5 Themes Found in Exodus and the New Testament


Leadership Resources training staff recently spent time together studying the book of Exodus. Below are some brief notes about how many Exodus themes fit into the whole of the Bible.

The book of Exodus tells the epic story of God delivering Israel out of slavery in Egypt, leading them in the desert, giving the law at Mt. Sinai, and records the construction of the tabernacle.

There are many great themes and doctrines taught through Exodus and many areas for application for us 3,000 years later after the coming of the anticipated Messiah. Jesus said in John 5:39-40 that all Scripture points to himself–and Exodus is no different.

Five themes that are found in Exodus and the New Testament:

1. There is but one God, the Creator who is sovereign and powerful.

All the world belongs to him and should know him and worship him alone. He is utterly worthy and deserving of praise and worship. No other master/idol will bring freedom. Exodus begins with a tyrannical master enslaving humanity and ends with service of the Lord that is perfect freedom.

The book of Romans describes unbelievers as “slaves to sin” (Romans 6:20). Through faith in Jesus and his death and resurrection, we are set free from sin and live for righteousness and walk in newness of life.

2. Knowing and making known.

“God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.”” Exodus 3:15

God wants to know Israel and make Himself known to the world. (See how often these ideas are mentioned in Exodus: 3:6-15, 5:2, 6:2-8, 7:17, 8:10, 22, 9:14, 29, 10:2, 11:7, 14:4, 18, 16:6-12, 18:11, 29:46, 33:12-17.)

God’s wants to be known by all people. God reveals himself progressively as the book unfolds as the God who remembers, who rules, rescues, judges, speaks, provides, and dwells among his people. By the time of Jesus, this dwelling is even more profound and clear as Christ:

  • ‘tabernacled’ among us (John 1:14)
  • made the Father known (John 14:7)
  • by the Spirit dwells in us and makes God known to our hearts (Ephesians 3:17)

3. The glory of God is revealed and his glory (weightiness/worth) is his character.

God is compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, forgiving and yet just. He is holy. He is jealous. Moses and Israel beheld his glory as God revealed his character and ways to them. We have beheld his glory even more clearly than they in the Lord Jesus Christ who dwelt among us full of grace (John 1:14).

Read Exodus for an encounter with the living God! The majestic character of God is revealed – mercy, justice, holiness, love, glory, faithfulness. We enter into the journey/pilgrimage of faith with all believers – rescued from slavery, carried by God, instructed by God and brought to worship and service of God.

4. God’s grace always proceeds law. 

God rescues, delivers, and THEN gives shape to the relationship by outlining the way his saved people ought live. The law was never given as means to gain blessing and salvation from God. Similarly in the NT Jesus calls a people to himself (a new Israel) and then gives them instruction for life in the Kingdom (so Matt 4:12-22 before Matt 5-8 and the Sermon on the Mount, see also Ephesians 2:1-10, Titus 2:11-14, 3:1-7).

5. Like Israel we are saved and freed for a purpose. 

Freedom is not an end in itself. We are freed to serve and for God’s glory. Exodus 19:3-6 is a key text in the Bible: Israel was chosen as holy and special people out of all nations for the sake of the nations. They were to be holy and priestly manifesting God to the world. We still are a chosen people with the same purpose (1 Peter 2, Titus 2).

The grace of God leads to godliness leads to good works while we wait for glory!

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” Titus 2:11-14

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