“And God spoke all these words, saying: ‘I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.’” Ex 20:1-2.
Shalom Dear Friends,
Since you traveled or communicated with us in the recent past, we want to take this opportunity and greet you with SHALOM from Jerusalem as the biblical Passover celebration approaches. The spring season is in full bloom in Israel and in most of the Western Hemisphere and fresh life and growth are in the air. We are blessed!
Consequently, we will dedicate the next few issues of this bulletin to the biblical understanding of the Passover story in order to help all of us gain a deeper, more satisfying and resilient insight into God’s heart and plan for redemption, and also to share with you some “Genesis news” that we believe will be meaningful to you.
The verse quoted above from Exodus 20 is actually the opening declaration of the Ten Commandments, yet it is uniquely connected to the Passover theme. In these few and very focused words God sets the foundation for the following ten commandments that will serve as the timeless backbone of the Judeo Christian civilization through which YHWH, the Lord, will influence and guide our world forward according to His redemption plan.
First, God clarifies the fact that it is HE HIMSELF who is talking here, and not through the intermediary service of an angel, a messenger or a prophet as was often the case.
Secondly, He assumes exclusive and sovereign position as THE Lord God of His people. There is none other who can claim this status.
Thirdly, He identifies Himself as the Lord God “who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” And this third point is our Passover connection today.
Why would God choose to identify Himself as the Lord God who sets His people free, rather than the Lord God who created them in the first place? Wouldn’t it be far more impressive if that third declaration pointed out instead that “I am the Lord your God who created heaven and earth?” Isn’t a creating God more incredible and powerful than a liberating God? Or, to simplify it even further: isn’t creation more significant than deliverance? Apparently not.
According to the revelation of this portion of scripture, and in the context of laying down the groundwork for the ten pearls of respect that will set up the moral and ethical foundation of God’s civilization on earth, He chose to reveal Himself as the Liberator God who sets His people free, rather than the Creator God. Why? because what’s the good of creating something (out of nothing) without going through the effort and sacrifice making sure this creation is free to be all it was originally created to be! Adam and Eve are our case in point that, while created perfect, because of free choice and sin fell and needed to be redeemed. The same with you and me…
And that’s the story of Passover: From the myriads of slain lambs in Egypt to the One and Only Lamb of God on Calvary, it is the story of the costly redemption and liberation of God’s most precious possession, His people.
Have a blessed day,