The exodus journey is the seminal event of the Old Testament. It’s the story of God miraculously delivering the Israelites from slavery for the purpose of bringing them to the promised land.
The Old Testament constantly calls upon the Israelites to remember what God had done.
For Christians today, there are a number of parallels between the exodus and the gospel.
The Israelites were in slavery in Egypt. We were enslaved to sin and Christ redeemed us.
During the wanderings in the desert, the Israelites complain and rebel. For Christians, we continue to struggle and rebel.
God redeemed Israel to bring them to the Promised Land. And Jesus is bringing us into a land too. To a new heaven, a new earth, and a new Jerusalem.
Both the exodus and the new covenant of the gospel are commemorated with meals. The passover meal was celebrated annually, as a reminder for God’s deliverance in the exodus event and for him sparing the Israelites. With the gospel, we celebrate the Lord’ Supper, communion which is a reminder of Jesus body that was broken for our sin and his blood that was shed for our sin.
Exodus was in fulfillment of the promises of God to Abraham for land and to Moses for deliverance from slavery. The gospel is fulfillment of God’s promise of providing a Messiah, a king from the Davidic line, a perfect and spotless lamb to be sacrificed.
In both stories, we see victory in a place where it appeared to be defeat. Israel was caught between the Egyptian army and the sea. It seemed there was no way out. In the gospel, Jesus died on the cross, where it looked like that was the end of Jesus’ ministry. In both stories, what appeared to be the end was just the beginning.
It was entirely the work of God in freeing his people from slavery in Egypt. And the gospel is entirely the work of the Lord in redeeming us from the penalty of sin.
Both events are undeniable, indisputable, irrefutable, unimpeachable proof of God’s love. God loved Israel. And God loves you. God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have enteral life (John 3:16). God shows his love that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
This event, Israel was constantly called to remember. Because it showed God’s love, it showed his goodness, it showed that he was for his people.
We see that in the gospel.
We sin, we have struggles, we have baggage. And everyday, we have opportunities to sin, to respond without faith, to question the goodness of God.
But instead what we must do is to remember his goodness through the gospel. To remember that Jesus saved us, that he redeemed us.
To remember that God delivers his people from slavery to freedom. For Christians, because of what Jesus did on the cross, that we have the promise of eternal life. We serve a good God.
Josh Benner is the associate pastor at Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Fergus Falls, Minnesota and has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He enjoys writing about faith and culture. He lives with his wife Kari in Minnesota.