A short devotional from today's Old Testament Daily Lectionary reading, Exodus 13:3-10:
3 Then Moses said to the people, “Remember this day in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of slavery, for by a strong hand the Lord brought you out from this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten. 4 Today, in the month of Abib, you are going out. 5 And when the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, you shall keep this service in this month. 6 Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the Lord. 7 Unleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days; no leavened bread shall be seen with you, and no leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory. 8 You shall tell your son on that day, ‘It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ 9 And it shall be to you as a sign on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the law of the Lord may be in your mouth. For with a strong hand the Lord has brought you out of Egypt. 10 You shall therefore keep this statute at its appointed time from year to year.
Again, if Jesus really is the interpretive key to the entire Old Testament, just as he said he was in Luke 24: 25ff, 44ff, then that tells us that this passage is really symbolic for Christ, and God taking us out of the greater slavery from which Jesus, the "true Moses," liberated us, the slavery of death and sin, and his making us born again, and changing each believer now from unbelief to belief, and all of the experiences and treasures and truths that come from it.
What's so important about making a choice to accept Christianity, is not the choice, but all of the benefits of salvation which come from it and after it. What the Israelites did in their liberation was fairly insignificant compared to what God did. And, it's the same for us!
Here, in this Exodus 13 passage, with the interpretive key of Christ being read back into it symbolically, as every Christian should, it is saying that it was no small thing for God to make atonement for us and to deliver His people out of their terrible slavery. Jesus said, "everyone who sins is a slave to sin" but "if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." (John 8:34ff)
Here's another symbolic point. The rush to eat quickly and get out of Egypt, is a warning and reminder to us personally in our practical daily lives, that we should "rush" to get out of the various and specific sins we find in our own lives. We need to think that we need to rush and fight ourselves to get out of the kinds of sins Jesus taught so much about, such as hypocrisy and performance based self-reliant religion, the sin of stinginess, the sin of impatience and non-forgiveness, the sin of non-trust and fear in Him practically today, the sin of lust and gluttony, the sin of pride and using our tongues in unloving ways. God wants us to rush and make a big deal about getting out of these things.
In fact, what you could really take God to mean when he says remember the day of His atonement, is that we, the church, need to really remember the day of our greater atonement which the greater Moses secured for us, by his passion of what happened on the week of Easter, as we all just celebrated last week. So then, symbolically, we could say that what God is saying here in this passage is that we need to make Easter a really big deal in our hearts and in our lives, individually and corporately, and never forget it or the greatness of what it accomplished for us!
Let us rejoice in the liberation and joy we have in having our sins atoned for and our perfect reconciliation and adoption by God now as our gentle, loving, and perfect Father. And, let us use all that treasure to motivate us to rush out of the various sins in our lives.
I want to encourage you now to take these beautiful truths, and spend a few moments sometime today to get alone with God and apply these truths specifically to your life, and always do it resting in the security which our greater Moses has so thoroughly secured for us. Have a great week.