I have generally tried to keep these blogs in the order they appear in the bible, but I realised that I have missed a couple. So after covering Joshua over the last couple of weeks, I’m now going to return to his predecessor Moses. We have covered the time of Moses with some of the Israelite wanderings and quite a bit on the tabernacle, but this week we will look at the man Moses himself and how he is a clear shadow of Jesus.
This week’s key verses are taken from Deuteronomy 18;
The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen (Deuteronomy 18:15)
And a few verses later..
I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. (Deuteronomy 18:18)
We now know that the prophet spoken about was Jesus, but it took His disciples a while to get it. Even the one preparing Jesus’s way, his cousin John, was not quite sure, so he sent his disciples to inquire. Here is Jesus’ emphatic response…
And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” (Matthew 11:4-6)
Let’s consider the following and see if Jesus really was the prophet like Moses;
- Firstly, Jesus was born a Jew and from the tribe of Judah, so he was certainly from ‘among the brothers’
- Moses and Jesus were both Shepherds. Jesus said “I am the good Shepherd” (John 10:11) Moses was literally a shepherd, but he also shepherded God’s people for over 40 years.
- They both arrived, offering deliverance after 400 years of inactivity. Moses appeared a long time after Joseph had done so much for Egypt and Jesus was born 400 years after the last book of the Old Testament was written.
- Both fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. Moses while on Mount Sinai (with Joshua as we saw last week) and Jesus when he had just been baptised and went into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan.
- Both spent their early formative years in Egypt. If you remember Joseph and Mary escaped there to avoid the wrath of Herod.
- Both were born at a time when the rulers were so insecure that they wanted all the baby boys killed. Pharaoh commanded that all the Hebrew baby boys were to be drowned at birth and King Herod decreed that all baby boys under two should be killed. Both Moses and Jesus were miraculously saved from this infanticide.
- Both Moses and Jesus instituted a blood covenant to bring salvation. Moses’s was the Passover and Jesus’s was his death on the cross. We saw how the Passover shadowed the cross in a previous post http://adrianpursglove.com/shadows-of-jesus-the-passover-lamb/
- Both were given God’s public stamp of approval of an audible voice heard by the nearby crowd. Moses at mount Sinai and Jesus at his baptism
- Both gave up great riches to live a humble and serving life before God. Moses gave up the easy life of Pharaoh’s palace and Jesus gave up the glory of heaven. They were both noted for their great humility (Numbers 12:3, Philippians 2)
- Both were criticised by their own families;
Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.” (Mark 3:20-21)
Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman. (Numbers 12:1)
- Both were willing to sacrifice their own lives for the sake of those they were leading, and to pay for the people’s sins.
- Both were involved with a miraculous provision of food. Joshua with the Manna and Jesus when he fed the 5,000 and the 4,000.
- Seven weeks (50 days) were significant in the lives of both men. It was this period of time after the exodus that the Israelites received the Torah. This was the same amount of time after Jesus’s resurrection that the disciples waited for and then received the promised Holy Spirit.
- Both of them had shining faces after spending time with God. Moses had to wear a veil over his face because the glory was too radiant. Jesus also had a radiant face on the Mount of Transfiguration.
- Moses chose 12 spies to explore Canaan, and Jesus chose 12 disciples. Moses appointed 70 rulers over Israel, and Jesus sent 70 disciples out to share the gospel.
There are many more similarities than these examples, but I think I will leave it there. Feel free to add any more in the comments section below. I must admit that I was quite surprised just how many there were as I was researching this blog.