The Exodus is such a beautiful picture of salvation and I just love thinking about it. The Jews loved thinking about it, too. So many Psalms are sung in remembrance of God’s gracious and mighty deliverance of the Israelites out of Egypt. Isn’t it interesting to think about how Joseph described Israel’s entrance into Egypt as a great deliverance (from famine in Canaan) and now Israel’s exit from Egypt is described as the same! What a wonderful Lord we have who is our Deliverer! There is so much in the story of the Exodus that parallels the gospel, but I want to start with examining how Moses is a type of Christ.
Moses foreshadows the coming of the Messiah in both his person and mission. There are many details surrounding the birth and life of Moses that are similar to that of Christ. Moses was born a Hebrew during a time of intense persecution by the Egyptian Pharoah who had ordered every male baby born to a Hebrew woman be killed (Exodus 1). Jesus was also born around a time of persecution under Herod who ordered every Hebrew male baby under 2 years to be killed (Mathew 2:16). God in His providence spared both Moses and Jesus for His salvific purposes.
It’s also interesting to notice how Moses was born a Levite (priest), adopted by Pharoah’s daughter (prince), and later was given the role of speaking God’s Word to His people (prophet). These are the three roles Christ fulfilled, that of prophet, priest, and king. Moses more clearly points us to Christ than any type we’ve examined thus far. Of course, Moses only served as a shadow of the Savior to come, he was not sinless as is clearly shown by his killing an Egyptian task master, and even in the desert when he shows himself to be a man of God, but one that does make mistakes.
When Moses first tells Pharoah that the God of Israel demands he let His people go, Pharoah said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, nor will I let Israel go.” (Exodus 5:2) God then begins to work signs and wonders through Moses to show that he is God’s messenger and that God is to be feared. This is the same reason Jesus gives for why He works signs and wonders- so that we might know He has authority from the Father (John 10:25, 14:11, 20:30-31). In both cases, the point of the miracles is to give God glory, and in the case of Jesus to show He is God.
I love how the Lord assures Moses of victory. “I am the Lord; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.” (Exodus 6:6) The Hebrews were enslaved by the Egyptians and God used Moses to deliver them out of that slavery into the promised land. Jesus, our Lord and Savior, came to deliver us from our bondage to sin and we will reign with Him in heaven forever. Like the Israelites, we too must wander through the desert as strangers and foreigners, waiting on God’s time to bring us into that heavenly country (Hebrews 11) that’s been promised to us.
But before Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, God struck Egypt with 10 plagues each time giving Pharoah an opportunity to let His people go and each time the plagues grew worse. The tenth plague, the death of the firstborn, was God’s final judgment on this hard hearted ruler and rebellious land. Every family would lose their firstborn son, even the Israelites, unless they took a young male lamb without blemish, killed it and smeared the blood on the doorposts and lintel of their houses. So, God in His infinite grace and mercy, allowed His chosen people to escape His judgment of death. He accepted a substitute for their firstborn, an unblemished lamb. Isn’t God good? He does the same for us. None of us is innocent, none of us can escape His judgment of death, unless He accept a substitute in our place. We were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot (1 Peter 1:19).
The Passover meal was to be eaten with bitter herbs to remind the Hebrews of their suffering and travail that God was delivering them from. They were also to eat with their belt and sandals on and staff in hand, in haste, ready to go in a moment’s notice (Exodus 12:11). I love this idea of imminent departure, just like we’re to live with the thought always before us of Christ’s imminent return. And the Passover bread was to be made without leaven, which is often used as a symbol for corruption. The Lord didn’t want them taking the wicked practices of the Egyptians with them, He wanted them to be pure and set apart for Him. Also, if you’ve ever baked bread, you know that it takes a long time for bread to rise and God wanted them to be ready to leave in a hurry.
And just as the Israelites were to keep the Passover feast in remembrance of God’s passing over their firstborn and accepting the substitutionary lamb, we’re to take Communion in remembrance of Christ’s shed blood on our behalf and the freedom it purchased for us. As we remember God’s mighty deliverance of His people in the past, we also look forward to Christ’s second coming and the consummation of our great deliverance. And that’s what Advent is all about.
- I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.