As God’s plagues come to a terrifying conclusion, we see the first Passover happen before our eyes. And as God himself visits Egypt, the only thing coming between Israel and death is the blood of the lamb. This lamb is showing that death has already happened for the household, and is a shadow of the great reality of Christ, the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world.
When Pharaoh refused to let God’s people out of slavery, God sent 10 plagues to his country. But why? Why not start with the final plague, that actually worked? Because something greater is going on here: God is showing his power as the Creator, against the false gods of Egypt. And at the same time, God is showing the undoing of creation. This shows that the plagues aren’t only random acts of judgement, but that they are meant to save. When we refuse to worship God, we are warring against our Creator, and we are inviting chaos and uncreation into our lives.
A name can say a lot about a person. But what does it mean for God to reveal his name? In this chapter, God reveals himself to Moses in a burning bush, giving Moses a mission and a promise.
After four-hundred years of slavery, the Israelites could easily have felt that God had forgotten his promises. But through these events, God was at work to fulfil his promises to bless his people. And through his people multiplying, and through this little baby Moses, God begins to show us his great plan of redemption.
It can be hard to know what to do when our heroes fail. Our media is always telling us that people are heroes or villains, and it’s easy to see people in these clear categories. But in the story of David we can see that even one of the greatest figures of the Bible was capable of incredibly destructive sin. In this we can see that we’re all capable of being both heroes and villains–and we all need to be saved by a hero who lived without sin, and who could make us white as snow.
When Christ stood on trial, it looked as though he was powerless, and doomed to death. But in this moment, there was a great irony: Jesus Christ, the one being condemned, is actually the who would judge all people, was being condemned. In this moment, everything was turned on its head. And for us, as we face Jesus, it’s a real wake-up call to consider where we are placing our identity.
As we start the new year, there can be a sense that we’re starting life afresh. After a few weeks, though, the resolutions and the newness always seem to fade away. But if we trust in Christ, there’s a genuine sense in which we can become new this year (and any time). We can die to sin, and be alive to God in Christ Jesus: the only way to make our lives new this new year.
The end of the year gives us an opportunity to reflect on all the ways God’s been faithful to us. In all of the good and all of the difficult things we’ve faced, God knows we struggle to find words to bring them to him, and so he gives us the words himself. And in the final Psalm, we see the final act of our story: all our voices, for all eternity, will be praising God.
The recording has a prayer of thanksgiving mid-way through, and finishes with a performed version of Psalm 150, written by Noralyn.
When an angel appears to Mary, bringing her good news from God, she doesn’t straight away believe it. Rather, her journey toward faith happens in stages. In this talk, we look at how Mary’s journey can teach us many things about our own journeys, and that when it comes to trusting God, we have an even greater reason than Mary did.