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Indigenous Saints

Indigenous Saints

Exodus 12:43 & 48a

And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the statue of the Passover: no foreigner shall eat of it. … If a stranger shall sojourner with you and would keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised. Then he may come near and keep it; he shall be as a native of the land.”

Why would a foreigner ever want to participate in a ritual that specifically memorializes God’s deliverance of Hebrew slaves from their captivity in Egypt? Think about that for a moment, friend. Imagine some Greek or Persian or Canaanite stranger watching Jewish people bake unleavened bread, roast lambs in bitter herbs, scarf down their food too fast to enjoy it, paint their doorposts in the blood of a sacrificed lamb, and then exclaim, “Hey—can I do that too?! That’s a pretty neat ritual you’ve got going on there! I’d like to incorporate it into my own!” This isn’t like a traditional tribal dance that someone can pick up after a few minutes of practice. It’s a serious rite of passage—a bloody one too—so why would anyone other than a devout Jewish person ever find the sacrament tasteful? I believe the answer lies at the end of verse 48, where God amazingly grants to the obedient foreigner not merely the privilege of becoming a proselyte but of becoming a native in the Promised Land.

Can’t you hear the gospel-call in this invitation, friend? Doesn’t that little word foretell of what Christ will later say to Samaritans and tax collectors and prostitutes and lonely wanderers through life’s sin-filled maze, “Come, all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest!” Doesn’t it prelude what Paul will write in Galatians 3, that “In Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile, male nor female, slave nor free?” See, when we accept the atoning work of Christ for ourselves, when we say to the LORD, “I need Your blood on my walls too—I’m hungry for the unleavened bread and wine of Your favor—I need deliverance from the bonds of earth that only You can give!”, He doesn’t just make us citizens of heaven; He makes us natives of heaven!

As if heaven had been our true home all along.