Are you sentimental about locations? Do you have a special restaurant you go to with your spouse or sweetheart to celebrate anniversaries or key events? Do you have a special location that embodies “family vacation” in your mind? Most people do.
One such location for the Robinson family is Branson, Missouri. Since I was a little boy my family has gone to the Ozarks for vacation. I have so many memories playing mini golf, riding water slides, watching country shows, etc. in this hillbilly holiday.
Because of those memories, I was so excited this past Thanksgiving when the Robinsons once again gathered in Branson for a long weekend together. It was great to introduce my son to Silver Dollar City and a Branson show while in the company of my extended family.
You probably have places of significance in your family as well. You know what? So does God. That’s right, God has some special places that are full of memories with His people. One such place is Egypt. It seems God’s people visit there on occasion.
Of course, the most famous visit to Egypt from God’s people began in the time of Joseph (Genesis Joseph, not Jesus’ adoptive father) during a great famine in Palestine. God protected His people from starvation in the shadow of the Sphinx, and allowed them to grow in great numbers in this foreign land. After a number of years, however, Egypt began dealing harshly with the people of Israel, and God would raise up His servant Moses to lead God’s people out of bondage and into the promised land.
Because of that memory, God wanted to go back to that prominent place with His people in the time just after the birth of Christ. While Jesus was just a young child, the wicked King Herod wanted to kill Jesus because he was afraid of what Jesus would do to his earthly influence. In order to protect His Child from being starved out of life in Palestine, God sent Jesus to Egypt with Joseph and Mary to wait until it was safe to return. Read the story in Matthew 2:13-18:
Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy Him.” And he rose and took the child and His mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called My son.” Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”
After it was safe to return, God called forth the Redeemer, Jesus, out of Egypt and back to Palestine. Like Moses before Him, Jesus would be God’s leader to usher His people to the promised land. By going back to Egypt, God tied Jesus in as a type of Moses. However, Jesus is much better than Moses.
- Moses would be used by God to lead the people through the Red Sea, but his disobedience prevented him from ushering God’s people all the way to the Promised Land. Jesus, however, lived a perfect life, and completed the task of saving His people!
- Moses was the vessel chosen by God to deliver His Law to His people, but the Law only condemned, it could not save. Jesus, however, was the Living Word providing a Living Way for God’s people to not just hear about holiness but experience it!
- Moses would die in the wilderness still awaiting the promises. Jesus rose from the dead, a full heir of heaven’s blessing.
By taking Jesus back to Egypt God was using a bit of historical sentiment to show us the amazing truth that Jesus is better than even Moses. More than a religious figure, Jesus was the Savior of the world.