The story of the Exodus is the Christmas story. You might be thinking, “There are no Christmas prophecies in Exodus.” Read on, dear friend, read on.
The apostle John launches his gospel with 18 verses of majestic theological revelation about Jesus as the Word. John 1:14 brings this discussion to its focal point:
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.-John 1:14
These bold words, inspired by the Spirit of God, hit the Christmas nail right on the head. They are rightly infused into our advent worship songs, and rightly preached on during the Christmas season. But there’s more to the story. At this point we might expect John to quote or allude to a well known prophesy about the Savior’s coming from the Old Testament. And why not? There are many to choose from. Isaiah 7:14 and 9:6-7 come to mind, or perhaps Micah 5:2?
But John doesn’t go there, he goes to Exodus. That’s right, Exodus. In John 1:14-18 he alludes to Exodus directly or indirectly at least five times. He probably refers to the Tabernacle (Ex. 25-30, 36-40) and God’s glory filling it (Ex. 40:34), to God’s continuing grace (Ex. 33:13), to Moses giving the Law (Ex. 19-40), and to God’s character being full of grace and truth (Ex. 34:6-7).
Why Exodus? If we think about the big of picture of Exodus, we find some interesting Christmas implications. Think of it this way: Exodus is the story of God redeeming the nation of Israel from slavery, speaking the Law to them through a mediator, revealing his grace and glory to them, and instructing them on how to live in fellowship with him through offering sacrifices.
John says this is what Jesus does for us as the Word who became flesh. He lived among us as our mediator, revealing to us the glory of God, full of grace and truth. He makes it possible for us to live in fellowship with God by offering himself as a sacrifice in our place, thereby fulfilling the Law and redeeming us from slavery to sin.
The story of the Exodus is the Christmas story. As we worship this Christmas, let’s praise Jesus for being the fulfillment of the Exodus story:
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.-John 1:17