Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. – Luke 24:27
More Than a Preview
Have you ever watched a movie trailer? Do you enjoy them? They show bits and pieces of the actual movie, often with scenes out of order. These trailers are meant to grab our interest and make us anticipate the release of the movie. We could make a good case for Moses being a preview of Jesus, except he is much more than just a movie trailer!
We find the beginning of the life of Moses described to us in the second book of the Bible, Exodus 2:1-2, “Now a man from the house of Levi went and took as his wife a Levite woman. The woman conceived and bore a son, and when she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him three months.
Exodus 2:1-2 is notable for a few reasons. We see that God’s had is already at work in establishing the Levites as the branch of Israel that would be responsible for the priestly duties. Also, from this passage we know that the human lineage of Jesus WAS NOT the same as Moses. Jesus traces His “Adam” lineage from the tribe of Judah. (Matthew 1:1–6). It is important to make it clear that Jesus isn’t another Moses or the second coming of Moses. No, rather, Moses was a foreshadowing of Jesus.
Still, we should appreciate the importance that God placed on Moses for he regularly shows up Scriptures, all the way into the final book of the Bible, Revelation 15:3, “And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations.”
Today, Moses continues to remain in the minds of Jews and Christians. He looms large across the pages of God’s Word and there are countless books written about Moses and The Law of Moses, Hebrew: תֹּורַת מֹשֶׁה Torat Moshe, also called the Mosaic Law. So, let’s take a look at this mighty man of God that foreshadows Jesus. Here we go!
Experiences That Point to Jesus
- Both Moses and Jesus were known for their meekness (Numbers 12:3 and Matthew 11:29).
- Both Moses and Jesus, as babies, narrowly escaped a king intent on murdering babies (Exodus 1:22 and Matthew 2:16–18).
- Both Moses and Jesus spent time in Egypt (Exodus 2:1–4 and Matthew 2:13–14).
- Both Moses and Jesus mediated a covenant between God and men—Moses the Old Covenant (Exodus 34:27) and Jesus the New Covenant (Hebrews 9:15).
- Both Moses and Jesus miraculously fed a large crowd in the wilderness. Moses: (Exodus 16:35) and Jesus (John 6:1–13). The difference was that God did the miracle through Moses while Jesus did the miracle.
- Both Moses and Jesus contended with the supernatural. Moses with the magicians (Exodus 7:22, Jesus with evil spirits (Matthew 12:28).
- Immediately before Moses led Israel out of Egypt he prepared the people for God’s passover (Exodus 12:21 — immediately before redeeming mankind, Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:26-29).
The Prophecy From Moses
There are many, many more comparisons that we could discover with a bit more digging, but let’s change tactics. There is a centerpiece that God used in Moses to foreshadow Jesus. It is a prophecy which Moses gave. This prophecy became a benchmark for the Jews. It was the promise God made in this prophecy that Jews continually looked for. The beginning of this prophecy is found in Deuteronomy 18:15: “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…“
This prophecy was on the minds of the Jews when John the Baptist was at work. The Israelites asked: “And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” (John 1:21) “Are you the prophet” meant “Are you the prophet that Moses prophesied.” But notice what John said. “John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know” (John 1:26). Among you stands one…This is just what was prophesied – from among you, from your brothers. And then, “The next day he [John the Baptist] saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
Jesus Fulfills the Prophecy
The benchmark of the prophecy of Moses was so ingrained in Jewish thought and teaching that it runs through the New Testament. When Jesus fed the 5,000, we read in John 6:14: When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!”
When Peter preached in Solomon’s Colonnade, he said, “The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus…Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. Everyone who does not listen to Him will be completely cut off from among his people.” (Acts 3:13, 22–23)
In Acts 7:36-37 we find the martyr Stephan, during his defense to the high priest, saying, “This man led them out, performing wonders and signs in Egypt and at the Red Sea and in the wilderness for forty years. This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers.’”
Jesus is the Only One
Jesus is the Prophet that Moses declared. The whole point of this article is to demonstrate that the life and events of Moses predicted the actions and authenticity of the one true Redeemer, Jesus the Messiah.
Moses was not “another Christ,” Joseph was not “another Christ,” neither Jacob nor Isaac nor Abraham nor Noah. Jesus is the one. “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)