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All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
Did you ever play that childhood game – maybe during recess or at Vacation Bible School – called Treasure Hunt? The one where a supervising adult gives you a list of hints concerning some carefully-hidden prize and the first person to find said prize gets to keep it?
It never quite topped the list of my favorite games. Somehow I never managed to scurry as fast as my playmates – or as fast as a turtle, for that matter. And then the one time I did manage to scurry fast enough to win the coveted prize of a yellow eraser shaped into the head of Old King Cole, the king toppled from his throne atop my pencil before the school day’s end. We weren’t together long enough for me to know if his soul was as merry as the nursery rhyme claims, but I can tell you that my soul wasn’t one bit merry with his disappearing act – especially since I’d spent the whole school year pursuing him.
So as you weave your way through this week’s post – the third in our series, Logistics of Lent – please understand that I don’t take lightly the fact that I’m asking you to embark with me on treasure hunt of sorts. This one invites you to move at your own pace because, let’s face it, anyone who discovers any given nugget of truth in God’s Word holds in his or her hand a jewel that won’t topple but sticks like glue with those who recognize it for the priceless treasure it is. Luke 10:38-42 – the account of Christ visiting the home of sisters Mary and Martha in Bethany – records an example of this principle.
In last week’s post when we considered Christ’s death and resurrection as the ultimate rescue detailed in New Testament for believers past, present and future, I suggested to you that every human being at some point finds him- or herself in need of a rescue that can only be carried out by God’s orchestration. Admittedly, it’s up to the individual to decide how he or she will receive or react to the rescue, but the bottom line is that every life lived on this earth will be exposed to some dark hours, days, weeks, months, even years. No one – whether Jew, Christian, agnostic, or atheist; red, yellow, black or white – escapes those shadowy bouts of turmoil when all circumstances seem to point toward the worst as the unavoidable, inevitable outcome.
Perhaps to some degree or other you’re going through one of those dark bouts as we speak; in your current situation you may be anywhere from seeing the clouds of turmoil start to gather to hearing the rumble of thunder to being smack-dab in the eye of the storm. And even if you’re nowhere near any of these scenarios now, you have been in them before – and likely will be again.
So let me ask you: what sustains you through those bouts? What gives you the strength, the stamina, the guts to keep moving forward in those situations when the crises of life roar in the very core of your being? For the New Testament believer, the answer lies in a growing knowledge of and faith in God’s Word – those golden nuggets of truth we discussed a few paragraphs ago. These truths are so tried, so tested, so strong, so undeniable that not even the worst bouts of worldly darkness can snuff out their light within the heart of a believer.
But there’s a key to be considered before a believer can fully plug into these truths in order to benefit from the energy provided by the Source of Light from which they come. From the outset, the key involves the answer to a question posed in Part 2 of this series:

Was Christ’s ultimate rescue of the human race the result or afterthought of a God whose creations – Adam, Eve, you, me – finally surprised and rebelled and wearied Him enough that He threw up His hands and decided to regroup?
 Or was His action carefully, deliberately planned and executed from the start? 

I’d like to suggest to you that, for the Old Testament Jew and the New Testament Christian alike, Jehovah God has time and again demonstrated with loving patience the latter – a carefully, deliberately planned and executed action – to be His chosen method of salvation for His own chosen people. And I’d like to spend some time in the coning weeks – as we continue our journey through Lent toward the Passion of Christ – giving you scriptural examples that support that suggestion.
First, though, a bit of housekeeping. I’m carefully treating these examples as parallels in Scripture as opposed to foreshadowings. In doing so, I hope to impress upon you that the similarities you encounter within them are the vehicle through which God advances and eventually brings to perfect fruition a single plan of rescue that stretches across the page of His Word from Genesis to Revelation. While that plan contains many parallels, not every parallel can be labelled a foreshadowing. Because this differentiation falls beyond the scope of today’s post, parallel will be used to serve our immediate purpose.
Today we’ll consider briefly 10 of the strongest parallelsbetween the exodus of OT Israel from Egypt and the NT deliverance of mankind (through Christ’s work on the cross) from sin and eternal death.
  1. OT Israel was enslaved to Egypt (Exodus 1:6-11); NT believers were enslaved to sin (Romans 6:15-23).
  2. OT Israel existed under an abusive ruler who exploited them to their own hurt and destruction (Exodus 3:1-10); NT believers were under Satan who exploited them to their own hurt and destruction (John 10:10-18).
  3. In Egypt, OT Israel had not yet become God’s covenant people (Exodus 19:1-6); people in sin had not yet become God’s covenant people (Romans 8:5-13).\
  4. OT Israel stood totally powerless to deliver themselves from their slavery (Exodus 2:23); NT believers stood totally powerless to deliver themselves from slavery under sin (Romans 3:9-12).
  5. In bondage, OT Israel did not know God’s true identity and doubted His ability to deliver them (Exodus 6:6-8); in sin, NT believers did not know God’s true identity and doubted His ability to save them (1 John 3:1-6).
  6. For OT Israel, God provided Moses as a leader (Exodus 3:10-22); for people in sin, God provided Jesus as a leader (John 3:16-21).
  7. God proved by miracles through Moses His identity as deliverer to OT Israel (Exodus 4:1-9); God proved His identity as deliverer to NT believers through Christ’s miracles (John 20:29-31).
  8. For OT Israel, deliverance was totally God’s work – they needed only follow Him obediently (Deuteronomy 4:1-10); NT believers, deliverance is totally God’s work – all we do is obediently follow (Ephesians 2:1-10).
  9. With OT Israel, God provided victory through what seemed certain defeat at the Red Sea (Exodus 14); with sinners, God provided victory through what seemed certain defeat at Jesus’ death and burial (1 Corinthians 15:50-58).
  10. With the Jews, God established Passover, a perpetual memorial to be continually observed by OT Israel (Exodus 12:1-16); with NT believers delivered from sin, God established the Lord’s Supper, a perpetual memorial to be continually observed (Luke 22:7-20).
So this is where your role in the treasure hunt comes into play. Please take time to look up the following passages and record any thoughts that come to mind as you do. I’ve hyperlinked the addresses to their concurring statements for your convenience in order to encourage you to dig for yourself into God’s Word. This is a habit I hope you’ll strive to develop if you haven’t already done so; God reveals Himself readily and with great pleasure to those who seek Him personally.  Enjoy the bounty!

– Copyright 2018, Carole Anne Hallyburton. All rights reserved.