Moses is known to believers as the leader of that historic physical Exodus from Egypt. He was the man God used to deliver Israel from physical bondage; from the iron grip of the world’s most formidable empire then. Moses stood before Pharaoh who was regarded as a god, to demand freedom for the people of Israel with nothing in his hands but a piece of wood. But God performed unprecedented miracles with that piece of wood by the hand of Moses until Israel walked out of Egypt to their freedom in the sight of all Egypt. The exodus recorded in the Old Testament was a literal event that happened to real human beings of flesh and blood who were freed from literal slavery. This is why the authors of the New Testament exhort us to treat the record of the events in the Old Testament as our example. They are occurrences from which we can learn a lot about spirituality. But political and physical freedom do not constitute spiritual freedom. Israel struggled spiritually on their way to the Promised Land.
On Mount Sinai, God made a covenant with Israel and gave them a Moral Code, a Blueprint by which they could guard their freedom, live in prosperity, and thrive as individuals and as a nation. But Israel perpetually lapsed back into sin, even after settling down in the Promised Land. Israel was physically free, but spiritually, they lacked complete freedom. Another exodus would be necessary to accomplish spiritual freedom. Jesus came to lead this spiritual exodus. The difference between the exodus led by Moses and the one led by Jesus is that the former was limited to ancient Israelite while the latter was totally inclusive of Jew and Gentile alike. By His death and resurrection, Jesus made spiritual freedom accessible to whoever desired it. Those who believe in Him, no one else can enslave again. That is why some of the most spiritually free human beings are found in the most oppressive sociopolitical and religious environments; under despotic rule.
In actual fact, the Bible makes a startling pronouncement that no one is free (Romans 6). We are either slaves to sin or slaves unto righteousness in Christ. But those who are in Christ as slaves to righteousness are free indeed. This seems paradoxical. However, the believer has nothing to pay for deliverance from sin and by voluntarily accepting Jesus, he or she comes under His authority, not to be oppressed but to be freed from the grip of Satan. He or she enters into another kingdom, another realm where Jesus is Lord and King forever. The Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus sets the believer free from the Law of sin and death. By being voluntarily bound to Christ, the believer becomes a free child of God and an heir to the eternal kingdom together with Jesus, our Lord.
The spectrum of the Exodus that Jesus led is characterized by unprecedented eternal benefits such as freedom from fear and eternal life. The believer passes from death unto life, and shall not come into judgment. No weapon formed against them shall prosper. They endure as trees planted by the rivers of water, in Christ Jesus.
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One of the objections to the Christian faith is that it has been historically associated with violence; that it has specialized in intimidating its opponents, and killed some of them for their resistance. If someone took my clothes and wore them, and (God forbid!) committed a crime while adorned in them, would that make me guilty of the crime committed? Obviously not, because a thorough and unbiased investigation will reveal that I am innocent, and that the actual criminal impersonated me. When Jesus was brought before Pontius Pilate for judgment having been accused of inciting insurrection and political destabilization. Pilate examined Him and found Him innocent of the crime He was accused of. Pilate detected no trace of violent behavior in Him whatsoever.
Anyone who advocates and applies violence to propagate the “Christian faith” is not a true Christian. He or she is a pseudo Christian. In the Messianic prophecy, the Prophet Isaiah says this about Jesus” “Behold My Servant…He will not quarrel nor cry out…A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoking flax He will not quench…” How then can His kingdom be associated with violence? When the Apostle Peter wielded his weapon and cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant, Jesus demonstrated publicly that He did not condone violent behavior by healing the man’s ear and restoring it while at the same time chiding His disciple for his action.
His true followers emulate Him and any deviation from His principles is not Christian at all. We contend for the faith not through violence, but by consecrating the Lord in our hearts and being ready to give an answer to everyone who asks us a reason for the hope that is within us with meekness and reverence, not by brandishing the sword or gun. To say Christianity is violent is to misunderstand what Christianity truly is.
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