Many of us already know the Exodus of the Hebrews out of the land of Egypt, their 40 years wandering in the desert and then their conquering of their promised land, Israel. Most of us over a certain age picture it like this:
If you will remember, though, the Israelites did not exactly follow God’s instructions and over a very short time period fell to the Canaanite gods and were later conquered and taken out of their Promised Land in exile…twice. Moses himself was unable to enter the Promised Land, as he was a sinner and was a part of the generation which God said would not enter.
There are so many parallels, however, between the Exodus of the Hebrews out of Egypt and that of Jesus to Egypt. For example, the Hebrews were enslaved by the Egyptians at the time of Moses and the nation of Israel was under the thumb of the the Roman Empire during Jesus’s arrival on Earth. God miraculously saved the Hebrews from the destruction as ordered by Pharaoh. God had the Magi warn Mary and Joseph of Herod’s plot, giving them an opportunity to escape to Egypt. We also see the Hebrews leaving Egypt with worldly riches to help them on their journey. Guess what the Magi brought for baby Jesus? That’s right… gold, frankincense and myrrh. We know that God’s presence guided the Hebrews through the desert by smoke in the day and by fire at night. John 1 tells us that Jesus was God, and was with God, and since Mary and Joseph were doing as they had been told, they didn’t need to be directed as God was with them, inside of Mary as the Immanuel or “God with us”.
But what we see different between the people of Israel and Jesus is that the Israelites quickly slipped into sin, while Jesus remained perfectly sinless. His journey out of Egypt, the second exodus if you will, was the proper way. It was into the life of perfection we could never attain. It was into the death on the cross for sins He never committed on our behalf. It was into a tomb which He could not be contained in. It was into a life we could never imagine on our own.
Jesus did not come to condemn the world. The world was already and is already condemned by its sin. He came to save the world. To fulfill everything. To show us the way and do what we could not. He is everything!
To start at the beginning of the Advent/Christmas series, click here