the Great redemption
During this month many years ago two mighty acts of salvation transpired for Israel: the Exodus from Egypt, and the death, burial and resurrection of the Righteous One, Messiah Yeshua.
The Exodus serves as the quintessential paradigm for God’s salvation. It was there in the midst of slavery and oppression that the family of Jacob miraculously grew into the nation of Israel. Even when the majority of God’s people could not see His hand in the circumstances they found themselves in, God raised up a prophet who led them to a deliverance they never thought possible. Through Moses, great and mighty acts were inflicted upon Pharaoh. After ten devastating plagues, the children of Israel found freedom. After a night of sacrifice, blood-stained doorposts, and the death of firstborn sons, Israel found deliverance from the bondage of the world.
So, too, have God’s people found eternal salvation in a wholly unexpected way. In the midst of Roman occupation, an utterly corrupt priesthood, religious hypocrisy that stressed minutia but neglected love and compassion, and the failings of numerous revolutionary messiahs, Israel’s hope for salvation seemed bleak. Once again, God’s people puzzled over the circumstances they found themselves in. Yet as before, God sent a prophet, indeed the Prophet, who would lead Israel to the great redemption that they longed for.
And yet, unlike the first redemption from Egypt, the wrath of the second redemption was not aimed at Israel’s oppressors. Rather, the wrath of God was poured out upon the Righteous One. Unlike the first redemption, the whips were not reserved for the backs of Israel while He lived detached from their plight. Rather, the flogging of whips came directly upon the back of the Prophet. Unlike the first redemption, the sacrifice was not made by Israel. Rather, God Himself offered the sacrifice-the Lamb of God nailed to blood-stained wooden posts. Unlike the first redemption, the firstborn sons of the enemy were not put to death. Rather, it was God who gave His only begotten Son to be put to death.
In both schemes of redemption, death is prevalent. And yet, death is not the end. Death comes, only to be overcome by life. Israel was counted as dead and defeated while in Egypt. They were nothing but a mere slave-people under the hand of the oppressor. However, they came forth victorious over death and were given new life.
At the ninth hour, Yeshua died and His lifeless body was taken off the cross. His body was wrapped and buried in a tomb. His followers’ hopes for salvation were dead and defeated. Their Master had been executed by the hand of the oppressor. And yet, He came forth victorious over death and has given us new life.
Halleluyah, Yeshua is risen; Halleluyah, Death is no more.