Tuesday, March 27, 2007

MOSES AND JESUS



A few weeks ago I started a series of message on one of my favorite Bible characters, Moses. I cited a statement from Dr. I. M. Haldeman that was thought provoking. Here is what Dr. Haldeman wrote:
"The life of Moses presents a series of striking antitheses. He was the child of a slave, and the son of a queen. He was born in a hut, and lived in a palace. He inherited poverty, and enjoyed unlimited wealth. He was the leader of armies, and the keeper of flocks. He was the mightiest of warriors, and the meekest of men. He was educated in the court, and dwelt in the desert. He had the wisdom of Egypt, and the faith of a child. He was fitted for the city, and wandered in the wilderness. He was tempted with the pleasures of sin, and endured the hardships of virtue. He was backward in speech, and talked with God. He had the rod of a shepherd, and the power of the Infinite. He was a fugitive from Pharaoh, and an ambassador from heaven. He was the giver of the Law, and the forerunner of grace. He died alone on Mount Moab, and appeared with Christ in Judea. No man assisted at his funeral, yet God buried him".

Yesterday I was reading about the preparation for the death of Moses: "And the LORD spake unto Moses that selfsame day, saying, 49 Get thee up into this mountain Abarim, unto mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, that is over against Jericho; and behold the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel for a possession: 50 And die in the mount whither thou goest up, and be gathered unto thy people; as Aaron thy brother died in mount Hor, and was gathered unto his people: 51 Because ye trespassed against me among the children of Israel at the waters of Meribah-Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; because ye sanctified me not in the midst of the children of Israel. 52 Yet thou shalt see the land before thee; but thou shalt not go thither unto the land which I give the children of Israel" (Deuteronomy 32:48-52).

Can you imagine the Lord telling you to"go up unto the mount" (49) and"die in the mount whither thou goest" (50)? How would you feel marching up a mountain to your death? Of course Moses obeyed God and died exactly as the Lord so ordered the end of his natural life:"So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD" (Deu. 34:5:). What is interesting, is the revelation that God buried him, and his grave site is unknown (Deu. 34:6). Now, all of this started me thinking about Moses and Jesus. There are some striking similarities and contrasts. Moses was chosen to deliver the Israelites from the bondage of Egypt. Jesus was chosen to deliver mankind from the bondage of sin. Moses left a palace for life in the wilderness to fulfill God's will. Jesus left the ultimate palace, heaven, to come to earth to fulfill His Father's will. Both endured trials and tests in the wilderness. Moses never entered the promised land because of disobedience. Jesus passed the temptation in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-13) so that we could enter the promised land of eternal life. Moses climbed a mount called Nebo and died; Jesus climbed a mount called Calvary and died. However, His death was much more significant than the death of Moses. Moses died a sinner; Jesus died so that sinners can live. At the death of Moses many of the children of Israel wept (Deu. 34:8). When Jesus died few wept. Few wept because they did not realize who He was, and why He came. How tragic! I thank God my eyes were opened to the glorious truth of His sacrifice for my sins. What a reason for rejoicing. I must add one more thing of significance. Nobody knows where the body of Moses was buried. It was hidden until the day of its' resurrection. The body of Jesus was also buried: "And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, ... And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed (Matthew 27:59-60). After His death, the site of the tomb of Jesus became a matter of controversy. No one knows the exact location with certainty. However, one thing is certain, the body of Jesus did not remain in the tomb. Just as the Old Testament Scriptures predicted (Psalm 16:10) and Jesus Himself prophesied (John 2:19), He conquered death and rose from the grave. In doing so, God's Mighty Deliverer accomplished all that the Father had given Him to do. Now He sits on the right hand of the majesty on high having purged all who look unto Him from their sins (Hebrews 1:3). That is the good news which we call the gospel. But is it good news to you? Have you confessed Him as your Deliverer and Savior? If you have, you know with full assurance that you will enter Canaan's land and be forever blessed. Can you think of anything better than that?

On Jordan's stormy banks I stand,
and cast a wishful eye
to Canaan's fair and happy land
where my possessions lie.

I'm bound for the promised land,
I'm bound for the promised land.
Oh, who will come and go with me?
I'm bound for the promised land.


May God be praised forever and forever,

Pastor Tom

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