Jesus Is Greater Than Moses
This morning, we are doing a little catch up on our biblical content. We have been looking at the book of Hebrews during the Lenten season, and we have been looking at the greatness of Christ. In the book of Hebrews, the author of Hebrews preaches a sermon where he identifies other authorities in the lives of people, and then establishes how Jesus is even more authoritative.
Then, the preacher tells us why this kind of thing matters, and how we can apply what we have learned to our lives.
The first argument we will look at today is that Jesus is greater than Moses.
This statement is huge in the Hebrew mind. Moses was the George Washington of the Hebrew faith, and had massive moral authority for the people of Israel. For those of you who don’t remember let me refresh you about the story of Moses, which you will find in Exodus and Numbers most prominently. Moses was born in Egypt. Moses as a child was an Israelite that providentially was raised in the household of the Pharoh, or in today’s nomenclature, the King. He discovers his heritage, as a son of Hebrews slave, and in a fit of rage, kills one of the slave drivers. He then spends decades as a fugitive in the wilderness.
God meets Moses miraculously in the desert, and calls him back to Egypt to confront Egypt to let his people go. Eventually, Moses leads the Israelites through this escape from Egypt, and on his lengthy round about trip to the Promised Land. While they were on that journey, God delivers to Moses the Law, which was the moral code for the Hebrew people.
Hebrew spirituality revolved and continues to revolve around what happened during the Exodus, under the leadership of Moses. And thus, Moses was appropriately revered by Jewish people.
The preacher in the book of Hebrews commends Moses, but speaks of Moses as a servant to Christ.
It speaks of Moses’ work as good, but Jesus’ work as greater, and the completion of what God has done.
Specifically, Moses’s life leaves a legacy of the delivering God’s people from bondage, and delivering to God’s people the Word of God. And, the Scripture says, Moses’s leadership in delivering God’s people was both a shadow of and a sign pointing to the deliverance that comes through Jesus Christ.
In this passage, the preacher in Hebrews uses the metaphor of home construction.
I have never built a house. I have spent time with people who have, especially in my family. When my Uncle Steve, who is a civil engineer, built his new home, he designed it himself, did a lot of the work, and subcontracted out the rest. When I would enter the house for the first couple of years after they built the house, my aunt and uncle would point out two things that they specifically were excited about regarding the design of the house. One was how well-insulated and “air-tight” the house was. My uncle was an energy-rating inspector on the side. So, they insulated that house way beyond the industry standard.
The second thing they were excited about had to do with air-flow as well. It was the strength of the exhaust fan in the downstairs bathroom. It was this big, loud contraption that both offered a comfortable amount of privacy, and insured that no unpleasant odors would escape, but if you were not ready for it, you might have thought you left a house and entered an airport hangar or something.
Now, when it came to giving credit for the house’s strength’s, a little credit went to the subcontractor that helped with some of these things, but most of the credit went to the person who paid for, designed, and implemented the plan for the construction of the house. My uncle.
In the same way, Moses was faithful. But he was simply playing a small role in the big plan that was initiated by the Triune God at the beginning of creation, and finds it pinnacle and power in the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ.
Moses delivered the people of God from the slavery to the Egyptian empire. It was awesome and miraculous. The deliverance of God’s people from the bondage of slavery shows us God’s will to set his people free. But God’s deliverance in Moses points to a greater deliverance that we find in Christ dying and rising again on our behalf. When Christ does this, he dies to deliver us from the bondage and hopelessness of being stuck in sin, and he died in order to offer us the gift of eternal life.
Moses also goes to Mount Sinai and receives the law. God speaks to God’s people through Moses sharing God’s Word. Jesus, the Scripture says, is the Word. Through Moses we get the words about God. In Jesus, God gives us himself as the living word.
So then, the author of Hebrews says, encourage each other while it is still today. Help each other stand strong and endure. Although we may be journeying through a wilderness of sorts, we have the opportunity to know and trust the Lord. To have a relationship with Jesus. And that is better than a list of rules and regulations.