Thursday after Ash Wednesday

 Exodus 1:1-22

The New in the Old No Longer Concealed

There is an old saying that is quite true and informative about the relationship between the Old and New Testaments.  It goes like this: The New is in the Old concealed; the Old is in the New revealed.  And that’s what you see in the Bible.  We are accustomed to seeing the Old Testament explained by the New Testament.  In so many places, we find in the gospels something like: “And this was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet.…” Then we can draw the line.  We’re not as accustomed to seeing the New Testament in the Old.  But actually, the New is throughout the Old.  Indeed, we are to see the gospel everywhere in the Old Testament, and to read it in the light of Christ.  Our risen Lord said as much when, in what was no doubt the greatest Bible lesson ever given, he explained to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus: “Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27).  And now the New Testament shines forth in the Old, no longer concealed but revealed.

So we take up the Old Testament (specifically the Law) during the Season of Lent, beginning with Exodus, in hopes of discovering Christ.  But first, remember that Lent is about self-examination.  And self-examination happens when we place our lives under the magnifying glass of the Law.  It’s not pretty.  We see things about ourselves that we don’t see when we have our self-respecting blinders on – which is about all of the time!  The Law forces me to compare myself with God’s righteous standards, indeed, His holy nature.  And if I am honest with myself, I am forced to take my place alongside Job and say, “Therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (42:6).  The purpose of the Law is to drive us to Christ as we despair of our own righteousness (Romans 7:7-25; Galatians 3:19-29).

So here in Exodus, with our spiritual ancestors, the people of Israel, our pilgrimage both as the people of God and as sinful individuals begins.  We see ourselves as slaves in Egypt, oppressed by the iron fist of Pharaoh.  Pharaoh is our flesh, the world, and the devil and his demonic hosts.  To these we are held captive; from these we must be freed.  And we are utterly unable to deliver ourselves.  We become complacent under our cruel taskmasters, and accustomed to our humiliating servitude.  Such is the one blinded by sin.  Eventually, we will even prefer slavery to sin to the glorious freedom of the children of God.  O how we need a Savior!

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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