‘Let my people go’

by | Apr 23, 2024 | April 2024 | 0 comments

“This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the wilderness.’ ” Exodus 5:1 (NIV)

Moses made the outrageous demand of Pharaoh that a vast colony of slaves, used in his building projects, should just down tools and go for a religious holiday in ‘the wilderness’.

Unsurprisingly, it didn’t happen straight away – many things don’t. New Testament church history is a record of people coming to terms with the fact that Jesus wasn’t going to return in a few days, or weeks, or years – maybe not even in their lifetime. Many lost their way in that long wait, a wait that continues to this day.

Deuteronomy 18:15 cites a promise from Moses, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.’ On the banks of the Jordan river, more than 1400 years later, John the Baptist was asked by Jews, looking for the long-awaited fulfilment of Moses’ prophecy, “Are you the Prophet?” (John 1:21). John referred to this prophecy when he replied, “…among you stands one you do not know” (v.26). Jesus himself revealed his identity to listeners in the synagogue by reading from Isaiah 61:1, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor…freedom for the prisoners…to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19). Moses was tasked with the same, and unenviable commission of ‘proclaiming freedom for the prisoners’ and ‘setting the oppressed free’ leading the Israelites out of captivity and to a better place. True deliverance, however, comes only through Christ, as the apostle Paul tells Christians in Rome: ‘…through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.’ (Romans 8:2).

The writer of Hebrews summarises the foundation of Moses’ leadership: ‘By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.’ (Hebrews 11:27-28).

It is the Passover that draws the two stories of Moses and Jesus most powerfully together. We can get lost in the many parallels of them both being protected from death as infants; both fasting for forty days and nights; both controlling the sea and miraculously feeding the people. But through Moses, and that first Passover, God drew a graphic picture of what would happen to his Son, why it would happen and what it would achieve. Through the imagery of the Passover, and then the Lord’s Supper mediated by Christ, we are constantly reminded of our need for salvation, where that hope for salvation lies, and our need to unreservedly accept our Saviour – as well as the realisation that it might take longer than we think, and on a path that is more challenging than we might choose.

There is more to be told in Moses’ story.

Our thanks to you Father that through the sacrifice of your son Jesus, we are able to enter your promised rest, and that we can be sure that the Holy Spirit is walking beside us as we make the journey. Amen

Study by Maggie Mitchell


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.