This article was originally written for our Adult class newsletter (published April, 2001) at our former church. My husband and I use to teach an adult class and part of the way we ministered to our class members was through a monthly newsletter. It gave me a chance to do what I love…write and share a few tidbits. Hope you enjoy it. This will be a 3 part series!
Revised addition: Part 1
I have often heard the comment that the Old Testament is not relevant to the New Testament Church. I beg to differ. Without the Old Testament the New Testament is without full contextual meaning, and without the New Testament, the Law of the Old Testament has no fulfillment. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament Law and Jesus is the promised realized in the New Testament. Even though we are no longer under the law, but under grace, a full understanding of God’s love for us cannot be obtained without first looking to the Old Testament Scriptures. Jesus Christ is all thoughout the Old Testament. He is present at Creation. He is also known as the Angel of the Lord throughout the Old Testament Scriptures. He is the Branch of David in Jeremiah. He is the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53. He is the promised Messiah, our Passover Lamb.
The Jewish people were in bondage to the Egyptians for 100s of years. Whereas, the Jews were once in Egypt with blessing, the Jews of the Exodus were at that time under persecution and hardship. The Jews, with Joseph gone, were seen as a threat to the nation of Egypt by the new Pharoah because they were great in number as a result of God’s blessing upon them. The Pharoah appointed taskmasters over the people of Israel, and imposed hard labor onto them thinking that this would decrease their number. However, it did not (see Ex. 1:12). No matter the attempt to decrease their number, the Jewish nation continued to grow. No man can deter the hand of God.
Because of a mother’s faith, a child, Moses, was saved from death and came to live within Pharoah’s household (see Ex. Chapter 2). Moses, who grew up in affluence and wealth, was later, on the run for his life. He had committed murder and had tried to cover up. He came to the land of Midian and found refuge there with the family of Jethro, who was the Priest of Midian. Jethro was to eventually become Moses’s father-in-law.
Moses had a lifechanging experience with God on the mountain of God (Horeb) as a result of the nonconsuming fire of the burning bush and his encounter with the Angel of the LORD, Christ of the OT (Exodus chp. 3). God had seen the affliction of His people, and came down to Moses to give him a mission to deliver the people out of the bondage of slavery.
God sent down plagues throughout Egypt. The Pharoah did not recognize the God of Israel and his heart was hardened in spite of the horrible plagues. God allowed pestilence to cover the land and His people too. The last plague was the turning point for Pharoah and the Jewish nation. God gave specific instructions to Moses concerning the last plague in order to protect the people, and as a means to reveal the Messiah.
Passover was ordained by God. It shows clearly the redemption and deliverenace from death that only God can bring. Each Jewish household had to prepare their homes, their hearts, and the Passover Lamb in accordance to God’s specific instruction. There were no shortcuts! Period! God had declared that all the firstborn thoughout the land would be killed unless these instructions were followed. God gave the Jews a means of protection to escape the impending sentence of death for the firstborn (even the animals would not be spared if the instructions were not followed). God did this in order for His people to understand the distinction between Israel and Egypt. The people of Israel were God’s Chosen People, and He wanted them to understand that fact. He chose them out of all the people groups He had created in order to bring to ALL people the ultimate form of deliverance and redemption, His Son, Jesus Christ, the Passover Lamb.
Part 2 tomorrow…Please come back!!!