On Sunday we will begin our Easter series and this is an opportunity to reflect again on the amazing work of Calvary. We’ll travel back in time and recall possibly the most monumental events in Israel’s history.
The story we read in the book of Exodus describes the deliverance of God’s people from slavery. For over 400 years Israel had been held captive by Pharaoh and had been subjected to a tyrannical regime of hard labour. In effect they were captives to Pharaoh’s treadmill. Not only had they lost their freedom in becoming slaves to this incredibly prosperous empire, in many ways they has also lost their identity. The story tells us of the man whom God chose to confront the powers of Egypt represented in the form of Pharaoh. Despite God’s judgement his heart is hardened until one night the whole land – every community – is visited by the angel of death. Only those whose houses are marked by the blood of a sacrificed lamb are spared. Pharaoh finally agrees to let the people go and they begin their Exodus of Egypt. God shows Himself to be Israel’s great rescuer.
Following this remarkable event The Passover Celebration is established. This is a family meal during which the events of that day were retold. The memory of God’s deliverance was to be kept alive in subsequent generations by this freedom festival. Still today 1000’s of years later this festival is celebrated in the homes of Jewish people all over the world.
Jesus takes up the Exodus story, the true purpose of which is to look forward to the day of the ultimate Exodus and our deliverance from the tyranny of our slavery. He even takes the much loved and celebrated Passover meal and redeems it, he repurposes the account of Israel’s deliverance and then gives it to His followers in the form of what we call communion or breaking bread. This now our freedom festival too, it celebrates our liberation from the power of enslaving systems. Not only are we set free from slavery we have a new identity. We are no longer slaves held captive by the systems of this world but sons and daughters of an eternal Kingdom.
On Sunday we will take a little more time to look at this story and understand how Christ has set us free from a faulty belief system that makes us think that our prosperity, in all its shapes and forms, is the result of our labour.