Synopsis of the Books of the Bible, by John Nelson Darby, [1857-62], at sacred-texts.com
At the Red Sea God acts in power according to the purposes of His love; consequently the enemy, who was closely pursuing His people, is destroyed without resource. This is what will happen to the people at the last day, already in reality-to the eye of God-sheltered through the blood.
As a moral type, the Red Sea is evidently the death and resurrection of Jesus, so far as the real effecting of the work goes in its own efficacy, as deliverance by redemption, and of His people as seen in Him; God acting in it, to bring them, through death, out of sin and the flesh, giving absolute deliverance from them by [See Note #1] death, into which Christ had gone, and consequently from all the power of the enemy. As to our standing and acceptance we are brought to God: our actual place is thus in the world, become the wilderness on our way to glory. We are made partakers of it already through faith. Sheltered from the judgment of God by the blood, we are delivered, by His power which acts for us, from the power of Satan, the prince of this world. The blood keeping us from the judgment of God was the beginning. The power which has made us alive in Christ, who has gone down into death for us, has made us free from the whole power of Satan who followed us, and, as to conscience, from all his attacks and accusations. We have done with the flesh as our standing, and Satan's power, and, brought to God, are in the world with Him. The world, who will follow that way [See Note #2], is swallowed up in it.
Considered as the historical type of God's ways towards Israel, the Red Sea terminates the sequel of events; and so for us. We are brought to God. Thus the forgiven thief could go straight to Paradise. As a moral type, it is the beginning of the christian path, properly so called; that is to say, the accomplishment of the redemption [See Note #3] by which the soul begins its christian course, but is viewed as in the world, and the world become the wilderness of its pilgrimage; we are not in the flesh.
Jordan adds our death with Christ, and, as to our state subjectively, our resurrection with Him-analogous to the forty days He passed on earth. To this the teaching of Colossians answers. Hence heaven is in hope. Romans 3:20 to 5:11 gives Christ's death for sins, and resurrection for our justification; thence to the end of chapter 8, death to sin. Sin in the flesh is not forgiven, but condemned (Rom 8:3); but we as having died are not in the flesh at all, we are alive unto God through, or rather in, Jesus Christ. This takes us no farther than the wilderness, though passing through it as alive to God in Christ. In Romans we are not risen with Christ. That involves, as a consequence, our being identified with Him where He is; and so, by the Holy Ghost when we are sealed, union. In Colossians we are risen with Him, but not in heavenly places. Colossians treats of life, with a hope laid up for us in heavenly places; not at all of the Holy Ghost. In Ephesians 2 we are risen with Him and sitting in heavenly places in Him, and then begins the conflict with spiritual wickedness in heavenly places, and testimony according to what is heavenly; so far this is Jordan and Canaan, and here the sealing and gift of the Holy Ghost is fully spoken of, and our relationship with the Father and with Christ, as sons, and as body and bride. Only Ephesians begins with our being dead in sins, so that it is a new creation; it is not death to sin. The blood-shedding, however, in one respect, has a more glorious character. God is glorified in it, though by crossing Jordan we are experimentally placed higher. That too is the fruit of the blood-shedding, in which there is not only the bearing of sins to meet our responsibility, but a glorifying of God, so as to bring us withal into God's glory with Him, which is beyond all questions of responsibility.
This is a solemn warning; for the worldlings, who call themselves Christians, do take the ground of judgment to come, and the need of righteousness, but not according to God. The Christian goes through it in Christ, knowing himself otherwise lost and hopeless; the worldling in his own strength, and is swallowed up. Israel saw the Red Sea in its strength, and thought escape was hopeless: so an awakened conscience, death and judgment. But Christ has died and borne judgment for us, and we are secured and delivered by what we dreaded in itself. The worldling, seeing this, adopts the truth in his own strength, as if there were no danger, and is lost in his false confidence.
In itself, it is Christ's death and resurrection. But that is not only meeting the holiness of God's nature, which is the blood-shedding, but entering into the whole power of evil that was against us and making it null. Hence, though it be not our realising death and resurrection so as to be in heavenly places, we are owned as having died in Him, and He our life, so that we have left our old standing altogether. In Colossians, we are risen with Him; in Ephesians, also sitting in Him in heavenly places. Colossians is the risen man still on earth, the subjective state, what refers to heaven but is not there, as Christ Himself for forty days-Jordan crossed, but not Canaan taken possession of.