JOURNEYING WITH JESUS(Pt. 1)

‘‘An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. ‘Get up,’ he said, ‘take the child and His mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill Him’…So he got up, took the child and His mother…and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so it was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: ’’Out of Egypt I called my son’’(Matthew 2:13-15).

Have you ever considered the spiritual significance of the places that our Lord Jesus was given to dwell during His sojourn on the earth? They are very instructive for us. Often the places we each travel in life have meaning beyond the present moment of our sojourn. Often as we take time to reflect on the mercy and the miracles of God’s grace we discover that God wastes nothing in our lives. As we will prayerfully consider these appointed places we will often gain a true appreciation of God’s design, even in places we would certainly not like to revisit! I would invite you to journey with Jesus into some of the strategic places of His life to discern God’s greater purposes for Him and us.

EGYPT. The flight to Egypt occurred while our Lord was but a child. As such, Jesus was carried in the night, after Joseph was warned in a dream to take the child and His mother Mary and flee into Egypt. This was in order that He would be in a place of safety. He was hidden away from the murderous intent of Herod. While perhaps He was still being weaned from His mother Mary’s breast, the Anti-Christ spirit was at work to destroy ‘‘He who is born king of the Jews’’. This was the cause of the fulfillment of ‘‘Rachel’s weeping’’. For her children are no more. Herod, who did not have legitimate rights to the throne in Israel, became nervous to learn that the true heir had been born. So he ordered a massive infanticide of all baby boys from the age of two years old and younger. God, Whose throne rules over all the earth, foreknew of this plot and preserved His Son in the land of North Africa, Egypt.

In the mystery of God’s providential care Egypt became the place where our Lord would identify with Israel. We recall that Israel was both hidden and preserved in the Land of Egypt.

Egypt was also the place where our Lord made an identification with Moses. Moses, like our Lord, was hidden and preserved in the Land of Egypt, and later became their deliverer from their house of bondage.

Egypt, as a place, biblically held a paradoxical image. For Israel it was a house of preservation in time of famine. But it was also a house of great pressure. While hidden, they began to grow. But seen as a threat to a new Pharaoh who didn’t have knowledge of the Joseph’s years, they became the object of his persecution. But the more that they were persecuted, the more that they multiplied and increased in the land. Pressures in life are often sent by the enemy to defeat us. But when embraced (and endured) they can enlarge us, ultimately, for a greater good in God.

Egypt can also be a metaphor for spiritual bondage. The apostle Paul describes the nature of our spiritual captivity before we were delivered in Christ Jesus. ‘‘As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved’’(Eph 2:1-5 NIV).

Jesus, as a greater one than Moses, came to set His people free from the bondage of sin (C.f. Acts 3:22). He led many captives to freedom and victory (See Luke 4:18;Eph. 4:7) Again, the writer to Hebrews wrote: ‘‘In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for Whom and through Whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. Both the One who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers’’(Heb. 2:10-11). He is the captain of their salvation. Why? Because like Moses, He learned obedience through the things He suffered in order to IDENTIFY with we who suffer in this present world order….As our pattern, God said of the child Jesus, “Bring my Son out of Egypt”.  Likewise,the LORD God “brought us out in order to bring us into’’ our rightful inheritance (C.f. Ex 3:8).

God knew when it was TIME to deliver His Son out of Egypt, and He has a designated time to deliver us today. ‘‘When the 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 the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ’’Abba, Father.’’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir’’(Gal. 4:4-7 NIV).

The goal of Egypt was not only preservation, but also multiplication and deliverance that would ultimately bring them into their inheritance.  Likewise, Jesus came into the world to bring us out of the world, as true Sons of the Father. Bringing many sons to glory is ever His goal.

Copyright© Walter Fletcher Jr., 2011. Permission is granted to reproduce this article free of charge, provided that it is not altered in its original form and content. Please direct all correspondence to walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

Advertisements

%d bloggers like this: