wine and eat bread to remember what he was going to do—rescue his people by dying for them; just like the lamb had to die for the people of Israel to rescue them (Luke 22).  Jesus is the perfect and final Passover lamb.  See 1 Corinthians 5:7.  Jesus’s life echoed the Israelite’s escape from Egypt; miracles followed by death and through that death, many are rescued from slavery.

After they reached the wilderness God took the Israelites to the foot of Mt Sinai.  Moses went up the mountain alone and received the Mosaic Covenant; the 10 commandments and the ceremonial and civil laws for God’s people.  Key Verse: Exodus 20:1-17  While he was up there the people immediately turned to other gods!!!  Arghhh!  But although God was angry, He persevered with the people and His promises to them and gave them instructions for how the Tabernacle [God’s tent/meeting place] was to be set up and operated.  God’s people finally had a way to approach God and for Him to live among them. 

Takeaway:  The Tabernacle system was complicated, difficult and bloody.  It was only a partial fulfillment of what God had in mind for his people but it did allow them to access Him and have peace with Him.  The best they could do during this time was to sacrifice their animals and look forward in faith to something better to come.  HE [Jesus] came eventually, to be the final sacrifice for sin and fulfill all the symbols laid out in the Tabernacle.  Hebrews 9-10 explains how Jesus is the fulfillment of the Tabernacle. 

We have a much better covenant with God that Moses did.  For we can approach God any time, in any state, knowing that he will receive us gladly because Jesus is right there standing in our place interceding for usSee Hebrews 4:14-16

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