Advent 2015: Born Is The King: Day 12

Jesus Is The True & Better Moses

by

Today's Text: Exodus 17:1-7, Exodus 33:7-23, Exodus 34:1-9, 1 Timothy 2:5-6, Hebrews 12:18-24, 1 Corinthians 10:1-4, 1 Peter 2:4-7

Text: Exodus 17:1-7, 33:7-23, 34:1-9, 1 Timothy 2:5-6, Hebrews 12:18-24, 1 Corinthians 10:1-4, 1 Peter 2:4-7

Have you ever been a mediator?

Maybe your girlfriends in middle school had trouble getting along, your business is dependant on the services of another, or your kids just get waaay too wrapped up in the even-stevens of the raspberries you set out for breakfast.

Chances are, you know what it’s like to break up disputes, play the telephone game, and bring two parties into a happy operating agreement that ideally does not involve precision-cutting the odd raspberry directly down its midline.

Imagine what it must have been like for Moses, the mediator between God and the entire nation of Israel. Actually, it began before that. Remember all that mediating Moses had to do between God and Pharaoh to get the Israelites safely out of slavery in the first place? That’s a lot of sweaty-armpit visits to the palace, you guys.

Once the miracles of the plagues finally motivated Pharaoh to let them go, it still took Moses a lot of affirming and convincing the people of Israel to get them to lean into their escape. While the chariots of Egypt were in hot pursuit of the runaway slaves, Moses reminded Israel, “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and see the LORD’s salvation He will provide for you today; for the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again” (Exodus 14:33).

Moses spent his life in mediations. Remember Exodus 19, when he played the telephone game between God and Israel at the base of Mt. Sinai? It was his job to ensure nobody got themselves killed while he received the Ten Commandments. There was a lot of back-and-forth. A lot of frustration. Not only did Moses represent God to His people, but he also found himself in the supremely awkward position of representing the people of Israel to their God. More sweaty armpits, for sure.

Moses’ job was possibly more dangerous and more wonderful than any job of any human before him. (Well, I guess Noah had a pretty dangerous, wonderful job too, didn’t he?) Moses had the unique privilege and great holy fear of actually hearing God’s voice and needing to be protected from the too-awesome-ness of seeing His face. It really was risky work.  

But Moses loved God and he loved Israel. That’s what makes a good mediator, don’t you think—loving both parties and wanting them to love each other? Listen to the way Moses roots for Israel before God in Exodus 37:13: “Now consider that this nation is Your people.”

Moses wanted God to forgive the startling greatness of “stiff-necked” Israel’s iniquity. He wanted God to go with Israel where they went, and for Israel to go where God was going. Moses gave his life to reminding God and Israel how much they loved each other.

Sound familiar?

We have a Moses, too, you know. The True and Better Moses. We have a Mediator who asks Yahweh to forgive the startling greatness of our sin. While Moses mediated an old covenant, the Ten Commandments, Jesus Christ fulfilled that old covenant and now mediates a new, better covenant between God and His (still “stiff-necked”) people (Hebrews 12:24).

Moses was an archetype of a future Mediator, though in later years, he would grow impatient with God and Israel. He would disobey God’s instructions and overstep his role because the self-righteous glory of being their provider seemed more desirable than being their mediator (Numbers 20:6-12). The sin of a nation overwhelmed Moses to the point of disobedience and destruction, while the iniquity of the world moved Jesus to the point of obedience and restoration (Exodus 32:19, Philippians 2:8).

Today we can thank God for sending Jesus as a true and better Mediator who, like Moses and other Old Testament priests, is our means of connection to the unimaginable glory of the Father. But this perfect, eternal Mediator’s act of righteous obedience tore the veil of the temple from top to bottom so that we could have access to the Father, not just once, but forevermore.

Christ’s was the ultimate act of mediation. Thanks be to God!

For there is one God
and one mediator between God and humanity,
Christ Jesus, Himself human,
who gave Himself—a ransom for all,
a testimony at the proper time.
- 1 Timothy 2:5-6

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  • ed sheeran cd

    Your blog is showing more interest and enthusiasm. Thank you so much.

    http://www.edsheeran.co.uk

  • Amen! Praise the one who paid my debt, now and forever!

  • I have got a few days behind with the busyness of trying to juggle a family, home, work, a degree as well as being not too well. As I was doing 2 different bible readings with my children, it struck me we were all reading the same passage in our own styles. I feel that this is God trying to speak to me and I have no idea how or what. I am so amazed everyday how God would care so much that He would send a mediator. I struggle so much with just trying to hear His voice and listening to what He says. I just want to say thank you for the words you give to us and to encourage us. X

    • Sarah

      Beckie, maybe God is trying to show you that you aren’t “behind” in your reading (or anything else for that matter), you are right where you are supposed to be. :)

      • Lexi

        Sarah, I love that! God is working ahead of us, even when we think we’ve fallen behind with the busyness of life. He makes no mistakes!

  • Looking at the verse Exodus 14:13 gave me a huge revelation into my own life and my struggle with depression. I’ve lived in the land that has made me feel oppressed, and that life has been normal for me for several years. I realized that like the Israelites, God is leading me out of oppression into a land promised for me if I will only listen to and obey the way that Christ is leading me with the words of Moses. “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again.” God is reminding me that what I’ve faced is in my past, that God is working for me daily, and that I never have to face the demons that have held me down ever again if I just run towards God and the promises He’s laid before me.

  • I am many days behind, but this was great Truth today!! It made me think of the song “Mediator” here is a YouTube link: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GZ2SeIqJnk0. (Hopefully the link works :)

  • Teiresha

    I am a mediator for my dad and my husband and it is exhausting! Thank the heavens that Jesus is best and most perfect mediator with our Father in heaven and that he is forever patient with us and oh so loving.

  • Amanda Christine

    and that Jesus mediated so well, on our behalf, that we can now “Come boldly before the throne of Grace” (Hebrews 4:16) and cry out to God “Abba! Father!” (Galatians 4:16). It’s just incredible.

  • This day’s reading has me in tears of gratitude and overwhelmed with joy of how great Jesus is!! That line in the devotional that said Israel’s sin moved Moses to disobedience, but the world’s sin moved Jesus to obedience and restoration, hit my heart so good today! Jesus is the true and better Moses! Jesus is all we need, and the Gospel is truly good news for ALL people! My heart just got a little lighter thanks to this :)

  • There was a really cool note in my study bible from Exodus 33:18-23

    “Moses wanted to see God’s glory. He wanted assurance of God’s presence with him. Because we are finite and morally imperfect, we cannot exist and see God as he is. To see God’s “back” means we can only see where God has passed by. We can only know him by what he does and how he acts. We cannot comprehend God as he really is apart from Jesus Christ. Jesus promised to show himself to those who love and believe in him.”

  • Sarah, I think it should read Exodus 33 v 13. I went back and had a wee look after I read your comment. The quote is from the ESV Bible. Hope this helps.

  • Lyndsey D

    I love the part of reminding Israel and God how much they love each other. It helped me realize that sometimes when a part of the Bible is confusing when people “remind” God or “convince” God, it’s not that we can really change God. It’s a picture of how Jesus communicates with God as a mediator. At least, that’s what I was shown. Don’t know the theology of it

  • This has been my favorite thus far! Moved me to tears!

  • Juliefay

    I forgot about this Moses parallel! Loved reading it! Thanks! It’s truly a beautiful message of the gift we have in Christ being our constant mediator! HALLELLUJAH!

  • What’s really cool is I go to a Bible college, and I’m taking the Book of Hebrews. And we JUST went over this today, not but 2 hours ago. It’s cool to see more of the application side of this. God is so cool that way!

  • Thank you for this reminder of Christ’s mediation and advocacy for us. Moses is such a wonderful picture of loving God and people so much, his life goal was to draw them together. And that it was a foretaste of Christ’s ultimate life goal to do the same, in an ultimate sense. I have one question, as I was reading, I was curious if the Exodus 37:13 passage is a typo, in the seventh paragraph? It’s about how to fasten things to the ark. I’m not sure I see the connection between that and how he brought Israel before God? I would love your thoughts on this connection if it was the verse you intended here. Thanks again for writing!

  • Francine

    Out of frustration over the sin of the Israelites, Moses broke the stone tablets. To end our frustration with sin once and for all, Jesus broke His body. He IS the true and better Moses. Thank God for Jesus.

  • The pressing glory of God drew me to my knees today as the Bible reminded me about how uncontainable, incomprehensible, and all-powerful God is. His face is so righteously beautiful that Moses couldn’t look on it and live. His being is so far above ours that we cannot begin to understand Him. And yet, the God Most High came down to Moses and said, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished…” (Ex. 34: 6-7)

    The truth is, God wasn’t obliged to even take part in this covenant with us, either with Moses or Jesus. He didn’t need us and His might doesn’t depend upon us. But He chose to come down to the mountain, down to Bethlehem, because He is a loving and gracious God. Yes, His glory is more than we can bear, but His love is also far greater than our minds and souls can comprehend. How marvelous is our God!

    • Katie

      SO beautifully put. Reading this gave me goosebumps. Thank you for this clear picture of God’s awesomeness!

  • What a beautiful reminder of the love and care of God for us. Always figuring out ways to bring us back to Him despite our selfishness. I love how generous God was with Moses. He granted him the desire to see God’s glory. Wow that is huge!!!! Moses life was at risk nevertheless I love love how gentle and protective was our Father God with him. Giving him instructions to protect his life. He even put His mighty hand over Him while He passed. I also love Moses honest desire to know God in a deeper way! He wanted more of Him.

    • Hannah

      Yes, how merciful God was even in displaying His awesome glory!

  • Rochelle

    I am getting so much out of this Advent series. I love seeing the connections and parallels between some of the older figures in the Scriptures, and then Jesus. Some of the parallels are more obvious… while others are subtle. But all of them come down to the fact that Jesus fulfilled so many prophecies…that the entire Bible truly points to Him.
    It’s amazing when we really dig deep and see the bigger picture: the intentionality of God’s plans like this. Such a love story between God and his (stiff necked!) people. ❤️

    • Kayla

      i agree!! there are so many connections i had never seen before! so cool to see how everything (and everyone) points to Jesus.

    • She Reads Truth

      We love having you here, Rochelle! So thankful to spend Advent with you.

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • I’m newer to reading the Old Testament, so I’m sad to see that in Numbers Moses’ pride gets to him and causes him to disobey God. I’ll have to look that one up! But it is a good reminder that, while Moses was a great mediator for the people of Israel, the One mediator to come would have to be a spotless man, One who could stand to mediate for the whole of humanity without His pride inflating. One who would point all glory back to our God, One who would selflessly GIVE His life, not just dedicate his life as Moses did, but GIVE it up for a people sick with sin, a people so lost it would take a sheer miracle to save us….a people like us. Yes, Jesus is the true and better Moses, thank you Lord! You know what we need, and you sent Him to save. We don’t deserve this and we are so grateful!

    • Kelly S

      What a thought–to mediate without pride. That is so very hard! Only Jesus!!

  • I am reminded this morning of sin, blame and separation. But God, in his glory has forgiven me and my stiff-necked family. I dream and pray that in God’s timing , we too would be restored. Long story,
    I know, I know that His plan for me is bigger than the restoration between myself and my sisters. What I have is a mediator (Jesus Christ ) who loves me and loves them. I can leave it in His hands to mold and morph as He see fit. I can count on His as my mediator in every situation to remind me that I too am forgiven and I too am stiff-necked like the Israelites. Praise God who never fails.

  • “There is one mediator.” I’m a sibling and I remember the chaos my mother went through to mediate between us and I can’t even begin to imagine how Jesus does it. Thank you not only to Jesus but my mother, as well. Thank you for not giving up on me. It’s reassuring to know there is always someone there to take care of you whether you believe you deserve it or not.

  • Caroline @ In Due Time

    Thank you father for sending Jesus and Holy Spirit to help mediate us at all times!! http://www.in-due-time.com

  • Thank you for these words. I love the story of God covering Moses with His hand as He passes by – the thought that His glory is just too much for us to experience earth-side is thrilling.

  • Maribeth

    Praying for your friend, Valanne, as she travels to Haiti!

  • Maribeth

    Jesus truly is our perfect Prophet, Priest, and (as I assume we will see in coming studies) King. Christ fulfills the new covenant – the Covenant of Grace given when Adam left the garden. While Moses could only give the Law, Christ *fulfills* the law. God still requires perfect obedience of us — but we, just as the people of the Old Testament did, have been given the faith to trust that the sacrifice atones for our failure to obey. Just as the people of Israel, we sin against God over and over again, but Jesus mediates on our behalf and His sacrifice, His blood, atones. Thanks be to the Lord that He looks upon Jesus’ righteousness rather than on my own grumbling!

  • This is good, “But Moses loved God and he loved Israel. That’s what makes a good mediator, don’t you think—loving both parties and wanting them to love each other?”

    I don’t think I’ve ever thought about conflict in such a away. But if I’m to be an imitator of Christ, I’ll be loving my enemies too, so when caught up in a conflict, and mediation is needed, how much better to walk into it first with love in my heart for both sides.

    Christ is the perfect mediator and perfect model to emulate.

  • Heather (MNmomma)

    The role of mediator…..what a terrific responsibility. Our middle son, 15 (almost 16) has autism. He is very high functioning, however, he “sees” and “feels” the world differently that you & I. His experience is MORE….more intense, more “noise”….more……..coupled with decreased ability to process it all. Life for him is hard. Very hard. He struggles with modulating his emotions….and when he gets too much input, he explodes. We had a explosion just under 2 weeks ago, so we thought we were “good” for a bit. But the stressors of a disrespectful 10th grade class (he can not stand how disrespectful they are to their teachers and each other), basketball season (he is coming back from missing all of last year and is playing on the C squad with primarily freshmen and then playing JV some as well), the holiday hustle and bustle, and pain from his shoulder keep catching up to him. He blew again last night – scary bad…..went running out in the dark outside with no shoes on in the snow bad……almost called the sherriff’s dept because we couldn’t find him bad (I’m not sure if my mama’s heart has ever been so scared). He is hurting so much, so overwhelmed…
    Every day I try to help mediate his world….helping him to understand, to navigate his existence. Sometimes it goes smoothly, sometimes…..not so much. Prayers for Isaac, for myself and hubby….for his teachers & coaches…. prayers for him to find peace in his day to day life, to find joy, to find relief from the “noise”…… thank you so much sisters xoxo

  • Wow, this is so great!! Prayers for their safe journey.

  • Hi ladies, one of our “Shes” Candecejo (Nannette Elkins) is off on a mission trip today. How blessed she and her family will be to know that we are lifting them up in prayer. You can read about her trip in today’s blog post: http://faith-journey.net/2015/12/03/faith-journey-goes-to-haiti-four/

  • rachel marie

    sometimes it’s good to have a mediator – someone to act as a go-between and help you communicate with another when you simply don’t have the words to say what you mean. other times it can be bad – things get “lost in translation”. but i’m so thankful Jesus is my Mediator! He prays for us, that we may be one with Him as He was One with His Father (john 17). even while hanging on the cross, He prayed for His crucifiers, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
    so blessed by this study and all it’s opening my eyes to. i think i say this with each study, but this one’s my favorite!

  • Kristine

    I like that Moses didn’t try to sugar coat his people. He was basically “yeah, we are awful, but don’t give up on us.” I feel like I make a lot of excuses for my awfulness, pushing the blame elsewhere. “I was only ugly because the kids were so whiny and if they had let me get more sleep last night then…” But God doesn’t need our excuses. There’s not much we can say that’s really going to improve our stature. Why not just call it like it is? Here I am, in all my fault, but thank you for not giving up on me. It’s almost a relief to get to be that honest in front of the Throne, knowing Jesus is there to cover us with His perfection.

  • My girls are about 30 months apart. They are either the best of friends or bitter enemies. I grow so tired of mediating between them. I am encouraged by the idea of Jesus being the true and better Moses. He gave His life, reminding us how much God loves us. As a parent, that is one of my roles—to remind my children how much they love each other. I needed that little pep talk!

    • Sarah_Joy

      Good to know I’m not the only one mediating for girls who swing between both extremes. Yes, remind them how much they love each other!!

  • There’s no Exodus 14: 33? What was the scripture you meant to place there? I enjoy looking up your references.. I must of been a typo

    • Taylor

      Jan – the verse is Exodus 14:13. Might I encourage you to continue on to Exodus 14:14… It’s an encouraging word for sure. :-)

  • What a job Moses had. I need to plan my families Christmas get together, but am weary just from day to day living. I never looked at what being the go between was all about. I am so thankful for my salvation, and for the “mountain ” God has placed me on. Yes I could say we are a stiffnecked family. I am so grateful l can go to God with my prayers and fears.

  • Man. Just thinking about all the drama and stress Moses went through and it is no wonder he became frustrated and ultimately disobedient in the end. I think I would even have got to that place even quicker :/. It made me thankful for a Jesus who never got tired, never gave up, pushed through the fear ‘Lord let not my will but yours be done’ and who was perfection in terms of having such overwhelming love for us that He was willing to endure, and perfection in terms of knowing He was the only one that could save us and seeing us as worthy of the sacrifice. Oh my. Jesus had a choice…and He chose you and me. How glorious! How could I possibly not choose Him back? I have a lot of thankfulness, and gratitude in my heart today. Hope everyone has a blessed day! X

    • Rochelle

      Yeah, I completely related to Moses’ frustration as well. :/ And like you, I’m so supremely grateful for Jesus’ constant patience and love. His grace!

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