THE EMMAUS WALK PRESENTS:
"EXODUS: TYPES OF CHRIST AS REVEALED IN
MOSES, THE TABERNACLE, AND THE PASSOVER LAMB, AND THE DELIVERANCE FROM EGYPT,"
by Ronald Ginther
Genesis, as we have seen, contained
a number of true Types of Christ. What we mean by "types" is christlike examples that foreshadowed or prefigured Jesus Christ to always significant but varying degree. They are first identified as the slain animal or animals that God (just as the Father later sent His Only Begotten Son to be sacrificed on the Cross) slew in order to clothe the fallen Adam and his wife. Next were the animal sacrifices by Abel that pleased God (these were probably firstlings of the sheep he raised). Abel himself became a Type of Christ slain by his brother--his blood still speaking today, scripture says, of his righteousness as a slain innocent "lamb" against the unrighteousness and rebellion of the world--prefigured in rebellious Cain--that slew him. Lastly, the life of Joseph account gives us the Patriarch Jacob's favorite son as the Type of Christ that most clearly shows what Yeshua (Jesus) will be like when he walks among men and also what will happen to him. Joseph was a most wonderful instrument of God. By him God preserved not only the Israelite people and nation but enhanced them in numbers to the degree that they could take the Promised Land by conquest. Even more important, by him God preserved the Messianic line, which ran from Judah, Joseph's half-brother by Leah. Things went well, indeed, for Israel in Egypt while Joseph lived, and even for a time after his death. But God had a redemptive Plan in motion, and though many people forgot why they were in Egypt, God never forgot.
With magisterial privilege, Exodus, the second book of Moses, passes over about four hundred silent years of bondage for the Israelites in Egypt and begins speaking at the point where a Pharaoh, perhaps Seti I, arose to power in Egypt "who did not know Joseph." With records at court that may well have been extant to remind him who Joseph had been, he may have deliberately chosen to "forget" this foreigner's saving of his nation in order to deal with what he perceived as a national threat to Egyptian security and nationhood: the huge and mushrooming population of resident aliens, the Israelites! Whatever his reason for the beginning of hostilities between Egyptian royal power and the Israelites, it was God's means to remove his people from Egypt to the Promised Land in such a way that His name would be glorified forever. But we are missing the major point, perhaps, by passing too quickly to the various conspicuous "Types of Christ" to be found in Exodus. The Deliverance itself is the major Type of Christ. The Deliverance portrays Christ more perfectly and comprehensively than any human being could, even though he be great as Moses. Let us see if this can be proven by looking at the great events that make up what we call the Deliverance of God's people from Egyptian bondage.
What does Exodus tell us about Christ as the Great Deliverer? Not until God reveals himself to Moses in the Burning Bush, and Moses asks God's Name, do we receive from God's own mouth the divine and holy name, "I AM WHO I AM," or, "I AM THAT I AM." What an incredible Name! No other god could claim this Name. It was given in Hebrew, and totally original. Indeed, there is a great richness of meaning in this Name of God delivered to Moses and posterity, and commentators such as found in Eerdman's THE NEW BIBLE COMMENTARY, REVISED, discuss those shades of meaning. But the events of Exodus themselves portray God's Name and its meaning to not only Moses and his generation but to all generations! The Name and its meaning are not something static, dead, historically-preserved--once the event is over, we can read about it in a book, and that is the chief fossil-like value--no, the Name and its meaning are an on-going reality--to wit, THIS was true about God then, and it is just as true today, and we must deal with God on the same terms that faced Pharaoh, Moses, and the society of Egypt and the people of Israel of that time. Exodus, then, is not about some long-ago event as such, it is portraying a living God--specifically Jesus Christ--who was, who is, and who is to come! The Exodus article in Eerdman's describes the Name of God as "dynamic." It is an apt term. Truly, God's Name--borne out by Christ spread throughout the world through the Gospel and through His Body the Church--is dynamic and living.
Eerdmans Commentary states that the events of Exodus are a dramatic foreshadowing (a sort of pre-screening of One to come) of the greater Exodus (deliverance) from sin and death through the death and shed blood of Jesus Christ, the Perfect Sacrifice. Thus, we see two great movements, one present to Moses and his generation, the other foreshadowing the future event of Christ on the cross but which now is past to our 21st century generation. From our vantage we can look at both great movements and what they reveal about God's Name and God's Christ. Moreover, we are extremely privileged at this evident end of the Gentile Church Age to look forward to a coming, glorious "Exodus," wrought by the soon coming King, Jesus Christ, who will deliver us from this present world and present life, an event called the "Rapture" or taking-up of God's people in the air to meet with Christ before His Coming as Millennial Ruler of the World.
But let us return to the background of the Exodus panorama upon which God wrote the Name above all other names that can never be effaced.
Joseph died, prophesying and commanding that his bones be buried in Shechem, in the field that his father bought and bequeathed to him. He prophesied: "I die, and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob." And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, "God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from hence." Genesis 50:24-25
Now Moses, son of Amram and Jokabed of the Tribe of Levi, becomes the next Christ Type. In turn, as we have already been shown, Jesus Christ is the Exodus Experience itself that Moses will be commissioned to lead eighty years after his birth. Again, the whole spiritual significance of Exodus is not the spectacular events and deliverance of Israelites from Egypt, great as they are in meaning, but it is Jesus Christ himself in his office and role as Crucified and Resurrected Lord and Savior of the world that this second book of Moses portrays, with Moses as a secondary type beneath Christ's own revelation. The word "Exodus" simply means "departure," but the grand, even terrifying and glorious events of the book--the divine judgments on Egypt, which is a type of the world and its sin, the miraculous parting of the Red Sea and the crossing of the Israelites (which is a Type of the Salvation Experience of the birth of the New Man in Christ), the destruction of the Egyptian army (which is a type of the Old Man of Sin)--are just several of the things that portray Christ, his life and mission on earth. Surely, Moses was a prime participant, but it is really the whole pageant of what and who Christ is that we see unfolding in the majestic account of the Exodus.
With this in mind, we can look at Moses for what he was. He was great, yes, but he was also deeply flawed with impulsiveness and a tendency to violence. God took a vain, head-strong, impulsive Israelite and broke him to the point of usefulness. Moses, reared in the royal court and educated in the wisdom and arts of Egypt, sought to fulfill the mission he felt he had, and made himself a murderer and a fugitive when he kills an Egyptian taskmaster who had been oppressing an Israelite. His dream of becoming Israel's deliverer from Egyptian servitude smashed, he sought refuge in the Midian desert wilderness for forty years until God called personally on him. He is a prime instance of how God can use circumstances to break a human instrument in order to fashion him into a divine instrument, a man of God fit to do God's will and perform mighty acts of deliverance and leadership.
By his eightieth birthday, which places a man at the end of a normal lifespan, Moses has already found plenty of time to review his life and his short-comings. Still herding sheep for his godly Midianite father-in-law, the priest Jethro, Moses has learned patience, humility, and loss of ambition. Egypt, all the vanity of its glory, power, luxury, and beauty, meant nothing to him anymore. Apparently, ambition and self-seeking are so dead he is content to herd sheep and goats for his father-in-law to his dying day, which may lie not too far off. But Almighty, All-Knowing God has his mighty man and deliverer in this broken, meek, old man and appears to him in a burning bush. Why a bush? We should be encouraged that it was a bush, not a noble cedar of Lebanon! Any bush will do as God's vessel, that is why. In the same way, God can make any man serve His divine Plan, once that man is sufficiently humbled and his strength reduced to total dependence on God. Break a willful royal prince, full of himself as Moses must have been, and break him down to a shepherd herding someone else's sheep on the rock-scabbed "backside of the Midian desert", and you have something God found he could use to do great and mighty things, things the world is still talking about! The same pattern of stripping, humiliating, and stretching God ordained for making Joseph a world savior and the savior of Egypt and the savior of Israel also held true for the remaking of Moses into the Deliverer of Israel. The "earthen pot" was smashed, then reshaped into Moses the National and Spiritual Leader of Israel, Deliverer, Chief Justice and Lawgiver, Supreme Commander of the Army, Prophet, and Scribe of God who wrote the first five books of the Bible [regardless of what some scholars purport to know as they dispute the authorship of the five books by Moses, Jesus accepted Moses as their author, and we will believe Him, the Son of God, above any human anytime!].
This article has not been finished. Be advised that this article is not telling you what to think about the subject, only guiding you in your search of the answers to the great question: What is the Name of God really signifying in the Exodus account, and how does Moses figure in to the revelation? Perhaps you have a better idea than this article can present, and so we encourage you to explore your own perspective and gain richly by it.--Ed.
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