“Even as the original Passover formed the rite of departure, so too Jesus’ sacrifice opened the doorway of the new exodus– namely His resurrection from the grave.
In the historical exodus of Israel, there had been no way out of Egypt apart from the sacrificed Passover lamb– its shed blood was the only means of departure.
The resurrection life of the new exodus is likewise found only through the new Passover Lamb, through the crucifixion of Jesus.
Jesus’ advent is presented in the Fourth Gospel in terms of descent and ascent: the Son descends from the bosom of the Father, who sent Him through the incarnation, and then He returns to the house of the Father through His resurrection and ascension.
Within this scheme, Jesus begins His return to the Father through His pascal crucifixion, which is bound up with His resurrection and ascension as their basis. This, in John’s Gospel, is the glory of Jesus’ death.
The cross is the means by which He departs, by which He accomplishes an exodus for Himself out of this world and returns to His Father’s heavenly abode. Jesus’ crucifixion not only begins but is the means of His return to the Father.
To be more precise, and in the words of Susan Humble, ‘Jesus’ crucifixion was the means by which He departed from the world, and His resurrection, and particularly His ascension, was the means by which He returned to God,’ so that ‘the resurrection results in a condition where Jesus has departed from the world, though not yet returned/ascended to God.’
By analogy one may suggest that the Passover sacrifice was for the sake of Israel’s departure out of Egypt (death to the old life), and the sea crossing symbolized Israel’s rebirth (or resurrection), with the ascent to God’s presence at Sinai corresponding to Jesus’ ascension.
Such an exodus is all the more wondrous when it is firmly grasped that Jesus was transformed through His crucifixion-death, burial, and resurrection, that is, His exodus was out of the old creation, under the judgment of God, and into the new creation of glory.
In chapter seven, we observed a similar exodus pattern for the daily whole burnt offering: the lamb was offered to God through the altar fire and taken up to God’s heavenly abode, having been transformed into a pleasing aroma.
For this function the whole burnt offering was more properly– and literally– called the ‘ascension offering.’
Just as the altar of the whole burnt offering was the means for Israel’s cultic ascent into God’s heavenly presence, so in John’s Gospel the cross was the means for the Son’s ascent, for His exodus return to the Father’s side in heaven– and, through spiritual union with Jesus, for the ascent of all God’s people.”
–L. Michael Morales, Exodus Old and New: A Biblical Theology of Redemption (Essential Studies in Biblical Theology; Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2020), 164-166.
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