Post Title: Saved to Serve
Lesson Four: Passover teaches disciples of Jesus how freedom is God's ideal for all people.
Passover is called the season of our freedom, of our liberty. The Exodus event teaches something essential the world has forgotten and takes for granted. The biblical witness and values—and not our antecedent forces of humanism, philosophy, and science in the western world—teach that freedom is an ideal for all people.
God intends for those he created in his image and likeness to be truly free. The Exodus reveals the goal of history as freedom for all peoples, even the liberation of the whole world!
In light of the Exodus, human law and governments are acknowledged to be limited. Only God's Word is absolute. To the extent we participate in the destruction of his absolutes, we participate in the demise of our liberty. When we diminish and trivialize, undermine and relativize God's Torah (his divine teaching, guidance, instruction, and laws), we distance ourselves from true freedom in equal measure.
Without Exodus and deliverance, only chaos and disorder remain.
You and I are living in a world in which chaos, disorder, and violence abound. Concomitant to it, and perhaps the cause of it in considerable measure, is the fact that we no longer acknowledge that God is the God of the universe. Each man does what is right in his own eyes. With our philosophical sophistication and our intellectual aptitudes, we think we have the right to say what is good and what is evil.
That is the very impulse that got the original couple Adam and Eve in a lot of trouble. They did not want to give God sovereignty over declaring what is good and what is evil. They wanted the right to eat from the forbidden tree. In other words, they desired the power to say what is good and what is evil. It was a decision that enslaved them.
Freedom is God's desire and goal for all people. The good news proclaimed by Passover is that God has entered history for freedom's sake, and in so doing, he has established human dignity.
Lesson Five: Passover teaches disciples of Jesus that the Exodus set God's people free to enter into a unique partnership with him.
Separation from bondage was not the end goal of liberation; it was something far superior to that. Israel was entering into a partnership with the living God. The Exodus did not destroy all the evil in the world. But it demonstrated an alternative way of living and looking at this world—from the point of view of the kingdom of God.
The Torah first mentions the concept of the Kingdom in Exodus 15:18. When the Israelites had crossed through the baptism of the Red Sea, Moses and Miriam declared the majesty and the wonders of God in this prophetic declaration, "YHWH reigns for ever and ever!
This is not a future prediction but a present exaltation of what God has done. By liberating his people, God is showing the kingdom at work.
The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob set Israel free by his power, with his own hands. He desires to bring them to a place of partnership. As a kingdom of priests they will live the life he envisioned and be witnesses to his presence on earth. They are to be a blessing to all peoples.
You are not just delivered and saved to enjoy a personal spiritual trip. If that is what you want then try the New Age Movement. Seriously, if all you want are spiritual blessings and bliss, do not look to the biblical text.
Yes, God is concerned for you. But he is concerned for so much more. He sets you free to serve him and to be a blessing to others.
It doesn't compute with worldly standards. Speaking from an Exodus perspective, freedom is not an end but a means. We are called to be his witnesses; we are called to stand as a testament to the fact that there is but one God. That his word is reliable and trustworthy and his judgments are sure, despite protestations to the contrary.
Why is the world historically—and even at present—so antagonistic to the Jewish people? They represent human consciousness (to the human archetype), a witness to Almighty God. And the world does not like for there to be one true God who says what is right and what is wrong. So by persecuting the people of Israel, they attack the God of Israel.
Wagner and Hitler were intent on removing the Jews from Europe in order to eradicate the God of the Jews from European culture. They wanted a revival of classic paganism but Judaism stood in their way. "So," they said, "if Jews want to be separate, let us not only separate them but remove them as well. Let us blot out all remembrance of the Exodus, all acknowledgment that the God of Israel is the one, true God, and all moral absolutes."
Even though Passover shows us it is God's initiative, it also shows us that he uses and he needs human agents to accomplish his purposes.
Are you a redemptive partner with the Redeemer of Israel? Or are you just like all the rest, out to get all you can? Are you a blessing to the world? Are you a redemptive force in your place of employment? Are you a redemptive partner in your home, your marriage, your parenthood, in your writings, thinking, music, dance, economic transactions, giving, in your praying?
The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is looking for covenant partners. He needed a redeemer to work through in Egypt, Moses. In the fullness of time he sent the Redeemer, Jesus of Nazareth. The Holy One uses people to accomplish his objectives. He needs you and he needs me to bring his redemptive purposes into the world.
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This study is from a professionally produced transcription of the audio recording. It was edited for readability by the team at JC Studies.
Dwight A. Pryor (1945-2011) was a gifted Bible teacher of exceptional clarity and depth who earned the friendship and admiration of both Christian and Jewish scholars—in the United States and Israel—as well as the respect and appreciation of followers of Jesus around the world. His expertise in the language, literature, and culture of Israel during the life and time of Jesus and the early church yield insights that nourish every area of faith and practice.
Dwight founded JC Studies in 1984 to edify the people of God. Click here to explore over fifty of his audio and video seminars.