Exoduses and Pentecosts

My powers of interpretation

They come round each year and, although I did not grow up with a ‘church calendar’, I always value the focus they bring. I think there were also a few prophetic words surrounding Passover and Pentecost this year. I am pretty convinced, on the basis of Scripture, that whenever a new paradigm is coming that 1) there is prophetic revelation concerning it and 2) we normally MISS the outworking as our interpretation has an algorithm that was put in place based on PAST data. (Not a good way to assess future events… but no big deal as we are in biblical company when we do this… just important that we continue to be open.)

Of course if I make the statement that our interpretation is often awry and I am about to make an interpretation all readers will instantly pick up that I am the one exception. If you picked that up then continue to read…!!!!!

I have already hinted at the content of this post in previous posts but I will try and put it out here in clearer form. There are two Exoduses in Scripture. One that took the people out from the exploitation of Imperial rule to travel to a ‘Promised Land’. The 10 commandments (words) can best be understood as 10 instructions that totally undermine the way of life that they had been subjected to in Egypt, setting them up to be a free people. Off they trot… but not all goes well. A king come along, starts humble, next one with some major faults at least is ‘after God’s own heart’, next one Mr Wisdom who subjects the people to an Egyptian-style regime, kingdom divides, king for the north ‘comes up from Egypt’ establishing two golden calves! Freedom?

Not surprisingly the second Exodus is in Jerusalem (Lk. 9:31… the word ‘Exodus’ is used). There has to be a release from the bondage of Jerusalem to travel to the world that was promised (Rom. 4:13, written by a Jew). Here we are having celebrated the ‘passover’. But which Exodus has it been? My interpretation – and remember you are only reading this cos mine is correct – is that the passover in the midst of the lockdown in 2020 marked an Exodus from Jerusalem.

And Pentecost? Could there be something in the following sequence? Last day of 19th Century and we have the first occurrence of speaking in tongues in our ‘modern’ world (from there the movement goes to the West Coast and Azusa Street). 60 years later Dennis Bennet (of ‘Nine O’Clock in the Morning’ fame) on April 3, 1960 announced from the pulpit that he had been baptised in the Holy Spirit. That marked for many the beginnings of an era when the experience of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian community was felt outside of ‘pentecostal’ settings.

1900… 1960… + 60 years = 2020.

Probably coincidental, but I have a terrible habit of making what is coincidental significant. I like that – I deeply suspect God quite likes it too. If we make it significant probably he gets on board to do something with the coincidence.

Now given that interpretations are far from fallible, and often downright unhelpful, I submit the above.

But I leave with ‘passover’ will be significant and ‘pentecost’ will be unprecedented in 2020 (or words to that effect) all come together to say although the interpretations were very suspect, there was a distinct before and after. Now that is worth pursuing even if we do so with blinkers on.

Which Exodus and where?

An Exodus in Jerusalem

I am currently writing, my fingers getting a little worn out, but enjoying it a lot. I am on to ‘volume 3’ (though they are really ‘volumetes’ so don’t be overly impressed). My writing today coincided with my readings which took me to the Transfiguration stories. There Moses and Elijah (the law and the prophets?) came to meet Jesus and glory was revealed as they talked.

The part that stood out to me was in Luke 9: 31 where they talked of Jesus’ forthcoming Exodus in Jerusalem. The normal word for ‘The Exodus’ is used and I consider very deliberately. Then I thought – cos it lined up with what I am writing about, the ekklesia released / commissioned with the p-small ‘p’ political gospel that means the public sphere is where the good news that Jesus is Lord is to be outworked… an exodus where?

Back up. Original exodus was so that a people called by heaven (and in those designations the people were called an ekklesia, hence Moses was with the ekklesia in the wilderness (Acts 7)) could go to their destiny, to a land flowing with milk and honey. They could escape the place that supplied all their needs… but at a price. The imperial rule of Egypt. Fast forward some 1500 years (from one possible date for the exodus…) and the Exodus is now not in a ‘foreign’ land but in a land that has become foreign to the ways of God, overrun by all kinds of foreigners, or maybe better by one kind of foreigner, the ones who represent the power of Babylon!

An Exodus in Egypt so that there can be a departure.

Now an Exodus in Jerusalem, so that…

Yes I think so! So that there can be a departure to the always-desired destination. As Paul says in Romans 4:13, the descendents of Abraham are not defined by race but by faith (always was the case just radically more so post-cross), and that Abraham was promised not a land but the world (ho kosmos).

The Exodus in Jerusalem was to free a people from all bondage. Nowhere was more in bondage than Jerusalem at the time of Jesus, hence he comes at the fullness of time. There is an Exodus and there is a departure. No lockdown in that city at that time!

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