This post was originally written in July 2011 two months after adopting a terrier mix Yoda from the local dog shelter. Its one of my favorites since this story illustrates Gods deliverance and redemption of the Jewish people in the book of Exodus.
A few months ago my cat Aussie (classic Australian name) died after being hit by a car and after a few weeks without a pet I began to get really lonely. After thinking about buying a cat, I decided a dog would be a better choice. For starters they are better company and nothing makes you feel better than a dog excitedly welcoming you home. The only time Aussie was excited to see me is when he was hungry (99.9% of the time) the other 0.1% was spent sleeping.
After checking out the prices of pure breed dogs…and laughing hysterically I decided to adopt a pet from the local animal shelter.
Two days later I was driving home with a thrilled and very appreciative terrier mix named Yoda. Our first evening consisted of a dog walk (he barely made it up the block) destroying the first of countless dog toys, and watching television as he crawled behind me and laid his head down on my leg. He still does this but is so fat I am almost pushed off of the couch.
As he crawled behind me, I was reminded of the redemption we all received from the slavery of sin through Christ’s death. The book of Exodus is focused on the idea of deliverance or redemption, emphasizing that man cannot free himself, and our liberty can only come through Christ.
From the beginning of Exodus it becomes clear that God is determined to deliver or redeem Israel. This is first done through birth of many children while in bondage (Ex. 1), along with the birth and protection of Moses their deliverer (Ex. 2). Unfortunately the second part of this theme, man’s inability to redeem himself, is illustrated through the attempt of Moses to save the Jews that led to humiliation and fear.
God comes to Moses later with a promise to redeem Israel and gives him signs that could prove his message was from the Lord (Ex. 3:1-4:31). When the initial attempt was rejected it was God who strengthened the people (Ex. 5:1-6:30) and brought plagues to break the power of Pharaoh (Ex. 7:14-12:50).
No passage in Exodus describes the theme of God’s Redemption better than the Passover where the Jews are commanded to put the blood of a lamb over their door. This blood is the only thing that will keep them safe from the judgment of God, which would kill every other male child (Ex. 11:13). This not only brings freedom from Egypt, but points to our Salvation as well. The Bible clearly teaches that our redemption from sin isn’t accomplished by the works of man, but instead through the blood of Christ who paid our debt on the cross (1 Pet. 1:19).
Throughout their wilderness journeys the Israelites encountered many challenges they could not overcome on their own power. Things such as crossing the Red Sea (Ex. 14), having no food or water (Ex. 16:1-17:7), living a life that brought honor to God (Ex. 20-31), obeying the Lord alone instead of pagan gods (Ex. 32), and creating a tabernacle or dwelling place for the Lord (Ex. 35:4-40:8).
In each of these tests the Jewish people failed miserably by trying to take care of the problem in their own strength. And each one became an opportunity for God to display his love and Grace by delivering the Israelites from something they couldn’t escape on their own.
Though none of us want to admit it we were all just like Yoda imprisoned by something (sin nature) that we could not free ourselves from. It was only after I bought Yoda that he was truly free, and only through the payment of Christ’s death on the cross can we be saved.
I will never forget how excited Yoda was that first night at the house. Everything was brand new to him and he was overwhelmed with happiness. Today a year later he has become accustomed to his surroundings and may have forgotten what it was like to be in his cage. Now Yoda the prisoner has become Yoda the king of his entire domain, which includes the bed, fridge, backyard, and everything within a ten-block radius (he has no problem letting other dogs know this).
Sometimes I wonder whether we forget our past as slaves to sin just like Yoda forgot his cage at the animal shelter. It is necessary to rejoice in the incredible blessings that are ours through the death and resurrection of Christ, but its important to remember our past as well.
 Exodus 2:11-15
 Exodus 12:1-13
 God in these chapters gives the Ten Commandments and Jewish law to give guidance for how to live