Once eyes are opened to the overarching theme of the Exodus it is difficult to read the Bible without seeing the Exodus on almost every page. There are echoes of the first Exodus out of Egypt in recurring words, images, and thought patterns. Exodus words like redemption, ransom, deliverance, and lamb are used in the New Testament to describe Jesus’ redeeming sacrifice on the cross. We see in today’s text how early Christians saw the cross as God’s new Passover for His people. The first Exodus anticipated the deliverance through Jesus’ redeeming death on the cross (Exodus 12:21; 24:8; Leviticus 16:14-21; Romans 3:25).
For Christians the Exodus story is celebrated in our central ritual, our most holy sacrament, the Lord’s Supper or Communion. As we eat the bread and drink the cup we share the memory of the Exodus from the slavery of Egypt, undertaken so quickly that there was no time to let the bread rise. Each bite of the unleavened bread is a reminder of the urgency of deliverance from bondage to the Promised Land.
It was the Passover meal that Jesus celebrated with His disciples in the Last Supper. This was a remembrance of the blood of the Passover lamb applied over the doorpost of every Israelite’s home so that the death angel would pass over and the Exodus begin (Exodus 12:1-13).
What Jews do to this day in celebrating an ancient historical event, Christians reread as not only history, but also something God is doing today. He is liberating people from sin and death through the blood of His Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ.
Take some moments to reflect on the Apostle Paul’s presentation of the Lord’s Supper:
For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” ( I Corinthians 11:23-24)
- What similarities do you see between the Passover lamb in Exodus and Jesus as our Passover Lamb (Exodus 12:5-13)?
- The next time you take Communion, reflect on your Exodus journey from bondage to freedom. Ponder the bondage from which God is delivering you. Ponder the freedom in which God wants you to live.