Story 4 (Communion) 10/02/16–Highland—Meute
The Story: “Deliverance”
The Story, Ch. 4
Exodus 12: 1-14; I Corinthians 5: 7, 8; John 1: 29-34
Pearl: Ultimate deliverance from sin.
Function: To lead worshippers to experience the deliverance of God from that which binds.
On January 15, 2009, US Airways Flight #1549 took off from La Guardia Airport and was climbing to its cruising altitude when it flew into a flock of Canadian Geese. This collision took out both jet engines bringing a perilous condition to the airliner. Captain Chesley Sullenberger was at the controls and as he assessed the situation decided to turn back for La Guardia for an emergency landing. Then he decided that he did not have enough altitude or power to make it so he headed for the Hudson River for an emergency water landing. With amazing skill he glided this jet airliner full of 155 souls to a safe water landing on the Hudson. Not a single soul died that day. It became known as the “Miracle on the Hudson.”
It brings to mind another water miracle—the “Miracle on the Red Sea” when God saved the Israelites from a pursuing Egyptian army bent on re-capturing them.
Today The Story opens with God’s new nation needing deliverance/rescue.
The nation of Israel was becoming a problem in the eyes of a different Pharaoh, a good four-hundred years after Joseph had been a most trusted and valued asset to Egypt. It is interesting how things change.
1. The descendants of Abraham multiplied as God said they would and became a very large group of people.
2. The former Pharaoh who loved Joseph was gone. The new Pharaoh felt altogether differently about the Jews. He saw them as a problem and feared them as a threat to Egyptian national security.
3. So this Pharaoh hatched a plan to eradicate the Jewish people. He issued the command that all Hebrew baby boys who were born were to be killed.
4. We are incensed at such an abomination as this order to slay the innocent children. We are alarmed. Yet humanity has not come far. The plight of children in our world is as perilous as ever. Consider the Syrian Refugee Crisis. About half of the staggering masses of refugees are children. Dr. Mary Mikhael’s presentation over a week ago repeatedly stated the massive crisis for children. Recall the little boy who was pulled from a bombed out building sitting there alone in an ambulance in shock, the only survivor of his family.
a. Viewing this young boy here in the US to write a letter to President Obama that he would like to adopt this little boy and make him his brother.
b. This Syrian crisis is the result of the madness and cruelty of ISIS.
c. Pharaoh’s cruelty precipitated a similar crisis for the ancient Israelites.
Their oppression was so great that they cried out to God. The LORD heard their cries and God acted. The LORD saw the cruel injustice toward his people and so he took steps to raise up a deliverer—Moses. All of the depravity and injustice of the Egyptians toward his people moved the Lord to reveal his name, his power, and his plan. It is important to note God’s compassion in response to the cry of his people. The Lord listens to your appeals!
1. The Lord began to accomplish the “deliverance” of his people from Egyptian bondage. Moses was a stubborn deliverer. The Lord used Moses’ stubbornness to reveal his unique and most holy name: Yahweh. This is a name that to this day Jews do not say. They substitute the word Jehovah to avoid saying God’s most holy name. It means: “I am.” It tells us that God’s most revealing name translates as “the essence of existence—being itself!”
2. Then God made known his power to Egypt and to Israel. Through the administration of nine devastating plagues, God displayed his power. He unleashed devastating plagues of frogs, locusts, gnats, blood in the water, boils, hail, flies, disease on the livestock, and darkness. Each of these plagues was to break down the resistance of Pharaoh in letting the Israelites go back toward their promised homeland.
a. Each time the Pharaoh would choose to release them. But he would change his mind. The Lord used this continual changing of mind to further demonstrate his power. Mysteriously, the scriptures read that the Lord was hardening Pharaoh’s heart and so God was behind Pharaoh’s stubborn refusal to let God’s people go.
b. God’s ways are mysterious–Isaiah 55: 8,9:
i. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
3. God’s ways are always purposeful in advancing his master plan. It would be through God’s tenth and final powerful plague that his plan would go forth. God would demonstrate a very great deliverance of his people from their terrible oppression.
a. God instructed Moses to instruct his people to slay a spotless lamb for sacrifice. They were to spread the blood of this sacrificial lamb on the doorposts of their homes and he would then send an “angel of death” across the land of Egypt to slay the firstborn male in every household—including slaves and even animals. But the death angel would “pass over” the homes of the Israelites who had the blood of the lamb smeared on the doorposts of their homes.
1. In about a week modern Jews will celebrate their most holy day which is Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)—it is the recollection of this very “passing over” when the death angel spared their ancestors who had the blood of the lamb on their doorposts.
b. This is a huge clue in God’s overall plan to redeem his creation. It foreshadowed what God would do in the death of his own Son, Jesus the Christ.
c. When Pharaoh’s own firstborn perished and a wailing was clearly audible across the land on that fateful morning, he finally allowed the Israelites to go from their land.
d. The Lord demonstrated a very great deliverance of his people from their terrible bondage and oppression. To this day Jews remember the Lord’s great rescue of their ancestors in Egypt.
i. To this day Jews repeatedly in their worship remember the Exodus as their Great Deliverance/Rescue.
ii. The people who flew on US Airways Flight #1549 must daily remember their “miraculous rescue.”
iii. In a similar manner Christians repeatedly remember in their worship the saving work of Jesus Christ. We will celebrate communion today “In Remembrance of Jesus.”
e. Christians believe that the man Jesus of Nazareth, God’s Son, was indeed God in the flesh who died as the ultimate “spotless lamb of sacrifice” to remove the curse of sin and to provide rescue/salvation/deliverance.
i. On Maundy Thursday of Holy Week Christians remember the “passing over of the angel of death” and believe that Jesus revealed in his last supper with the apostles that he was the “ultimate lamb of sacrifice” to atone for the sins of the world once and for all. Never again would another blood sacrifice be needed to remove the curse of sin in creation.
The Lord worked a very great deliverance for his people when he brought them out of Egyptian bondage. In the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, that is, Jesus, the Christ, ultimate deliverance from every kind of bondage was introduced.
This is a “rescue moment” for us all! God provides the power and by his very name there is deliverance. All need rescue from sin. Most suffer various types of bondage. Christ Jesus provides rescue/release. Through his blood there is release from that which binds—release from sin and all of its effects.
1. In the Gospel of John (1:29) it reads: Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. In I Corinthians 5:7 it is written: For Christ, our Passover lamb has been sacrificed.
2. Ask in faith today for the blood of Jesus to be put on the “doorframe of your soul.” Use the card provided in your worship bulletin to insert your own name or the name of someone else that you know who needs deliverance from sin or some kind of bondage, and humbly ask God for rescue. Another word for rescue is salvation. Pray for your own salvation from sin and all of that which binds and pray for someone else as well. Pray for yourself and someone else. We all need his release, his deliverance.
3. If you have never asked God to apply the blood of Jesus to “the doorpost of your soul,” do so now. Pray with me as I lead us all in prayer asking God for deliverance through Jesus Christ.