As Jewish people around the world prepare to celebrate Passover on April 10th, it’s worth recalling an often-ignored aspect of the Exodus story. The Midrash, a nearly-2,000-year-old collection of elucidations of the Biblical text, suggests most of the Hebrew slaves, despite the miracles around them, felt too fearful to follow Moses out of Egypt.
In this sense, “the people of choice” described in the Bible were as much a choosing people as a chosen people. Even at the Red Sea, Midrashic sources say that God only split the sea once the Jewish people took the first courageous steps into the water.
In this sense, and in this season, God can still perform miracles but we must partner with Him in the process. This is also true for the Easter message of salvation and redemption, isn’t it? Liberation and salvation are gifts from God. But it’s up to human beings to take the first steps.