When God made a covenant with Abraham, He told him that his descendants would be in captivity for four hundred years. Several centuries later, God told Moses to lead His people out of their bondage. The delivered people however did not know their destination and blamed Moses for leading them out of slavery. Whenever they feared death, they preferred to go back to their former life of slavery. When God parted the Red Sea, they ventured to walk between the walls of water to escape from the swords of Pharaoh’s army.
Like the Israelites, many followers of Christ are coming to God to escape the wages of sin. After being saved by His grace, people fail to embrace the courage to follow Jesus. They chose God in fear rather than with love and confidence. The transformation that took place in the pilgrim of the Israelites may encourage the believers to follow Jesus with freedom.
Even after seeing the power of God and how He drowned the whole army in the Red sea, people rebelled against God. After destroying the rebellious people, God gave them a sign to remember Him wherever they go. God asked them to make the Ark of the Covenant, and according to the book of Hebrews, God asked them to place the manna, the staff of Aaron, and the tablets of the covenant.
Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant.Hebrews 9:3-4 (NIV)
These three things recalled their experience of eating the manna in the wilderness, the provision, the staff of Aaron indicating the devouring wrath of God on rebellious people, and the tablet of the covenant, the tool to guard their deliverance. They remembered these three marvellous deeds of God and carried the Ark of Covenant with reverence. They revered God not to be delivered but because of the deliverance. They showed gratitude to God by obeying Him, but the scenario has changed upside down.
Now they moved forward to the flooded river Jordan, not chased by fear but with faith. As soon as their priest’s feet touched, the water of Jordan rolled back and gave way to them. And while entering the promised city, they marched around once a day for six days and on the seventh day, six times, without saying a word. By seeing the miraculous deliverance of God, it was not hard for them to march around the city twelve times quietly. They never questioned Joshua and marched with faith. On the seventh day, and for the seventh time, Joshua ordered them to shout, and when they did, the Jericho walls collapsed.
When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city.Joshua 6:20 (NIV)
The transformation was significant, and the provision to enter the promised city was equal for everyone.
The Redemption Plan
But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.Galatians 4:4-5 (NIV)
God had this Redemption Plan even before He created the world, and at the appointed time, He executed it by sending His Son to this world. Jesus had to come as a mere man to help His brothers and sisters. Because of the outcome of sin, a constant threat of death was hanging on their head, and God decided to eradicate that fear from the minds of people.
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil — and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.Hebrews 2:14-15 (NIV)
Jesus Conquered Death
When the people crucified Jesus, devil thought death had taken over everyone, and there was no hope for them. But Jesus obeyed His Father in every respect and shed His precious blood, and with His blood, He made an entry to heaven and paved the way for everyone who believed in Him to enter His Kingdom. The provision of entering His Kingdom is now for everyone, the experience we gain by walking along with Jesus, we seek Him not to escape eternal death, but because He delivered us from eternal death.
Crossing the Red Sea denotes water baptism with a package of fear within us. The scripture talks about the baptism of Jesus, which is dying with Jesus to rise with Him. There will be no one to witness the baptism other than Jesus. It does not need forty years, but with genuine commitment at no time, we will receive salvation. The good news is that God removed the allegations of the devil by crushing him on the cross.
having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.Colossians 2:14-15 (NIV)
The Transformation Through The Cross
While hanging on the cross, Jesus paves the way to Kingdom, and anyone can access that through the following seven acts. Jesus forgave everyone and showed us the way to forgive all people. Jesus saved a thief who said Jesus did not deserve the horrific death. Jesus formed a spiritual family and asked us to have one such family. Then Jesus taught us to raise our prayer at the right time for the right person. Jesus showed His eagerness to fulfil God’s will as in heaven. Then Jesus taught how to accomplish His Father’s will even to the point of death. And finally, Jesus committed His life to His Father to take it back.
With these seven lessons of the cross, we would not be dying as a coward but commit our lives to our Father’s hand to take them back into His Kingdom. Then we will be transfigured to attain eternity.
When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”1 Corinthians 15:54-55 (NIV)
Freedom In Jesus
Paul said, if I live, I will live for Jesus, and if I die, I will die for Him. Either way, we do not lose anything, as Jesus gained eternity for us. After being saved by His grace, we should joyfully enter His Kingdom. God would not chase us toward His kings as He chased the Israelites through the army of Pharoah. If we are driven by fear to seek His Kingdom, it is not God but the devil who induces fear in us by making us forget the forgiveness of sins.
He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.Hebrews 9:12 (NIV)
The provision is now for everyone, and it is available everywhere. When the walls of Jericho collapsed, people entered the promised land from wherever they were. When the final trumpet blows, we will be taken into His kingdom wherever we might be.
Once our Savior died on the cross to rise again and that horrific cross carried the message of the love of God. God’s love changes everything. Are we still seeking Him out of fear of drowning or with the joy as His forgiven children and Jesus, who made us unblemished, will present us to His Father in His kingdom? Let us thank God for the cross and the seven steps it shows us to make us complete.
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.1 Corinthians 1:18 (NIV)