Egypt and the Promised Land, Adam and Jesus
The Bible (Old Testament) gives a historical account of how God, with mighty power and many miracles, freed the Jewish people from their old life of slavery in Egypt. And how He led them across the wilderness and on into their new life of freedom in the “Promised Land”. (Exodus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Joshua)
All along the way God protected and provided for the children of Israel as they followed His lead. Since they couldn’t grow crops in the desert, God fed them fresh manna (bread) every day for the forty years of their journey, except on the Sabbath days. But He gave them a double portion of fresh bread the day before each Sabbath! God also led them to hidden springs of water in the desert so His people and their flocks could drink and wash. (Exodus and Deuteronomy)
Many Bible scholars compare this Bible story with how God leads His children today. Perhaps there is a comparison. Egypt, their birthplace, represented slavery to the ancient Jews. And we humans were born with a sinful nature (Romans 6 and 7) and cannot free ourselves from the slavery of sin. It’s in our nature. Life without Christ is a life of self-effort. We are on our own. We try harder to be good enough and hope God will accept us.
We will never have enough power on our own to conquer our own sin. We wonder if our difficulties, hardships and suffering could be a punishment from God. We wonder if God’s acceptance is conditional on us. (Romans 7) Perhaps Egypt for us today represents the slavery of living life without having a solid faith in Christ. The slavery of not knowing. Of not having a solid faith in Christ.
Awhile back, my husband and I were members of a friendly church whose pastor and leaders believed that the Bible was a good book, but that it was full of myths and errors. This church taught that human reasoning and knowledge and traditions were as important in deciding the issues of life as was God’s Word, the Bible. I had a ministry in this church of visiting the sick and dying. Often these very sick ones who had been members of the church all of their lives, would tell me that they were not sure they would be going to heaven since they thought that the idea of heaven might just be a myth.
Many in that church did not have a solid faith or hope to cling to! Many didn’t believe in “sin”, so they didn’t believe in a Jesus who would take away their sin! They didn’t believe in His comfort in times of dire need! Or the joy and victory in the Christ that saves from sin! We left that lukewarm but friendly church and the dear people we loved there, because we couldn’t stay where the good news of Christ was so compromised! Perhaps living with this unbelief in a saving Christ today can be compared to the poverty and slavery of the Jewish people in Egypt so long ago. But the story doesn’t end there. There was a God who set out to free these ones and take them to their Promised Land.
When we trust Christ as Savior and Lord, Scripture says that God, miraculously and with a mighty hand, forgives our sins through Christ, and we are given a new life in Christ. (Romans 8) We are “born-again”. (1 Peter 1:23, John 3:3, John 3:6-7) Miraculously we are freed from “Egypt” and from our slavery to sin not by our own power but by the power of the Holy Spirit! Not by obeying the law but by accepting God’s grace! We are now free in Christ and living in the “Promised Land” (Romans 5), And we are a new person in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6) empowered by the Spirit. (Romans 8) and destined for eternal life. (Romans 5,6, and 8)
God has led us on a miraculous journey and taken care of us on the way as we are crossing our own personal wilderness. It seems we all cross some kind of wilderness somewhere in our lives. And He has brought us into this “Promised Land” – a place and a position in Christ that we didn’t deserve. We have been given a standing of full acceptance we couldn’t have earned. God has joined us into a relationship with Himself that we couldn’t have started. Romans 8:1 says: “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” We are fully accepted in Christ. Sounds like when we believe in Christ as Savior that we are living in the “Promised Land”.
Scripture teaches that the whole human race has inherited sin from our first father, Adam. The Church calls this the “doctrine of original sin”. We are born with a nature to sin. And Scripture also says: “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23) Since the whole human race has inherited the nature to sin from our first father – Adam – every human in the human race dies.
But then Scripture also teaches that we receive forgiveness of sin and eternal life through Jesus Christ. Jesus is called “the Second Adam”. (1 Corinthians 15:45) Jesus came to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15) . Scripture teaches that in Adam we are born with a sinful nature. But, In Christ, if we believe in Him, we are “born again” and made a saint – a son or daughter of God. In Adam we are condemned, but in Christ, through faith we are justified, forgiven, covered in His righteousness and given eternal life.
Scripture says: “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and this is how death came to all men because all have sinned…But, the gift is not like the sin. For if the many died by the sin of the one man (Adam) how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin. The judgment followed on sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many sins and brought justification. For, if by the sin of the one man, (Adam) death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:12,15-17))
Another Scripture says it this way: “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22) Jesus came to un-do the curse of sin we inherited from Adam. Since we couldn’t do that for ourselves, He did it for us. He did it all. But salvation is a gift from God! (Romans 5:15) A priceless gift! But we have to accept our gift. Scripture says: “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3)