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Ash Wednesday

Now about eight days after these sayings He (Jesus) took with Him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. And as He was praying, the appearance of His face was altered, and His clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were talking with Him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of His departure, which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. ... And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!" And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. (Luke 9:28-31, 35-36a)

It's common for us to talk about what Jesus did to save us in terms of substitution. We say He "took our place," He "carried our cross." Sometimes we use the language of atonement—we talk about sin and forgiveness, merit and "making up" for the evil we have done. But these are not the only ways the Bible helps us think about how Jesus saves us. There are many other word-pictures we can learn from—and one of the most powerful is the language of slavery and freedom, of deliverance and becoming God's own people. This is the language of Exodus. Exodus means "going out," and of course it is the name we use in English for the second book of the Old Testament. That is the one that tells the story of how God saw His people suffering as slaves in Egypt, and used Moses to bring them to freedom. You know all that. But did you know that the whole Exodus story is a foretelling of the much greater rescue God did for all of us in Jesus' death and resurrection? It's true. There's a reason Jesus suffered, died, and rose at Passover time. There's a reason He is called the "Lamb of God." And there's a reason why Moses and Elijah met with Him at His Transfiguration, "and spoke of His departure—His "exodus," is what the Greek says!— "which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. During the next few weeks on The Lutheran Hour, we'll be listening to that story of the Exodus with Moses. And in these devotions, we'll walk together toward that second exodus, the greater exodus, the story of how God Himself came down to rescue the human race from slavery to sin, death, and the devil. Let's wonder at His great love, and celebrate His mercy. Because the God of Exodus is the God of the Gospels—the God who rescues us from death and makes us His free people forever. THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, give us Your Holy Spirit so that we can see how You have set us free, both now and forever. Amen. Reflection Questions: * What do you think of when you hear the word "freedom"? * When have you felt the most free in your life? What about the least free? * Does it surprise you to think of Jesus as your freedom-bringer? Why or why not? Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.

Today's Bible Readings: Leviticus 6-7 Mark 6:1-29

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Copyright owned by International Lutheran Laymen’s League, used with permission of Lutheran Hour Ministries, all right reserved.

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