It’s not an exaggeration to say that the Exodus from Egypt via the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea in some ways is the most important single story of the Old Testament. From that point on it became for Israel the paradigmatic example of God’s protection of and provision for his people. Even before it happened, it was foreshadowed in other Genesis stories (e.g., Gen 3, 6-9, 12).
But even more importantly, it points toward the overarching narrative of the Bible’s story from Genesis to Revelation . . . one in which God looks down on the bondage of his creation and sends a Deliverer to do for them something they could never do for themselves–free them from servitude.
Paul makes this connection clear in 1 Corinthians 10:1-4: “For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.”
Jesus said that “everything written about [him] in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44), and this is a clear and encouraging example of what he was talking about.
He’s the greater Moses who comes to “Egypt” and leads us to freedom (cf. Matt 2:15). He does for us what we could never do for ourselves, and as we learn to trust him we follow him into the water toward the freedom on the other side.