Article for the Louisburg Herald, March 25th edition.
The exodus was a foundational event in the Old Testament. God took a landless people, the Hebrews, and extracted them from Egypt. They were in bondage and he redeemed them. They left Egypt and went into the wilderness for a forty-year sojourn. He fed them there by his Word and with manna. By his Spirit he dwelt among them in a tabernacle. They were on a journey to the land of inheritance, and he was with them as a caring Father. He gave them his name, “I AM,” and glorified himself through them beyond the borders of Egypt.
The Death and Resurrection of Jesus are the foundational events of all history. In Jesus, God takes an enslaved people and frees them from the tyrannical Grave. Rebel sinners are in bondage to Sin, Death and Satan. The Grave rules over the children of Adam. Enslaved!
Praise be to our God, there is a New Exodus. In the Resurrection of Jesus we find that God is glorified beyond the borders of the graveyard. In Jesus, the redeemed will emerge bodily from the ground as assuredly as the Hebrews came from Egypt.
When Jesus was made flesh, he dwelt among his people. In Christ, God returned to Tabernacle among his creation. When God took on flesh, an ultimate exodus was unleashed. Jesus was imitating his Father, the God of the exodus. Jesus plundered the grave in an exodus, and so we behold the express image of the Father.
Jesus shows that the first exodus (the freeing of the Hebrews) was preparatory. The final one was ultimate — performed in his own flesh through death and resurrection. Jesus emerged from the grave and brought the Church with him. They are set free and participate in a new wilderness trek. He is their Manna from Heaven and he dwells with them by his Spirit. They sojourn to a land in the final Resurrection where they will inherit the New Heavens and New Earth. Jesus told us who he is; he said “I AM,” and then he freed captives for his own glory. Free!
Steve Rives, Eastside Church of the Cross