Looking for Jesus:The Old Testament for Plugged-In People (and Tweeps!)

Despite the epic nature of just about every Old Testament story, from Adam and Eve’s tragic eviction from Heaven on Earth, to young David’s triumphant victory over a nine-foot Philistine, many church sermons today fail to capture the attention and stir the hearts of this generation. With twenty-four hour news available on TV, Twitter, and Facebook, our minds are perpetually saturated with dramatic headlines of apocalyptic proportions, amusing tweets and status updates, and “LOL”-worthy memes; tales of a bullying giant’s humiliating K.O. and subsequent decapitation and a sword-wielding angel guarding the gates of Paradise merely fade into the background of our busy world, abuzz and atwitter with ceaseless distractions. 

The past few Sundays at church, we’ve been immersed in a series called “Freedom for You” which explores the first fifteen chapters of the book of Exodus. I won’t dare try to rehash the sermons (though they are certainly worth checking out here ), but suffice it to say, they have been anything but dull, even for a congregation of many young adults who use their iPhones for a Bible.

What I’ve personally come to appreciate most about the Exodus account is its literary brilliance as a Messianic shadow. Knowing the end from the beginning, God’s ultimate purpose for the canon of Scripture has been to glorify His Son and incline our hearts to wonder at the fulfillment of His incarnation, prophesied since Genesis 3:15 (Isaiah 46:10). Using Moses as an example, it’s impossible – at least in my non-seminary-trained opinion – to miss the Promise of the Gospel radiating from the sands of Egypt fourteen hundred years before Christ.

Summit of Mount Sinai (aka Mount Horeb) in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt

Here are a few parallels between Moses and Jesus:

  1. When Moses was born, Pharaoh had already decreed that the newborn sons of the Israelites would be killed. Likewise, when Jesus was born, Matthew 2:16-18 reveals that King Herod provided a similar proclamation declaring that all Hebrew children two years of age and younger would be killed.

1. As an infant, Jesus was sent into Egypt. Like Moses, He was saved from being killed. Similar to Moses, when Jesus came out of Egypt, He rescued His people. While Moses was used by God to save Israel from physical destruction, Jesus was used by God to save them from spiritual destruction when He redeemed them from their sins.

2. Moses was from the tribe of Levi, a descendant of Jacob, a Jew. Jesus was also a Jew. His mother Mary was the daughter of Heli, who was a descendent of King David (Luke 3:23,31).

3. Being a Jew like Moses, Jesus was also a prophet. An example of Jesus’ prophecies can be found in Matthew 24:1-2 when He foretold of the destruction of the temple:

“And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. (2) And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

4. According to Exodus 34:29-30,35, Moses’ face shined with God’s glory. In similar fashion, Jesus’ face shined with the glory of God. This occurred at the mount of transfiguration. In Matthew 17:1-5, Jesus took Peter, James and John up to a high mountain. It was there where He was transfigured in front of them and where His face shone like the sun.

“If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.” -John 5:46

5. Deuteronomy 9:11 records that Moses introduced a covenant relationship between the LORD and the children of Israel when he descended from Mt. Sinai with the Ten Commandments. In Deuteronomy 31:16, God told Moses that the people of Israel would break the covenant. The book of Jeremiah states that there would be a New Covenant. According to Matthew 26:26-28, it was Jesus Christ who provided this covenant at the Passover Meal.

6. During Moses’ lifetime, the Lord used him to perform miraculous signs and wonders such as the world had never seen. Because of this, he became the standard by which all other prophets are measured; every other prophet in the Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures paled in comparison when it came to displaying God’s awesome power – until Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem.

Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem ("House of Bread"), Israel

In the Information Age, the Age of the Prophets is regarded as little more than an  anthology of fairy tales. It’s only when I look for Jesus on every page of Scripture that these venerated characters and their timeless stories become more than folklore and legends and regain their rightful standing as quills in the hand of Almighty God.

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.- 2 Timothy 3:16

Stay fit, stay faithful ~<3 Di

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