Red Sea Crossing, Part 2

The Exodus, and in particular the account of how God rescued the Israelites at the Red Sea is a prime example of how the Old Testament is a foretaste of things to come in the New Testament. As I read chapter 14 of Exodus, I see that this is a truly desperate situation. Facing the people is the sea; Pharoah and his army are pursing them from behind. They are trapped and cannot save themselves. Moses understands that they must rely completely on God. He tells them:

“Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today … The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” Exodus 14:13-14

God is in complete control. He not only directs Moses, He hardens the heart of Pharoah and repositions the pillar of fire and the angel. He drives the sea back so that the Israelites can cross on dry land and the returns it to its normal course, destroying the Egyptians.

This is not only an event involving water, it is a watershed event! It is one of those moments when history is changed forever. The Israelites never forgot their rescue, commemorating it every year in the Passover celebration.

As individual Christians, our baptism is a similar watershed event. Through water and the Word of God, we too are rescued. Just as God defeated Pharoah through the water of the Red Sea, in the water of our baptism, God defeats the world, the flesh and the devil. Like the Israelites, we are no longer condemned to a life of slavery; we are new creations, united with Christ and promised eternal life with God. Whether we are baptized as an infant or an adult, it is the grace of God alone that finds us and saves us, the crux of faith as summed up by Paul:

“For by grace you have been saved by faith. And this is not of your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

More to come tomorrow ….

For more about baptism see these posts:

United with Christ in our Baptism

Baptism, A New Beginning

The Freedom of Baptism

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