Jesus is the story of the Second Moses – the better Moses. I know it’s Hanukah (or is it Chanukah?) so this is not shot at my Jewish brothers and sisters. Even Moses said in Deut. 18 that a better prophet than he was coming. So take it up with him. Whether you consciously put it together or not, if you have been to Sunday School when you were a kid you all know the similarities between the Exodus and the Gospels. There are literally hundreds of things I could point to, but I’ll just point out 5 (seems like a nice round number.)
1) The Story Starts with Joseph’s Protection
At the conclusion of Genesis, Israel’s own boy Joseph assumes the top spot in the Egyptian empire. When famine comes he invites his whole tribe to settle in the land of Goshen. He literally keeps them alive as the rest of the region was starving to death. But when the time of ultimate persecution came, the Egyptians had forgotten about Joseph. He couldn’t help them any more, and God rose up Moses to deliver His people. The same is true of Jesus. When Jesus was his most vulnerable, Joseph was there to protect Him. While in the womb, Joseph protected His mom Mary from being stoned to death because she was pregnant by someone other than Joe. Then when Herod goes on his rampage, Joseph brings Jesus to Egypt for safety. Just like Joseph #1.
2) Killing All Baby Boys
Speaking of the rampage, both Pharaoh Ramses and King Herod put out a degree to kill all the baby boys. They both did it for the same reason too – to stay in power. Pharaoh was worried that the Jews would realize they outnumbered the Egyptians, so killing them was a means of lowering their numbers and demoralizing them at the same time. Herod’s goals were a little more narrow. There was a potential threat to his kingdom. The Messiah, the King of the Jews, had been born. He probably wasn’t as worried about Jesus himself, but he was worried that enough zealots would join the uprising against Rome and rally around this supposed Messiah. Caesar would crack down on any hint of insurrection, and Herod would lose his cushy kingship in the process. But in all this, the phrasing is amazingly similar. God didn’t want people to miss the similarities of the 2 times. It’s because in the midst of that horror God was sending hope. Very few people knew the hope was there, but they were spreading the word. They would have to wait a few decades, but their rescuer was on the way.
3) The Passover Lamb
One of the most easily connected dots is the story of the Passover Lamb. The final plague on Egypt was the killing of all firstborn males. It’s not only the response to Pharaoh’s actions years before but it continues the takedown of all of Egypt’s supposed “gods.” – the final one being Ramses’ own son, the future god-king of Egypt. But Jehovah was rescuing His people, not killing them, so He told them to put lambs blood on the doorpost of their homes. When the Deathly Hallows came by, it would Pass-over any home covered in the blood of the lamb. Do I still need to spell this out for you? Ok, fine. Jesus is the Passover Lamb. Every year the Israelites would have a Passover meal to remind them of their exodus and rescue from Egypt. However, it also, unbeknownst to most of them, was a foreshadowing of the better Passover lamb that was to come – one that would just rescue a few from slavery, but many from the complete destruction of sin. God’s wrath would Pass-over us as well, but then go a step-beyond (because Jesus is better) and literally wash all our sins away.
4) The Serpent & the Cross
In case the subtlety of the Passover Lamb was lost on you, God and Moses make it more obvious. The Israelites complained about being hungry, so God gave them manna every morning. They complained because they wanted a little meat mixed in every once in a while. And God in His loving-kindness sent quail every day as well. But then when they started complaining about the variety on the menu, God gave them exactly what they asked for and sent them venomous snakes. (I don’t think God is as sarcastic as I am but that’s how I see it.) But God was not abandoning His people. God told Moses to erect a Bronze Serpent in the center of the village, and anyone who looked at it would be healed from the snake bites. Right before Jesus drops the mac-daddy of verses in John 3:16 he says, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.” Now you’re starting to see it.
5) Ushering in the Covenants
The reason why God is going above and beyond to present Jesus as the Second Moses and the leader of the Second Exodus is because just as Moses was delivering the Old Testament (i.e. the Law, i.e. the Mosaic Covenant) Jesus was the embodiment of the New Testament (i.e. the Gospel). As Moses came down from the Mountain after receiving the word of God his face literally radiated like a Glow Worm after being in the presence of God. Jesus too had revealed His true glory on the Mount of Transfiguration. His entire being shone, and Moses showed up like the hype man that he is to just hang out behind Jesus with his arms crossed nodding approvingly. Jesus had the better Covenant. It fulfilled the Old one and brought billions more to a relationship with their Creator and Savior.
Moses turned the Nile into blood (Ex 7) – Jesus turned the Water into Wine (Jn 2)
Moses sent 12 spies into the Promised Land (Num 13) – Jesus sent 12 disciples out to bring people into the promised land (Matt 28)
Moses brought forth an eternal spring (Num 20) – Jesus is the everlasting water in which you will never thirst again (Jn 4)
Moses was a shepherd (Ex 3) – Jesus was the Great Shepherd (Heb 13)
To win the battle, Moses had to have his hands held high (Ex 17) – To win the eternal battle, Jesus has to have His hands held high as well (Mk 15)
They both died on a hill (Deut 34, Lk 23)
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Man, I should have titled this blog – Exo2us: The Jesus Chronicles