G-d's redemption same yesterday and today
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 2:39PM
Shema Yisrael in Egypt, Holidays, Israel, Lamb, Messiah, Moses, Passover, Pharaoh, jugement, plagues, redeem, sacrifice, sin

About 3,500 years ago when the descendents of Israel were enslaved in Egypt, G-d promised Moses that He would redeem those who put their trust in Him “with an outstretched arm and with great judgment (Ex. 6:6).” This promise was also a prophesy of what He would later do on a hill outside Jerusalem.

The Israelites were G-d’s people who had moved to Egypt to survive a famine. After the Egyptians forced them into slavery, Moses went to Pharaoh and demanded he let the people go. He refused, so G-d stretched out His arm and released 10 terrible plagues as mighty acts of judgment. After enduring nine plagues, Pharaoh still refused to let the people go.

The final judgment came when the tenth plague killed all the firstborn throughout the land. The Israelites saved themselves by applying the blood of an innocent lamb to the doorposts of their houses, causing the plague to pass over them. That night Pharaoh finally released the Israelites, and they departed for the promised land of Israel as redeemed people.

Redemption happens when someone buys back his property that had become the property of someone else. Pop bottles are redeemed when we put them into the machine and the supermarket buys them back. In the same way, G-d redeemed his people. The Israelites went down into Egypt a free people, but became enslaved by the Egyptians, so G-d redeemed them with His “outstretched arm and with great judgment,” setting them free and making them His people again.

After G-d redeemed his people, he set up Passover as a perpetual annual holiday to recount and celebrate this great act of redemption. The sacrificed lamb became known as the Passover Lamb.

It was during the Passover holiday 1,500 years later, in the promised land of Israel, that G-d redeemed all who would put their trust in Yeshua the Messiah with, again, an “outstretched arm and with great judgment.” Mankind was enslaved by sin, and since G-d is a just god, mankind could become free only once justice had been served. Instead of sending plagues on the human race, however, G-d took the judgment upon Himself. He came to Earth in the form of a man and stretched out His arm—in fact, both His arms—allowing Himself to be nailed to a cross.

Hanging on the cross as the lamb of G-d who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29), Yeshua’s (Jesus’) blood was applied to the cross to cause G-d’s judgment to pass over those who put their trust in His sacrificial death for their redemption. Amazingly, the pattern of the blood on the cross was the same as the pattern of the blood on the doorposts of the Israelites’ houses in Egypt.

When most people think of a just and holy G-d bringing great judgment, they think of Him sending something like the 10 plagues. But thank the Lord that His ways are higher than our ways and that He chose, on that day in Jerusalem long ago, to take the judgment we deserved upon Himself to redeem all who will put their trust in His Messiah.


Article originally appeared on Congregation Shema Yisrael - Rochester NY (http://www.shemayisrael.org/).
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