The book of Exodus functions as the sequel to Genesis describing God's deliverance of the children of Israel and the establishment of a new covenant between God and Israel. The rest of hte Old Testament looks back on the exodus of Israel from Egypt as the primary redemptive event in Israel's history.
This primary redemptive event became central to the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. God's redemption of Israel became the foundation for the Israelite faith and practive reflected in the many Old Testament allusions to the Exodus as the basis for:
Obedience to the covenant
Proper ethical treament of others
The establishment of the sovereignty of GOd
A national dateline marking the nation's history
A standard for the measurement of all subsequent events
For the Christian, Exodus serves similar functions, pointing to the important work of redemption as seen in the New Testament's record of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These issues impact significantly the purpose and hermeneutics of this commentary.
The reader with a good understanding of both the Old and New Testaments sees in the Exodus
God's deliverance of Israel foreshadowing the death of Christ and the establishment of the church.
The Tabernacle, and its worship, furnishes the best example of this dynamic. Everything that was used in the Tabernacle worship would be found and explained more fully in the New Testament forms and worship. The Tabernacle emphasized God's holy presence in Israel. With its outer court, holy place, and most holy place, it accented the various gradations of this holiness of God. The various ceremonies involving ritual cleanness and uncleanness emphasized this gradation also. In the New Testament this presence of Holy God among his people was fulfilled in Jesus, who "became flesh and tabernacled among us" (John 1:14).
The Christian's appreciation of the work of Jesus in mankind's salvation is understood and appreciated in a ratio equal to the understanding of the messages and themes of Exodus and the book which bears its name.