MYSTERY OF CHRIST IN EXODUS

From the beginning, the Son of God (the Word) is the counter part of God himself
who becomes the wisdom, the pattern, through which creation is made.
Through the power and potentialities of the Spirit, the Creator dwells in every creature he has made,
animates them and holds them in life and leads them into the future of his kingdom. 30

1. God Reveals his name through his Son

In the 6th Century before Christ, Lao Tsu wrote:
The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.
The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth.

But in the c. 1290 B.C. Moses while pasturing his father in law's flock on Mt. Horeb saw a burning bush that did not disintegrate and went to investigate. As he approached, he heard his name being called and God said to him, "I am ...the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob." God further commanded him to deliver the Hebrews from the slavery of Egypt. But Moses was reluctant and wanted to know what to tell them when they asked for the name of the one who sent him. God said to tell the Israelites "I AM sent me to you." (Ex3:14) To the Jewish mind "I Am" most likely signified "I will be present" or "I will be with you." It may also be understood of God as the Source of all created beings. About 1300 years later Christ told the Jews, "I say to you, before Abraham came to be I Am." (Jn 8:58) Christ here reveals his oneness with the Father who spoke to Moses long ago in the power of the Spirit.

Here I am Lord

2. God's Eternal Son is the Pattern of the Passover

The Passover is the central pre-figuration and partial realization of the mystery of Christ. Moses directed every household to sacrifice a spotless lamb and to smear its blood on the door posts of each Israelite house so that the angel of death would pass over ( would not kill), the first-born of the Israelite homes. They were saved from death by the blood of the lamb. When John the Baptist saw Jesus he said: "Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of he world." (jn 1:29) Indeed it is through the blood of Christ that we are saved from eternal death.

Let us remember that the Passover was first of all an action of Israel trusting in the saving power of the LORD. This historically dynamic event was orchestrated by the Father through the Son already present and active in the history of Israel. This is why it bears the Christological dimensions of salvation from death through sacrificial blood.

3. The Son of God Presence in the Journey

In the desert of Sin the people complained that there was no water to drink. So, at God's command, Moses strikes a rock and water began to flow.

St. Paul saw the whole Exodus journey as follows:
"... our ancestors were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea. All ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ." (1Co. 10:1-4 ) Jewish writers had tended to identify the rock with Yahweh himself. "The Rock, how faultless are his deeds, how right all his ways! (Dt 32:4) And in Psalm 18 we read, "I love you, LORD, my strength, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer". There is no doubt that St. Paul saw in the whole Exodus journey the presence and guidance of God's Son. However, he also realized the insufficiency of this presence to bring about their change of heart.

4. The Father gave the Law through His Eternal Son

The Law (Ten Commandments) which God gave to Moses on Mt. Sinai is at the root of creation. God is love, created out of love and the Law is the expression of his love for mankind.

The Father gave the Law to Moses, in, with and through his Son and Christ affirmed it when he said, "If you love me, keep my commandments." (Jn 14:15)Notice, He said "my commandments". Christ further specified, "Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father." (Jn 15:21) Christ indeed abolished Jewish ceremonial laws but NOT the enduring laws of Sinai. The Commandments were given to guide us toward our eternal destiny and the redemptive sacrifice of Christ will not save those who willfully disobey this fundamental law of God.

The PHYSICAL JOURNEY from the slavery of Egypt to the Land of Promise under the leadership of Moses took 40 years.
It was for the Israelites also a SPIRITUAL JOURNEY away from the worship of false gods toward allegiance to the LORD.
Moses can be seen here as a TYPE OF CHRIST who leads his people from slavery of Egypt, through the waters of the Sea of Reeds which destroyed their enemies to the Promised Land. CHRIST LEADS US from the slavery of sin, through the waters of Baptism to the promised land of Heaven.

Here again it is the Father, in, with and through the Son and inspiration of the Spirit which initiates, sustains and brings to conclusion this saga so rich in imagery for the spiritual journey of every Christian.