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The Parable of Exodus...

The Parable of Exodus

Further thoughts on Parashat Bo...

by John J. Parsons
www.hebrew4christians.com

THE EXODUS FROM EGYPT is perhaps the most fundamental event of Jewish history; it is "the" miracle of the Torah. In addition to being commemorated every year during Passover (Exod. 12:24-27; Num. 9:2-3; Deut. 16:1), it is explicitly mentioned in the first of the Ten Commandments (Exod. 20:2), and it is recalled every Sabbath (Deut. 5:12-15). The festivals of Shavuot (Pentecost) and Sukkot (Tabernacles) likewise derive from it (the former recalling the giving of the Torah at Sinai and the latter recalling God's care as the Exodus generation journeyed from Egypt to the Promised Land), as does the Season of Teshuvah (repentance) that culminates in Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). Indeed, nearly every commandment of the Torah (including the laws of the Tabernacle and the sacrificial system) may be traced back to the story of the Exodus, and in some ways, the entire Bible is an extended interpretation of its significance. Most important of all, the Exodus both prefigures and exemplifies the work of redemption given through the sacrificial life of Yeshua the Messiah, the true King of the Jews and the blessed Lamb of God.

Spiritually speaking, the exodus from Egypt is the central parable of the Torah. The bondage of the Israelites to Pharaoh represents humanity's slavery to sin; God's deliverance from bondage is effected by trusting in the blood of the sacrificial lamb of God; the passage from death to life symbolically comes through baptism into the Sea of Reeds; the journey to truth represents the pilgrimage to Sinai, and so on. Indeed, the redemption in Egypt led directly to revelation at Sinai, and when the LORD God gave the Ten Commandments, He did not begin by saying he was our Creator, but rather our Redeemer: "I am the LORD your God (אָנכִי יְהוָה אֱלהֶיךָ), who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery" (Exod. 20:2). This is because the purpose of the creation itself is to demonstrate God's redemptive love and to be known as our Savior and Redeemer, just as Yeshua is the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8; 1 Pet. 1:18-20; Eph. 1:4; 2 Tim. 1:9). "All things were created by Him (i.e., Yeshua), and for Him" and in Him all things consist (συνεστηκεν, lit. "stick together") (Col. 1:16-17). Creation therefore begins and ends with the redemptive love of God as manifested in the Person of Yeshua our Mashiach, the great Lamb of God... He is the Center of Creation - the Aleph and Tav - the Beginning and the End (Isa. 44:6; Rev. 1:17). All the world was created for the Messiah: "For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen" (Rom. 11:36).

The deeper meaning of exile concerns awareness of the divine presence. The worst kind of exile is not to know that you are away from home... That is why Egypt (i.e., Mitzraim) is called metzar yam - a "narrow straight."  Egypt represents bondage and death in this world, and the exodus represents salvation and freedom. God splits the sea and we cross over from death to life. Since Torah represents awareness of God's truth, Israel was led into a place of difficulty to learn and receive revelation (Gen. 46:1-7). Out of the depths of darkness God's voice would call his people forth. Likewise we understand our "blessed fault," the trouble that moves us to cry out for God's miracle in Yeshua...

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