Scripture: Exodus 14:19-31/John 5:19-24
I. Your story is about leaving darkness for light.
A. The story of Israel being saved from Egypt comes in 3 sections referring to the time of day: dusk (vs. 19-20), night (vs. 21) and morning (vs. 27). Israel then escapes darkness and death and moves into the light of freedom and life on the other side of the Red Sea. Egypt’s end is the darkness of night, covered over by the waters (vs. 28). But Israel left the darkness coming out of the sea toward the rising sun. The power of Egypt then was no match for the power of God.
B. Your story, like Israel’s story, is about leaving behind a great enemy. In our case, the enemy is not Pharaoh but Satan. Satan attacks God’s people with lies, sorrows, battles, terrors and testing just like Pharaoh attacked Israel. All these attacks from Satan leave our world dark. But God steps into every Christian’s story to lead you away from Satan and sin and darkness and into the brightness of the Promised Land.
II. Your story is about leaving destruction for a new creation.
A. The story of exodus is the story of creation all over again. God brings light on Israel in Ex. 14:20 – an echo of what God said at creation in Gen. 1:3: “Let there be light.” Then in Ex. 14:21 the LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind (the same Hebrew word as the word Spirit). Gen. 1:2 says that “the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” The waters separate to create dry land at the Red Sea just like at creation (Gen. 1:9).
B. Over and over in the Bible, water represents judgment and destruction. Jesus was not saved from destruction in water. In Mark 10:38 Jesus called his death a baptism, but it led us to a new creation. The Apostle Paul connects the exodus and baptism in 1 Corinthians 10:1-2: “For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea,and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.”
III. Your story is about leaving death for life.
A. Just like Moses plunged into the waters of the Red Sea and all who followed him emerged on the other side unharmed, Jesus plunged into the waters of death so that following Him we might pass through death unharmed into resurrection life (John 5:24). Hebrews 2:14-15: “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”
Rejoice that you have already passed through the waters of death in Jesus.
Commentaries by T.D. Alexander, D.A. Carson, Peter Enns & Tim Chester
“The Lamb of God” by Nancy Guthrie/”Exodus Old and New” by L. Michael Morales
Sermon Discussion Questions:
1) What kind of darkness in your life have you left behind now that you are following Jesus? The light protected Israel from Egypt. How has God’s light protected you?
2) What are some echoes of the creation story in Genesis 1 that you see in the Exodus story? In what ways have you become a new creation since your conversion?
3) In defeating death at the cross, what else did Jesus defeat? If Jesus is victorious over death, then what do we need to be afraid of?