A PROPHET LIKE MOSES

"We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, son of Joseph.

 Where in the Torah did Moses mention the Messiah? Found in the summary of the Law of the eighteenth chapter of Devarim (Deuteronomy), it talks about the punishment of false prophets, then Moses states these words; "The Lord, your God, will raise for you a Prophet like unto me from the midst, of your brethren. Him, you shall hear." Also Acts 3:22

 

Moshe Rabeynu meant that a prophet would arise like himself from our own people or out of our nation from amongst our brethren. In Him you shall hear, according to all that the Lord desired, and what you're desired in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, 'Let me not hear the voice of the LORD my God again, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.'"And the LORD said to me: 'What they have spoken is good.I will raise for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and "I" will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.' And it shall be [that] whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him." (Deuteronomy 18:15-19)

The Messiah is such a Prophet. It is stated in the Midrash of the verse, 'Behold my Servant shall prosper' (Isaiah 52:13), And as As Moses brought a single nation to the worship of God through the miracles that God wrought through him, the Messiah will draw all peoples to the worship of God, and He did! The Midrashic passage is as follows: It is written,

  • 'Behold, my servant shall deal wisely. He shall be exalted, extolled, and very high' (Isaiah 52:13).

  • It means He shall be more exalted than Abraham of whom it is written, 'I lift my hand' (Genesis 14:22).

  • He shall be more extolled than Moses of whom it is said, 'As a nursing father beareth the nursing child' (Numbers 11:12). 'And shall be very high'—meaning, the Messiah shall be higher than the ministering angels.

What else are the similarities between Moses and the Prophet, who was to be like him?

Fear and trembling

The context of Deuteronomy 18 takes place around Sinai. It was a fearful time of thunder, lightning, storms, and earthquakes as the whole nation was gathered in the desert. Sinai was the center of the fear and awesome power of God.  God was summoning the people to meet their Creator, possibly as we say, "face to face, or "panim l' panim" (face to face). Keep in mind that they knew from the Patriarchs that no one could look upon God's face and live. Yet the Almighty was coming to confront them. They trembled in one accord, saying, "Let me not hear the voice of the Lord my God again. Don't let me see this great fire any more lest I die." At the same time, never was the nation so unified, never was a nation so fearful.  Every person knew that they were unclean.

    Together, they asked  Moses to be their intercessor in one voice and heart—their go-between, their intermediary. Whatever God had for them could be said to Moses, who, in turn, would tell the people God's message as he had done before in the events leading up to their redemption. And God did speak to Moses, confiding in him that what the people had asked was good. A mediator was always required between God and man!

A Mediator

The Almighty confirmed the words Moses had spoken about the Prophet, who would be the speaker of God's word and the intermediary between God and his people. It was one of the most serious days in Israel's history because it was decided that an intercessor should speak for God to the people, and everything the intercessor would speak or require would be God's word and God's requirement. 

 Thus, the primary way that the Prophet (Messiah) was to be "like Moses" was in the role of a mediator, or go-between, or intermediary. This was not a new concept. In Bible days, every priest was an intermediary or intercessor who made representation to God on behalf of the people. The priest would bring the petitions and offerings of Israel's repentance and stand in the Holy Place on behalf of the people.

The prophets also served as intercessors and intermediaries who spoke to the people on behalf of God. They mediated God's word and often called the nation back to a relationship with the Almighty, asking and exhorting the people to turn from sin and return to the covenant relationship. Even kings like David and Solomon were like Moses in that they led and administered the Law to the whole nation. Because a king served as a judge in peace and a commander in war, Israel's kings acted in God's stead to mediate God's will and hence were intercessors acting on God's behalf.

Sin-bearer

The word Messiah, or Moshiach, means "anointed." Prophets, priests, and kings were all anointed to show their consecration. Moses, in a sense, fulfilled all three functions at the same time. But there was one way in which the Prophet to come, Messiah,  would most resemble Moses. The Moshiach Yeshua resembles Moses the most in that Moses offered himself to die for the people's sins. 

   But one incident is crucial. "Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses said to the people, 'You have committed a great sin. So now I will go up to the LORD; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.'  Moses returned to the LORD and said, 'Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! Yet now, if You will forgive their sin—but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.' And the LORD said to Moses, 'Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book." (Exodus 32:30-33)

     So that Israel might be saved from the wrath of God, Moses stood ready to offer his own life—to take the punishment of the people's sins on himself if God could find no other way to forgive them. He asked God that his life serves as the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of the people's sins. Greater love is not found when a man lays down his own life for his brothers. Moses chose to be their sin-bearer as our Messiah laid down his life for all humankind. 

Shepherds and sheep

Remember, forty years of Moses' life was spent as a shepherd.   In leading the people, he showed the mindset and attitudes of a good shepherd.But what is a Good Shepherd? One who has a whole-hearted love and commitment to the sheep or people. One who is willing to give his own life for them. Did Yeshua demonstrate that? YES!  

In John's book, it is described in the following: "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may have [it] more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, [he who is] not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My [sheep], and am known by My own." As the Father knows Me, even so, I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep." (John 10:10-15)

The perfect shepherd puts the welfare of the flock above his own.When Philip told his brother Nathaniel, "We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, son of Joseph," he recognized that Moshe Rabeynu and Moshiach Yeshua were alike. 

  • We see that Yeshua was a prophet like Moses, only better.

  • Moses died, but the B'rit Chadasha (New Testament) tells us that Moshiach Yeshua is alive forever to make intercession for us.

  • Yeshua is the one who can lead us out of the Egypt of everyday life. He can break the shackles of the bondage of sin. On life's journey to the promised land (heaven), he can be our guide and provider, and though his provision will not be manna and quail, there will be bread from heaven to feed our souls and restore our spirits. 

 

    There is one big difference between Yeshua and Moses: Moses led the people to the promised land, but he couldn't enter. Moses had sinned. On the other hand, Moshiach Yeshua is the perfect mediator because he was innocent, without sin, and took our deserved punishment upon himself.  Today, you can receive Him and put your trust in Him. Today you can ask Moshiach Yeshua to forgive you of your sins and become a child of God. As a Jewish individual, you can find fulfillment and completion in only one, MOSHIACH YESHUA! 

Conclusion

Moses was greater than any other prophet of the Old Testament. But our Lord Jesus went beyond him, far more than the other prophets came short of him. And see a strong resemblance between the redeemer of the children of Israel and the Redeemer of humankind. Moses was sent by God to deliver the Israelites from cruel bondage; he led them out and conquered their enemies. He became not only their deliverer, but their lawgiver; not only their lawgiver, but their judge; and, finally, leads them to the border of the land of promise.

    Our Messiah, Yeshua, came to rescue us from the slavery of the devil and to restore us to liberty and happiness. He came to confirm every moral precept of the first lawgiver; and write them, not on tablets of stone, but fleshly tables of the heart. He came to be our Judge also, since he hath appointed a day when he will judge all the secrets of men, and reward or punish accordingly. This greatness of Messiah above Moses is a reason why both Jew and Gentile obey him as our true source of hope in this life and into eternal life. God, by his grace, through Messiah, made us one!

Endnotes

1. What the Rabbis Know About The Messiah by Rachmiel Frydland, (Cincinnati, OH: Messianic Publishing Company, Messianic Literature Outreach, 1991) page 22

2. See Midrash Tanhuma, (Israel: KTAV Publishing Company, 1989) pp. 166-67