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Fulfillment of the Exodus

April 3rd, 2018
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As Christians we understand the death and resurrection of Jesus are related intimately to the Exodus from Egypt.

We see a symbolic continuity between the slaughtered lamb of the Passover night and the crucified Lamb of God.

Paul says this clearly in 1 Corinthians 5:7-8

7 Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch – as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Paul sees the spiritual implications of Christ as our Passover. It leads to a new life. A life free from hurting others and selfishness. A life that is real, not pretending to be something we are not.

Further as Moses led the Israelites through the sea into freedom from bondage to Pharaoh, so Jesus Christ through the resurrection provides the way out (the literal meaning of ‘exodus”) of bondage to sin and death.

In fact the word for exodus is used in Luke 9:30-31

30 Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendour, talking with Jesus. 31 They spoke about his departure,[1] which he was about to bring to fulfilment at Jerusalem.
Footnotes:
1. Luke 9:31 Greek exodos

Jesus death is the fulfillment of the exodus.

This exodus reference point is also used by Paul to encourage the church to learn the lessons of the wilderness wanderings of Israel.

1 Corinthians 10:1-13

1 For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea.
2 They were all baptised into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.

We see here that Christ is the continuity in the experience.

5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
6 Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: ‘The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.’ 8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did – and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 9 We should not test Christ,] as some of them did – and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did – and were killed by the destroying angel.
11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination(or fulfillment) of the ages has come.

We are not living in the age of promise but the age of fulfillment. But we are to learn from them.

12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation[c] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[d] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[e] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
e (or testing)

Thus the story of the Israelites teach a lesson of the dangers of carelessly living as before, trusting in what is not of God.

Again we say that God’s faithfulness is another great continuity in the experience. We are to trust him in all circumstances.

One of the great images of the Passover season Paul uses is applying the concept of firstfruits to Jesus.

We see this in the resurrection chapter 1 Corinthians 15:20

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

What is the significance of this statement.

John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible:

The allusion is to the firstfruits of the earth, which were offered to the Lord: and especially to the sheaf of the firstfruits, which was waved by the priest before him, ( Deuteronomy 26:2 ) ( Leviticus 23:10 Leviticus 23:11 ) and to which Christ, in his resurrection from the dead, is here compared.

The firstfruits were what first sprung out of the earth, were soonest ripe, and were first reaped and gathered in, and then offered unto the Lord; so Christ first rose from the dead, and ascended to heaven, and presented himself to God; as the representative of his people;

For though there were others that were raised before him, as the widow of Sarepta’s son by Elijah, the Shunammite’s son by Elisha, and the man that touched the prophet’s bones when put into his grave, and Jairus’s daughter, the widow of Naam’s son, and Lazarus by Christ; yet as these did not rise by their own power, so only to a mortal life: but Christ, as he raised himself by his own power, so he rose again to an immortal life, and was the first that ever did so; he was the first to whom God showed, and who first trod this path of life.

The firstfruits were the best, what was then ripest, and so most valuable; Christ is the first, and rose the first in dignity, as well as in time; he rose as the head of the body, as the firstborn, the beginning, that in all things he might have, and appear to have, as he ought to have, the pre-eminence.

The firstfruits sanctified the rest of the harvest, represented the whole, gave right to the ingathering of it, and ensured it; Christ by lying in the grave, and rising out of it, sanctified it for his people, and in his resurrection represented them; they rose with him, and in him; and their resurrection is secured by his; because he lives, they shall live also.

The imagery of the exodus also runs through the argument of Paul in the book of Romans. It is foundational to his understanding of Christ.

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God’s New Exodus in Christ (13)

June 22nd, 2011
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Scripture of the Day: Romans 8:31-39

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;

we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.(NIV)

This is the climactic ending of the chapter.

The cross unveils not just God’s restorative justice, but unveils God’s deep victorious love: nothing can separate us from God’s love, one of the most glorious Christian statements.

Paul almost never uses the word “heaven” in Romans. Salvation in Romans is not about going to heaven when you die.

NT Wright wrote: Paul’s vision is the vision of Isaiah, a nondualistic salvation. At the end of Revelations, it is the new Jerusalem coming down to earth, not Saints going up to heaven. God’s good creation, subjected to futility, not because of itself, but because of God’s ultimate purpose, will be liberated. Heaven and a renewed earth will join, marry together. That will be our final home.

Thus, the same theme continued to the climax of Romans 8, in a context replete with echoes of Exodus. The “children of God” are led by the Spirit, must not go back to slavery, and are declared to be God’s heirs, fellow heirs with the Messiah. Their inheritance will be granted when all of creation experiences its exodus from slavery and shares the freedom of the glory of God’s children.

The story of Israel, particularly the Exodus, was far more present in Paul’s mind than is usually supposed, informing his reflection on what had happened with the death and resurrection of Israel’s Messiah and the gift of the promised Spirit.

Paul is concerned with the reconstitution of the people of God and their new public definition as a single worldwide family marked out by faith in the life, death, resurrection of Jesus. God’s people will inherit the newly liberated creation.

Message for the Day

God’s New Exodus in Christ (12)

June 21st, 2011
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Scripture of the Day: Romans 8:10-11

10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. (NIV)

Our ongoing victory is due to this liberating power dwelling in us.

The Holy Spirit imparts the life of Christ which is a life of righteousness, of faithfully obeying his Father even unto death. That’s an incredible power defeating the negatives in our nature.

Through the gift of the Spirit: resurrection and life are assured in the future. This is all from the Father.

The Holy Spirit, working, leading us makes it possible for us to have assurance that we are being changed from within by God himself who is transforming us in to the likeness of Christ. We are a new creation that can now please God.

Message for the Day