First and most obvious, the Passover came to mind, when God delivered His people by the blood of a sacrificed lamb, sprinkled on the doorposts and lintel of houses sheltering those who trusted in Him (Ex 12:5-7). How like the cross, I thought, with Christ’s blood marking both the upright, where his wounded head touched, and the crosspiece, where His pierced hands bled!
Then came to mind “John the Baptist’s” introduction to Christ: “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jhn 1:29) And Hebrews’ reminder that all those Old Testament sacrifices couldn’t take away sin, but had to be repeated year after year—till Christ came and offered Himself, the perfect sacrifice, once and for all (Heb 10:11-12).
I considered these striking facts: 1) It was Passover when Christ died on that cross—clearly no mere “coincidence.” 2) That week He entered Jerusalem in company with many (other) sacrificial lambs. 3) During the Passover feast with His disciples, the night before His death, He spoke of the wine and bread as representing His blood and body, given for them (Lk 22:19-20). 4) Even earlier he’d told the crowds of their need to receive this offering (Jn 6:51-55).
But until yesterday morning (when I just “coincidentally” heard a sermon on this), I didn’t think of the water from the rock in the wilderness: When those ungrateful people whom God had delivered from Egypt thirsted—and complained—in the wilderness, God instructed Moses to strike the rock [which 1 Corinthians 10:4 declares “was Christ”]–and it gushed forth water to sustain their unworthy lives (Ex 17:3-6).
Millennia later, someone struck Christ’s side with a spear, and blood and water gushed out (Jn 19:34). Not long before that, Jesus had told the Samaritan woman at the well that if she knew who He was, she would ask Him and He would give her living water that would make in her a well of water springing up to eternal life (Jn 4:10,13-14).
As I heard this account tied to our proneness to turn from God’s living water and hew our own cisterns that prove broken and leaking, unable to hold water (Jer 2:13), I thought of my own life:
I was imprisoned in a kingdom of darkness leading only to death (like Egypt represents). Christ became my Lamb-of-God sacrifice for sin, whereby God delivered me from that kingdom. In place of the philosophies I’d tried and found as leaky as sieves, He gave unworthy, complaining me, in my “wilderness,” His “living water”—“water springing up to eternal life.” What a wonder! What grace and mercy!
Much in Exodus points me back to the cross of Christ! And O, my heart rejoices, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”