Easter Is an Exodus Story
In many ways Jesus’s death and resurrection is an exodus story, just like the exodus, in some ways, is a death and resurrection story.
You see that from Israel’s side. There’s the death of the lamb and they go down into the depths of the water. And then as they emerge the other side to newness, their enemies are killed and they live in freedom and new life.
So in some ways the exodus is a death and resurrection story, but in many other ways the death and resurrection of Jesus is an exodus story—and the whole gospel is written that way. It’s like Jesus is living Israel’s exodus in his own life. From the birth narratives onwards, there are lots of references back to the exodus story: down into Egypt, back out into the land, and so on.
He then goes down into the depths and then arises to new life in the morning. As the sun rises, the Son rises.
All the way through the transfiguration, Jesus is effectively telling them about his exodus. This is the word that is literally used in Luke’s Gospel. And then you see it right through into the crucifixion and resurrection where Jesus goes down into the grave, where there is a meal that he has with his friends, and then there’s talk of blood. It's a Passover meal. He then goes down into the depths and then arises to new life in the morning. As the sun rises, the Son rises.
There are even amazing little parallels like the fact that when Israel comes out of the Red Sea Miriam is standing there saying, “sing to the Lord because he has conquered.” And of course “Miriam” in Greek is the same as “Mary.” So, on Sunday morning, Mary is looking out and saying, “Sing to the Lord, he has conquered, he has brought life out of the grave!” Our enemies have been thrown into the sea, death and hell have been defeated as we’ve seen the sun come out of the depths.
There are so many ways in which the narrative carries on through into Pentecost and then into new creation. There are also ways in which the way the Gospel writers tell us the story—in the very things that Jesus has done in dying for us and rising again.
These echoes the exodus story in profound ways. If you read one, you can get further insight into the other, and vice versa. This powerful series of connections help to give us a sense both of the exodus and of what Jesus did for us.
When God delivers Israel from Egypt in the book of Exodus, they are walking in the footsteps of the patriarchs.
We don’t truly understand who we are as the church of Jesus Christ unless we know our own story.
The biblical exodus is recalled and made part of our lives through baptism, the Lord’s supper, and these other celebrations that place us within their pattern.