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Introduction to Exodus

Exodus

Think of Psalm 66:5-7:

Come and see! We will see that God wills to be known and glorified. We will see a God who is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Exod 34:6 ESV). In encountering this holy God we should, like Moses, bow down and worship (34:8).

Second, we need to understand God’s redemption better. Exodus is a picture of the Gospel, and we will seek to understand Exodus in relation to Jesus. There are a number of reasons for this. In Luke 24 Jesus explained the Old Testament “beginning with Moses and all the Prophets ... concerning Himself in all the Scriptures” (v. 27). “Moses” here is short for the Pentateuch, which includes Exodus! Earlier, in Luke 9:31, when Jesus talked with Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration and Luke says that Jesus spoke about His “death,” (lit. His “departure,”) the word there is exodos, the Greek word for “exodus.” Jesus’ triumphant death and resurrection was the greater exodus. Jesus would pass through the waters of death in order to deliver His people from bondage to their sin and take them to the new heavens and new earth. In the New Testament,5 Jesus is also referred to as “our Passover Lamb,” using terminology from Exodus (1 Cor 5:7).

Also realize there are more than just a few verses that invite us to read Exodus with Christ-centered lenses. The gospel appears everywhere in pattern, type, theme development, and foreshadowing. Through these and many other features, Exodus shows us redemption (cf. Col 1:13-14; 1 Pet 1:18-19; Jude 5). Christopher J. H. Wright in The Mission of God reminds us of God’s model of redemption:

With this in mind, we can say that, in a sense, the exodus story is our story.

Third, we need to understand God’s mission (and ours) better. The mission of the church does not begin in the Great Commission (Matt 28:16-20). It begins well before this important text, in the Old Testament. Here we see God concerned about physical injustice as well as spiritual deliverance. We need to be a people who care about the enslaved, both physically and spiritually. Wright says it well: “Exodus-shaped redemption demands exodus-shaped mission” (Wright, Mission of God, 275; emphasis in original). The exodus gives us not just a model of redemption, but also a model of mission.

Finally, we need to draw lessons for living out our faith on a daily basis. We have examples to avoid and examples to follow in Exodus (1 Cor 10:11). A number of practical topics should interest us:

As we journey through this amazing book, we will seek to understand and apply the exodus story historically, theologically, Christologically, missiologically, and practically. Let the journey begin!

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