When I think of Egypt, my first thoughts go to Moses, the Ten Commandments, and the whole “Let my people go!”thing. But guess what? A reference shows up in Matthew’s account of the Christmas story, chapter two, verse fifteen: When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. (NIV)
Of course, calling Jesus out of Egypt required He first go in. So, does Jesus’ escape to Egypt have any other purpose than to get away from bad guy King Herod? Was Matthew simply giving us a cliffhanger? Bringing a little tension to an otherwise humdrum period in Jesus’ childhood? Or is something else at work here?
And why Egypt? Certainly, there were many places Joseph could have taken his family. Back to Nazareth, for instance. But an angel directs Joe to Egypt and tells him to stay put until Herod’s death, which, thankfully, wasn’t long in coming.
Think of it: strange country, different language, different religion, oh, and the whole Moses, plagues, and Red Sea deal.
These things aside, Egypt often represented bondage in Scripture. The original exodus from Egypt marked a new beginning for the fledgling nation. God intervened on Israel’s behalf and engineered their release from slavery. Next—a new home and a new status as God’s chosen ones—witnesses to the world of His goodness.
Yet, the internal bondage of sin remained and it was for this release Jesus came. But He had to walk it first. A personal trip to Egypt.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16 NIV)
Giving up His heavenly glory, He walked in our sandals. He worked, prayed, and sweated like the rest of us.
And He made choices.
Choices not to knock his dim-witted, unbelieving brothers into next week when they mocked him. (Family issues, anyone?)
Choices not to curse when He hit His thumb with a hammer in the carpentry shop. (Wow, those neurons work amazingly well.)
Choices not to heal Himself but to wait on God when He had the flu. (A little germ help, please?)
Choices not to take Satan’s shortcuts when the cross loomed before Him.
Because Jesus came out of Egypt sinless and pure, He makes a way for us.
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:34-36 NIV)
Have you come out of Egypt?
Contrast bondage and freedom.
Contrast bondage thinking with freedom thinking.
Is there a sin that has you in bondage?
What would release look like to you?
Commit the issue to God and keep track of the path of freedom He leads you on.
The internal bondage of sin remained and it was for this release Jesus came. Gayle @gveitenheimer Click to tweet.
Because Jesus came out of Egypt sinless and pure, He makes a way for us. Gayle @gveitenheimer Click to tweet.
What would release from your Egypt look like? God is waiting to unlock your chains. Gayle @gveitenheimer Click to tweet.