I have an Easter tradition. Every year, the Saturday before Easter, I sit down and watch the old Charleton Heston Ten Commandments movie. Now, saying that, some of you reading this are judging me. Yes, it’s incredibly cheesy and the special effects are really bad, but I love it. I can’t help but cheer when Moses goes toe to toe with the Pharaoh or when Moses stretches out his staff and the Red Sea parts in two. If you haven’t seen it, you could probably find it in a $5 movie bin at your local Walmart (just saying).
One of my favorite things about the movie is that you really get to see slavery. You get to see how God’s people felt in slavery. The brokenness that comes with having no freedom. The hopelessness that they felt thinking that God had deserted them.
And that is why I rejoice when God calls Moses at the burning bush (probably the cheesiest part of the movie, but also one of the best parts). He calls him to go to Pharaoh, and with Moses as his vessel, God has a plan to redeem his people. He plans to set them free from the Egyptians’ chains and give them hope and purpose in a new land. He had heard their cries, and he was going to save His people.
Then the LORD said, “I have observed the misery of My people in Egypt, and have heard them crying out because of their oppressors, and I know about their sufferings. I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and to bring them from that land to a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey.” –Exodus 3:7-8a
The Exodus was the biggest event in the Old Testament. It was the moment the Israelites were told to look back and rejoice on because on that day, they were set free and made new. Everything from Leviticus to Malachi pointed back on it. However, as awesome as the Exodus was, it would not even begin to compare to the work of God at the cross. Compared to the cross, God was just warming up. Because at the cross, God took on the real enemy–sin.
Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those who are in Christ Jesus, because the Spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. What the law could not do since it was limited by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending His own Son in flesh like ours under sin’s domain, and as a sin offering in order that the law’s requirement would be accomplished in us who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. –Romans 8:1-4
We live in a sinful and broken world. And like the Israelites, we too have been enslaved, but to something far more worse–sin. We were chained to our transgressions, but Christ took on all that. He was beaten and mocked. His garments were stripped off and gambled over. He had nails driven in his hands and feet. He was strung up like a common thief and criminal. Not once did he beg for them to stop. Not once did he ask his Father to remove him from the hurt and humiliation. Our brokenness. Our shame. Our guilt. We were the ones who held him there until his very last breath.
But the story doesn’t end there. After three days, something was different. Everything had changed.
Like the Israelites, God didn’t leave us in our brokenness. He didn’t leave us enslaved. He didn’t leave us suffocating under the weight of our sin and shame. He had not deserted us. God had planned another exodus to free his people. This time it would be at Calvary.
On the third day, Jesus came bursting from the grave. He rose victorious. He battled my transgressions. He took on Satan and sin and defeated them both. Because of him, my chains were broken and I was set free. I was made new, holy, and righteous, able to be in the presence before an Almighty God. I was called out of my sin, out of my brokenness and into the light and love of a powerful Savior.
There is freedom at the cross. Freedom from sin. Freedom from shame and guilt and the powers of this world. There was an exodus at the cross, and it beckons you now. Will you continue to live in Egypt or will you grasp hold of the Savior who died for you so that he can show you the way to the Promise Land?