Remembering Our Redemption

matzahAs Passover and Holy Week approach, we are reminded once again to celebrate God’s amazing acts of redemption on our behalf. First he redeemed Israel from slavery in Egypt, and Christ redeemed us from death through his atoning sacrifice for our sins.

What are the implication of these holy days for the rest of the year? I thought I’d share an excerpt from Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus, from “A Passover Discovery.”

 

Remembering our Redemption

What would you say if someone were to ask you to identify the single most important event in the New Testament? Like most of us you would probably respond that it was the death and resurrection of Christ.

But what would you say if someone were to ask the same question about the Old Testament? How could you pick from all the possibilities? The creation? The flood? The covenant with Abraham? Entering the Promised Land? Building the temple?

Though we might find the question perplexing, the answer would seem obvious to most Jewish people. Their miraculous delivery from Egypt is the event mentioned over and over in the Old Testament—almost every book refers to it. It is the one event they mention in nearly every worship service.

Whenever God wanted to emphasize why his people should obey him, he reminded them of how he had rescued them and forged them into his own people. “I am the God who brought you up out of Egypt,” he kept repeating. Many of the laws of the Torah are rooted in the people’s deliverance from Egypt:

The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. (Leviticus 19:34)

If one of your countrymen becomes poor and is unable to support himself among you, help him as you would an alien or a temporary resident, so he can continue to live among you … I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God. (Leviticus 25:35, 38)

Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day. (Deuteronomy 5:15)

Each of the commands above is directly linked to God’s actions on Israel’s behalf…

His people must not mistreat foreigners. Didn’t they remember what it was like to suffer abuse in Egypt before God rescued them?

His people must help the poor to live in the land. Hadn’t they experienced what it was like to live in poverty in someone else’s land before God led them into their own?

His people must rest and allow all their servants to rest on the Sabbath. Wasn’t this rest what they had longed for as slaves in Egypt before God freed them?

Similarly, as followers of Christ, we can continually remind ourselves of how Jesus, the Passover Lamb, has redeemed us from death. We can forgive, because we have been forgiven. We can serve, because Christ humbled himself for us. We can love, because we have experienced the extravagant love of God in our own lives. We have a new life and a new hope, because Jesus fulfilled the ancient feast of Passover.

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(Images: riekhavoc, joshbousel)

Comments

3 Responses to “Remembering Our Redemption”

  1. 1
    Olivia Highley|April 15, 2012

    I absolutely love this blog post. It is so important to remember that we have been redeemed! Even more importantly than that is the fact that we can forgive, serve, and love because Jesus did all those things for us. We are so blessed beyond comprehension because God sacrificed for us, first!

  2. 2
    Rachel Mulder|January 25, 2013

    I love how you tied in our lives to those in the Old Testament! I liked how you talked about the well-known fact of the Israelites being taken out of Egypt and showing how they tied it to everything their lives. Then made it so that it connects to how we should live today with the well-known part of the bible where Jesus died and was risen. It is a challenging thing to think about: tying what Jesus did into every part of our lives. Everything that we do that is good, Christ did first!

  3. 3
    Lane Ellens|January 25, 2013

    I am in a Discipleship class at my high school and we’re talking about how the story of the Bible is so much more interesting when it’s a single story. Not split into two. I think this post is so cool because towards the beginning of God’s story he delivers us, his people, from the Egyptians and our slavery to them. And later, he delivers us again from our slavery to sin. We are freed from sin, and we are freed from sinning! God is good.

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