Tag Archives: Moses

Yeshua the Messiah: A Prophet Greater than Moses

Thanks for taking a moment to catch up with Your Mission to the Jewish People, especially during the Passover and Easter season when the connection between the Old and the New Testaments is so clear. During this time of year, we see the death and resurrection of Jesus foreshadowed in the Old and gloriously fulfilled in the New!

In this issue, we explore the relationship between two of our greatest Jewish biblical heroes—Moses and Jesus. It is fascinating to consider how these two centerpieces of our faith spoke about one another: Jesus referred back to Moses, while Moses pointed ahead to Messiah. Indeed, the Bible describes both Moses and Jesus as prophets. The tremendous messianic prediction in Deuteronomy 18 is probably familiar:

The Lord said to me, “They have spoken well. I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.” (Deut 18:17–19)

This prophet will speak God’s last word for humanity; therefore, we must obey him!


I grew up in a traditional Jewish home in New York City. My religious training was Orthodox, and I knew Moses was the most important Jewish person who ever lived. He was greater than David, the prophets, and even Abraham! God gave the Law on Mount Sinai through Moses, and in almost every version of modern Judaism, Moses is the central figure of the Jewish faith. For Jewish people, no one is more important than Moses.

We learn, especially those raised Orthodox, the Messiah will come and be a great leader, but he will not necessarily be more significant than Moses himself. You might ask if Jewish people believe Moses is more important than a future Messiah. In the down-to-earth, everyday understanding of Judaism, the vote would be very close!

Because of this view, the following words of the writer of Hebrews may have struck a discordant note, even back then, in the hearts and minds of whoever read this brief treatise:

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession; He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house. For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end. (Heb 3:1–6)

Judaism also tells many stories about the greatness of Moses; he is Moshe Rabbeinu, our most excellent teacher of all time—or so most Jewish people think! According to the very words of Moses himself, however, there is more to his story of redemption.


The writer of Hebrews argued more explicitly than the passage in Deuteronomy for the superiority of Jesus and the New Covenant He inaugurated. Hebrews 3:1–6 describes how Jesus would in all ways be superior to Moses, especially verse 3: “For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house” (Heb 3:3).

Hebrews 11 also reveals this point of Jesus’ superiority. The author took us on a tour of the “Heroes of Faith,” biographical snapshots of previous giants of the faith. The author focused on their faithfulness and achievements, underscoring the entire premise of the book of Hebrews.

The argument of Hebrews is simply this: Jesus is superior to all those who came before Him. He is better than the angels, Moses, the Levitical priests, and even the high priest. He also provides a better rest, a better sacrifice, a better covenant, and a better hope!

However, by asserting Yeshua is better, the author does not suggest the angels, the patriarchs, Moses, the Levites, and the Old Testament are no longer valuable! Instead, it means Yeshua is God’s ultimate revelation for the world’s blessing:

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. (Heb 1:1–3)

The apostle John also records Jesus mentioning Moses while speaking to Jewish people who were still trying to make up their minds about Him and His claims:

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words? (John 5:39–40, 45–47)

Jesus certainly believes Moses wrote about Him and urges His listeners to consider Moses’ words. These passages in Hebrews and John summarize the relationship between Jesus and the Hebrew Scriptures, and how the New Covenant fulfills the Old Testament. The Old Covenant and the great saints listed in Hebrews were part of the plan of God, which ultimately led to the glorious fulfillment in the Messiah Himself.


I. M. Haldeman, a fiery Baptist preacher who pastored the First Baptist Church of Manhattan for forty years and was a great friend of Chosen People Ministries, wrote about the uniqueness of Moses and how he foreshadowed the Messiah Jesus:

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 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.1

I would love to have heard this powerful and passionate pastor preach these words! What a beautiful description of the greatness of Moses’ character.

Moses himself told us someone like himself would appear one day as the ultimate leader of the Jewish people. Though Moses was a great political, religious, and military leader,

this meek and humble prophet pointed to an even greater Jewish leader—the Messiah Jesus. Though he may not have had a complete understanding, Moses pointed to a greater prophet—God Himself enwrapped in flesh, proclaiming a greater exodus through His finished work on Calvary. Jesus offers a greater revelation of divine truth to Jewish people and Gentiles and invites us all to obey His words.

Jesus is God’s final word of grace, salvation, and hope for a dark and sinful world.

Yeshua is the perfect leader. Moses himself understood the limits of his humanity. He was superb but far from perfect. He brought the Israelites closer to God, and he brought God closer to the Israelites. But Yeshua brought a better and permanent salvation through His once-for-all sacrifice for sin and triumphant resurrection from the dead. He also provided an eternally durable and glorious New Covenant for Israel and the nations of the world (Jeremiah 31:31–35).

The Passover prophetically portrays this New Covenant, which foreshadows the work of Messiah as the perfect lamb whose blood was shed and smeared over the doorposts of our hearts, enabling us to enter the very presence of God Himself forever (John 1:29).

Moses was a great leader whom God used to reveal His plan and purposes for the Jewish people, but he pointed to someone greater than himself. We now know this greater One has come, and His name is Yeshua, the Savior of the world. We celebrate this salvation during Passover and Easter by remembering the exodus led by Moses, who paved the way for eternal salvation for all who believe in Jesus.

The One greater than Moses has come, and His name is Jesus the Messiah!

Have a blessed Passover and Easter season. Remember to pray for and spread the good news to those who first brought the message of salvation to you—the Jewish people!

1 Quoted in Arthur W. Pink, Gleanings in Exodus (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1981), 16.

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Seeing God in the Darkness of Plagues

Shalom and greetings in the Messiah.

I pray this newsletter finds you hopeful in the Lord. Although the coronavirus still plagues us, we patiently await God’s help and healing.

In the darkness, the Light of the World continues to shine brightly. As David wrote in Psalm 23:4, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.” I cannot imagine a more comforting word in the entire Bible for these days.

I hope you have sensed the Lord’s presence with you even amid profound difficulties and loss. I have been reading the Sermon on the Mount in my quiet time, and the second beatitude has impacted me significantly, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). If you are mourning, may the Lord comfort you.

Passover Is Around the Corner

We will be observing Passover at the end of this month. Since plagues will be on the minds of Jewish people and Christians who study the Hebrew Scriptures, I thought I would share some thoughts about the ten plagues.

There are many sparkling gems of truth to be found in studying the plagues. Even the Hebrew terms for the various plagues are meaningful. Although the actual Hebrew word for “plague” is only found once in the book of Exodus, the variety of terms used helps us understand their nature.

A Brief Summary of the Terms for Plagues and their Meaning

The plagues narrative begins in Exodus 7:1–5. There are five different references to the coming plagues in this passage.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I make you as God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall speak to Pharaoh that he let the sons of Israel go out of his land. But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart that I may multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt. When Pharaoh does not listen to you, then I will lay My hand on Egypt and bring out My hosts, My people the sons of Israel, from the land of Egypt by great judgments. The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the sons of Israel from their midst.”

The Bible refers to the miraculous and revelatory nature of the plagues along with their punitive purposes. Through the plagues, God revealed both His power and character to the Egyptians and the Hebrews.

Some of the terms, such as “signs” and “wonders,” are almost always associated in the Hebrew Bible with the release of God’s power designed to turn unbelievers toward Him in repentance and faith. Similarly, God used the plagues to reveal His holiness, justice, and love, especially toward His chosen people. Have you ever thought of the plagues themselves as evangelistic in nature?

Ezekiel 36, a prophecy we see partially fulfilled today as the Jewish people are back in the Land in unbelief, parallels Exodus 7:5. Moses predicts a future day of deliverance and restoration for Israel and the Jewish people: “‘I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord,’ declares the Lord God, ‘when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land’” (Ezekiel 36:23–24).

Both passages make it clear that one of God’s purposes in bringing the Jewish people out of captivity to the Promised Land was to be a miraculous sign of God’s faithfulness. The regathering of the Jewish people to the Holy Land is an obvious miracle that should help the Gentile nations see what God has done and turn in faith to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The Ten Big Ones!

The recitation of the ten plagues is an integral part of the Passover Seder and one of the most memorable moments of the meal. As a child, I always looked forward to reciting the plagues. Traditionally, Jewish people dip their pinky finger into a glass of sweet red wine and place a drop of it onto their plates as they shout the name of each of the ten plagues.

The recalling of the plagues is a way to remember the story of God’s deliverance of the Jewish people from Egyptian bondage. One traditional reason for why we drop the wine on our plates is that the drops represent the reduction of our joy, symbolized by the sweet wine—one drop for each plague that fell upon the Egyptians. Therefore, we do not rejoice in the judgment of the Egyptians, as Jewish tradition teaches mercy, but rather we should reduce our joy because of their suffering.

This unique part of the Seder reminds the Jewish people that God brought plagues upon others in mysterious harmony with His will. He used plagues to move both the Egyptians and Jewish people to action. Biblical plagues are purposeful, and, while causing terrible suffering, they are used by God for His divine purposes.

There are many biblical examples of plagues besides the ten in Exodus. God heaped affliction upon Job, the prophets, and many others. Sometimes, God caused the plagues, and other times He allowed them to happen for His divine purposes. For example, Naaman and Miriam (Moses’ sister) were both plagued with leprosy for God’s holy purposes and His glory.

Plagues, however, are not always punitive. “Jesus answered, ‘It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him’” (John 9:3). Like the healing of the blind man in John chapter nine, plagues and disease afford God opportunities to reveal His glory, goodness, and redemptive power.

COVID-19 and the Ten Plagues

Now, let us explore some ways we might better understand the role of the current COVID-19 pandemic in the plan of God. I am not suggesting that this virus was imposed directly by God as were the plagues in Exodus. Pharaoh hardened his heart, and God brought the ten plagues upon the Egyptians because of their leader’s misconduct. However, there is no reason to believe that the spread of the coronavirus is a divine punishment. The Bible never mentions the coronavirus, the Black Plague, or the Spanish Flu. Therefore, I believe the adage, “Where the Bible is silent, so am I.”

On the other hand, we cannot deny that God used plagues in biblical history as judgments and promises to do so in the future. Most believers would agree that plagues are signs of Jesus’ Second Coming. Luke wrote, “Then [Jesus] continued by saying to them, ‘Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven’” (Luke 21:10–11).

COVID-19 awakens us to the real possibility that plagues, along with other signs, will be part of a future season of endtime judgment before Jesus’ return. Plagues upon humanity are also part of the traditional Jewish view of the end times. This shared belief has caused some openness to Jesus on the part of ultra-religious Jewish people around the globe.

We can only hope and pray that our broken and sinful world might look beyond the suffering of today to see and believe that God longs to redeem us from the plagues of life. He is gracious and keeps His promises but is also serious about the judgment to come. While we need to proclaim the good news, we should not forget that there is also bad news for those who do not turn to the Messiah. Many Jewish people recognize this reality today, and we have, by His grace, seen quite a few Jewish people turn to Jesus during the pandemic.

Hopefully, we will look back one day and see more clearly the greater good our heavenly Father accomplished through this epidemiological trial. We pray that blessings will come for everyone throughout this time of pain and suffering (Romans 8:28) and that we will remember lessons learned in darkness when we return to the light.

I pray that the Lord will use this experience to shape our character, reorder our priorities, and draw us closer to Him.

Thank you for your love and prayers. I know you will enjoy reading about all the good the Lord has done in our midst during this difficult time. His miracles shine even brighter in dark times!

Blessings and Happy Passover,

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