The Exodus narrative is incredibly important for understanding the Gospel. Christ was crucified at Passover. The unleavened bread of the Passover rite took on a new significance in Christianity: with yeast as a symbol of corruption, and the bread as a symbol of Christ’s flesh, this food came to represent both the sinless body He offered in death, and the perfected, divine body of His resurrection. The eucharistic tradition He began as the sign of the New Covenant thus became a reminder of what He achieved at that Passover, and what all true Christians will become when they rise in glorified bodies for the Day of Judgment. The Exodus story is the substratum of the Easter story, but it is also the model for the return of Christ and Day of Judgment, as becomes clear upon a careful reading of the Prophets, the Olivet Discourse, and the Book of Revelation.

The Exodus was a historical event that marked the separation of Jews from Gentiles, much as the departure of Abram from Ur of the Chaldees and again from Haran, and it sent a message from Yahweh to the gods: “I AM the Creator.” When the Exodus story is divorced from its supernatural context, it deprives Yahweh of His glory and diminishes the significance of the event. Beyond that, it makes aspects of the crucifixion and return of Christ unintelligible.

If the gods of Egypt were mere blocks of stone and wood, there would be no glory in defeating them. “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord” (Exod. 12:12). It is unfortunate that the term “elohim” poses problems for English translators. In Hebrew, it denotes an inhabitant of the spiritual realm and is used of Yahweh, lesser spirits, and the human dead.

There were elohim in Egypt: powerful spirits, worshipped by humans. They opposed, through their agent Pharoah, the release of the Israelites. Yahweh defeated them. Similarly, the gods, united behind the figure that Jews at the time called “Satan”, “Be’elzebub”, and “Belial”, opposed Christ, Yahweh in the flesh. As St Paul remarks, had they known that they were playing into Yahweh’s hands, they “would not have crucified the Lord of glory”. As in the time of the Exodus, Yahweh effected the release of those who put their faith in Him through the blood of the Passover lamb (which a careful reading of Exodus tells us included non-Israelites), so the blood of the Lamb of God effected a release of those who put their faith in Christ from the tyranny of the gods. Those who will not avail themselves of Christ’s blood will die with the gods and their leader Satan.

The Israelites would see the power of their God in the parting of the Red Sea. Going through these waters, they would receive laws that would change their morals and their outward culture, setting them apart from the peoples of the world. Christians, passing through the waters of baptism, are also set apart from the peoples of the world: Christ’s teachings are their law code, and its chief principles are to love God and love our fellow man. Both groups were promised an inheritance: for one, the land of Canaan; for the other, eternal life in the age to come.

Looking forward to Exodus as a model for the return of Christ, we see various motifs replaying themselves. There is a human adversary who oppresses the people of God: Pharoah becomes Antichrist. There are supernatural plagues of judgment: the Ten Plagues and the plagues unleashed by the Two Witnesses and the plagues connected with the Seven Trumpets and the Seven Bowls. There are prophetic voices: Moses and Aaron and the Two Witnesses. Supernatural forces resist the will of God: Jannes and Jambres counterfeited the miracles of Moses and the False Prophet counterfeits the miracle of Elijah; the gods of Egypt resisted Yahweh, and the Dragon resists Christ.

There are many more parallels, and I hope the readers will contribute them in the comments below.