Posted: Wednesday, November 1
Verse of the day:
“But Jesus deserves far more glory than Moses, just as a person who builds a house deserves more praise than the house itself.” (Hebrews 3:3)
If you were preaching to a group of Jewish people, one of the things that you would have to acknowledge is that there are three people that form the core of their identity: Abraham, Moses and David. Each one of these men represents a covenant relationship between God and the nation of Israel. Abraham was the father of the nation and it was through him that they received their national identity and calling. Kind David represented the kingly line of people that would reign over Israel and he also represented the promised messiah, a king that would come to restore order, peace and the forgiveness of sins to Israel. But maybe the one that held the most prestige was Moses.
It was through Moses that God ended the exile of Israel in Egypt. It was through Moses that God revealed himself to the whole nation and gave them his law. It was to Moses that God’s presence came down and dwelt both in the tent of meeting and in the tabernacle. For many Jewish people, Moses represented the way to God because he reveled to them the law of God. So if the writer of Hebrews is trying to build a case for Jesus, he would need to address how Jesus relates to Moses.
The author of Hebrews uses the imagery of a house. Why? For most of Israel, they saw Moses as the builder of the house of God. Moses gave us the Tabernacle, a place where God chose to dwell among his people. The Tabernacle was the forerunner to the temple of God in Jerusalem; so again even though the temples were built by other men (Solomon, Ezra, Herod) Moses was the one who gave the templet that they were patterned off of. For them, Moses was the builder. However the author of Hebrews builds the case that Jesus, not Moses was the builder of the house. Moses was faithful with and in God house, but Jesus, because of his place as Son of God and his sacrifice for our sins, is in charge of God’s entire house.
Paul would say, in describing Jesus, that he was the chief cornerstone in the foundation of the church. It is upon Christ that our foundation was laid. The author of Hebrews would say that it was upon the future work of Christ’s sacrificial life and death that the way to true relationship with God was laid. If the temple was about God’s presence among men, then that was fulfilled when God walked among me in the person of Jesus.
Moses was a great and faithful leader. However, he had struggles and sinned. Our hope of salvation is not based upon his life or return to life. Only Jesus was able to live a sinless life and return to us from beyond the grave so that God’s presence could move out of the temple and into the hearts of his people. God now dwells with men. Jesus life and death allowed that. His is truly worthy of greater honor and glory.