In the book of Deuteronomy, prophesying the coming Messiah, the Lord speaks to Moses and says the Messiah will actually be someone like Moses:
15 Moses continued, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him. (Deut. 18.15)
That’s a remarkable thing to say: Jesus is like Moses! Jesus is a prophet like Moses. The more I study the life of Moses, the more I see a parallel with his life and that of Jesus, and it shows me Jesus more. Right from the start of Moses’ life, there are parallels to the life of Jesus, pictures prophesying and pointing to the coming Christ!
Look at the beginning of the life of Moses:
2 About this time, a man and woman from the tribe of Levi got married. 2 The woman became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She saw that he was a special baby and kept him hidden for three months. 3 But when she could no longer hide him, she got a basket made of papyrus reeds and waterproofed it with tar and pitch. She put the baby in the basket and laid it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile River. 4 The baby’s sister then stood at a distance, watching to see what would happen to him. (Exodus 2.1-4)
Right at this time the Israelites have been slaves for 400 years. 400 years have passed without God speaking. The people are reduced to slavery, and it is hard for them. Pharaoh is concerned about the Jews! They are growing in numbers and he is concerned that they could even overturn the great Egyptian empire (Exodus 1.7). So he decided to start murdering the Jewish babies. It was the first of many such attempts on planet earth to wipe out the Jewish people! The plan was to kill all the male babies, but let all the female babies live. The male babies were supposed to be thrown into the Nile and drowned. Moses, a baby boy was ordered to be thrown into the Nile. And he was thrown into the Nile, but protected by the ark that his mother made for him, he did not die, but that saved him.
When Jesus was born, there was a king ruling Israel. The people of God were under martial law from a foreign invader, and there had been 400 years of silence. It parallels perfectly. This king ruling over Israel, he was not an Egyptian Pharaoh but he was like them. He was violent, concerned about a Jewish uprising, and as soon as this King, Herod, was told that the Messiah was coming, ordered the murder of all the male babies. Both Moses and Jesus grew up in a time where male babies were being murdered. Moses’ deliverance from the Nile was a picture that the prophet like him, when he came, would be the survivor of a government supported massacre of boy babies!
Moses was adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter and brought up as her own. Jesus was adopted by Joseph and brought up as his own. Both had to be called out of Egypt – Jesus went to Egypt to avoid the massacre in Bethlehem, and Moses was setting his people free!
Both set their people free from slavery, Moses from the slavery of the cruel Egyptians, Jesus from the slavery of sin, sickness and death.
Both of them turned their back on untold riches and glory to go into the wilderness to set God’s people free!
Both of them were rejected by the very people they wanted to rescue!
Both were shepherds. Moses was an actual shepherd for Jethro, Jesus was and is the good shepherd.
Both did miracles. Moses turned water into blood, showing the power of the law to bring death. Jesus turned water into wine, showing the power of the gospel to bring joy and freedom!
Both were examples of the highest levels of humility,. Moses was the most humble man who ever lived (Numbers 12.3, and Moses was humble enough to tell us how humble he was!) until Jesus turned up who had the humility to become a human!
Both were priests, both were kings, both ruled over people who did not always want them to! Both started covenants. Moses brought us the Mosaic covenant with the 613 commandments – the law came from Moses. Jesus brought us the New Covenant with the new birth (it’s the better one – Hebrews 8.6). Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ!
Moses appointed 12 spies to go into the promised land, Jesus appointed 12 apostles to go into all the nations. Moses had 70 elders, Jesus appointed 70 others.
Both had shining faces. Moses washed his brothers, Jesus washed his disciples. Both of them gave up their lives to serve and set free God’s people!
What a beautiful honour for Moses, not only did he get to visit earth and meet Jesus in the flesh (it’s in Matthew 17) but God used his life as a picture of some of the things Jesus would do and did do! What a true honour! And how wonderful is the Bible to show us these powerful parallels and let us know God is always with us, and He still works miracles today!