Exodus chapter 15:1-12 is known as the Song of the Sea or Moses’ Song. Moses himself is often credited with its writing. In it the people of Israel communally sing of the great and mighty deeds of God, who parted the Red (Reed) Sea, allowing for their final escape from the yoke of Pharaoh. It is the first known song sung by God’s Chosen People. It is also referenced in the last Book of the Bible: “And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb: “Great and amazing are your deeds, Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, King of the nations! Lord, who will not fear and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your judgments have been revealed.” (Revelation 15:3-4, NRSV)
The account of the Exodus (the deliverance of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt) remains one history’s seminal moments for modern-day Jews as well as Christians. “Without the exodus, no one would have recognized the merciful and powerful God who saves and delivers anew that Jesus proclaimed in his ministry.” (Boadt) The Exodus, although important to Christians as part of our heritage and reinforcement of God’s presence with his people throughout history, is to our Jewish brothers and sisters what the Resurrection is to Christians. It is the miraculous saving action of God that frees his people from oppression and slavery. The ancient Israelites were freed from their bondage to slavery under Pharaoh and Christian believers are freed from their bondage to sin and death. The deliverance of Israel shined as a light to the world of the power and sovereignty of the one true God, the God of Israel. The Resurrection of Jesus shines a light to the world as a beacon of hope, salvation, and the promise of eternal life. The Exodus forms the Israelites into a faith community. The Resurrection creates a community of like-minded believers throughout the world.
The Exodus narrative provides Christians the foundation for our liturgy and our Lutheran understanding of the Ten Commandments as both Law and Gospel. After the tenth plague (death of the first born sons of Egypt), Pharaoh releases the Israelites from their bondage and the traditions of Passover began. We know as Christians that the Lord’s Supper was instituted on the eve of the Passover celebration (Maundy Thursday, the night in which our Lord was betrayed) when our Lord took bread, broke it, and gave it to all saying “this is my body broken for you” followed by the sharing of the cup saying “this my blood poured out for you for the forgiveness of sins. Out of the tragedy of the tenth plague the Israelites were freed from their chains. Out of the tragedy of Good Friday, Christians are freed from the chains of sin and death. We are free to sing “the Lord is my strength and my might and he has become my salvation.”