Friday, September 01, 2006

Prince of Egypt

The other day, my wife and I watched the Prince of Egypt based on a recommendation from a friend. With the recollection of Charleton Heston in The Ten Commandments in my head, we proceeded to watch the animated film.
Although this movie took "creative license", it was true to the core of the events leading up to Moses' attaining of the leadership of Israel as a free people. It has been a while since I'd read the story, and was reminded of Moses killing a man early in his life. Sometimes, we get an image that he was a "holy man", when, in fact, he was a sinner who was holy. It is in the fantastic humbling process that God took him through that we find the hero of the story, rather than just a run-of-the-mill killer.
At the apex of his humbling (as a shepherd), Moses encounters a bush which is on fire, but not consumed. A voice emits from the bush which tells him to take off his sandals for he is standing "on holy ground".
It would be easy to look at Moses' life and see that it is a self-contained Bible story which is nice for kids (exept the murder part) and lends itself to neat special effects for movie makers. However, the Reformers (i.e., Martin Luther and John Calvin) held to a concept of Old Testament Type and Shadow, meaning that Moses' biography points to a reality which had not yet been realized. Moses is a type and shadow of Christ Jesus. This is to say, there are elements of his story which point to Jesus.
Example 1: Moses leads a people who are slaves in Egypt into freedom by sacrificing his high position as prince and becoming a shepherd. Jesus leaves heaven, becomes a human baby and leads people in bondage to sin into the freedom of God's grace and forgiveness.
Example 2: Moses leads his people to the Red Sea (a sure death) and through it by stretching out his hand (Ex. 14:21), thus saving them from death at the had of their enemies. Once Israel walks through it, God tells Moses to stretch out his hand over the Sea again, and the Egyptian warriors who are about to kill them are drowned. Likewise, Jesus stretches out his hands on the cross for our forgiveness; our salvation. He also stretches out his hands to defeat sin, death and the devil (praise be to God!).
There are many other examples, but suffice it to say, this film encouraged me by reminding me that God can rescue us out of any situation and create life where there is only death.


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