Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

Letter From William Bradford - April 8, 2022

Letter From William Bradford

April 8, 2022

Deliverance - A Passover Theme

With the Passover observance on our doorstep, a theme we can consider is the concept of deliverance.

Israel was in Egypt, and they had no possible means, ability, method, power, or wisdom to know how to get themselves out of slavery to the Pharaoh. And yet they did escape that slavery! Considering this amazing outcome, God told the Israelites to keep the Passover service going forward as a reminder that it was God who had delivered them from servitude to the Egyptians.      

And it shall be, when your children say to you, 'What do you mean by this service?' that you shall say, 'It is the Passover sacrifice of the Lord, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households.' " So the people bowed their heads and worshiped. Then the children of Israel went away and did so; just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.  (Exodus 12:26-28, NKJV)  

The Israelites were helpless to fix their situation and rescue themselves from the Pharaoh. When God moved to address the people of Egypt for their oppression, He also made a way for His people to be delivered from those events, the first of many deliverances.  The Passover sacrifice of the Lord, resulting in the blood of the lamb on the lintel and doorposts, would prohibit the destroyer from entering Israelite homes.  This was the first of several steps of deliverance for the Israelites to ultimately free them from slavery to the Pharoah and embark on a path to the land of promise.

This year it seems, maybe more than ever, that many in our congregations need deliverance from very difficult situations where is appears to be no possible human means, ability, method, power, or wisdom that can be deployed to provide a way forward.  The challenge could be a result of the effects of aging, illness, caring for a loved one with deteriorating health or wrestling with the systems and institutions of this age.  It is humbling to find oneself with no power to resolve a problem.   At this time, we ask our eternal Father for deliverance according to His awesome power, will, and perfect timing.  

The Passover service reminds us that only the blood and life of God's son can deliver us from sin and the servitude to the spiritual Pharoah of this age. With this understanding, at the Passover we walk forward out of spiritual bondage towards the high calling of the Kingdom of God and eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 6:22-23)  

At Passover, we are reminded that we, just like the Israelites, have no ability to save ourselves, but in Christ Jesus our Lord's sacrifice we are delivered to Life.  

On this Sabbath we can remember Paul's admonition in Romans 15:13, "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

-Bill Bradford