Norma Jean and I have enjoyed a rich and rewarding week at the Florida College Annual Lectures.
This unique series of lessons that used the Exodus from Egypt as a paradigm of God’s redemptive plan for all of humanity was interesting, insightful, and at times challenging. Also, we experienced a wonderful reunion and fellowship with many of our friends from all around the country, as well as making new friends
Last night’s lecture by Bible Chair Tom Hamilton spoke of “The New Exodus and the Final Exodus.” In brief summary, Tom offered six parallels that speak to us today.
#1 Jesus Christ is the New Moses. Like Moses, Jesus came to be our savior, redeemer, and deliverer from bondage and to lead us to the promised land.
#2 We’ve experienced the True Redemption by means of the True Sacrifice. Unlike the animal sacrifices, Jesus was once offered to bear our sins, and by his own blood as redeemed us from sin.
#3 We’ve received a New Covenant and a New Law. Jesus, the “better sacrifice” is the “mediator of a better covenant.” Founded on “better promises.” And offering a “better hope.”
#4 We, too, can dwell in God’s Presence in His New Tabernacle, through Jesus Christ as His called-out people. The Bible calls that collective relationship the church, the kingdom, and the body of Christ.
#5 Jesus is our High Priest. He makes intercession for us. He’s the perfect High Priest because only He knows what it’s like to be both human and divine.
#6 We, too, have made an exodus from the slavery of sin and the servitude of Satan. We’ve embarked on a journey through the wilderness of this world. As we noted yesterday, it’s characterized by its unexpected, and often difficult twists and turns.
#7 Like Israel of old, we’re sojourners and pilgrims, making our way toward The Promised Land–our Heavenly home.
All of this reminds us that God calls us to holiness. To sanctification. To separation from the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life. The first exodus was filled with many who succumbed to sins that deprived them of inheriting the Promised Land. The parallel is obvious. And sobering. In fact, Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 10, to learn from the negative examples of those who fell in the wilderness.
Our holiness, however, is even more than moral purity. It is being holy like our Lord in kindness. Compassion. Sympathy. Empathy. And caring, loving, and serving others like He did.
As we attended both the lectures and various associated functions this week, we were reminded of the many who were missing. Classmates, friends, and fellow preachers. Those who’ve made the final exodus from this life into the next. For us, it was sad not to see them and enjoy their fellowship.
However, as Norma Jean and I are both moving closer to our mid 70’s, we’re reminded that the time of our final exodus is not far away. Even if, we live into our 90’s. As the old hymn, says “Just a few more years with their toil and tears, and the journey will be ended…”
But, none of us know when, where, or how the journey will end. Some of you younger than I may make the final exodus first. It may be “Just a few more days to be filled with praise, And to tell the old, old story…”
Think about that. One day the journey will end. Then what?
Will the Lord find us faithful?
Will our exodus be a successful crossing over the chilly river of death into The Promised Land?
Will we hear the words, “enter into the joy of your Lord”?
Serious thoughts that are worthy of our contemplation. And hopefully, a challenging incentive for us to inwardly examine our lives and ask, “Is my heart right with God?”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman