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Archive for September 4th, 2015

Moses was born in Egypt several generations after Joseph brought his father Jacob and his brothers there to escape a famine in the land of Canaan. The descendants of Jacob had been enslaved by the Egyptians and were ordered to kill all their male children. When Moses was born his mother put him in a basket and set it afloat in the Nile River. He was found by Pharaoh’s daughter and raised by her as her own son (Exod 2:1–10). At age 40 Moses killed an Egyptian taskmaster and fled to the land of Midian, where he worked as a shepherd for forty years. Then the Lord called him to go back to Egypt and tell Pharaoh, “Let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness” (5:1). Eventually Pharaoh gave in and, after the Israelites celebrated the first Passover, Moses led them out. At the Red Sea the Egyptian army was destroyed and the Israelites passed to safety on dry land (Exodus 12-15). At Mount Sinai they were given the Law and erected the Tabernacle (Exodus 19-40). But because of disobedience they had to wander in the wilderness for forty years. Moses himself was not allowed to enter the Promised Land, although God allowed him to view it (Deuteronomy 34). In the New Testament Moses is referred to as lawgiver and prophet. The first five books of the Bible are attributed to him. (From The Treasury of Daily Prayer, Concordia Publishing House)

Reflection:  Moses looms over the first five books of the Bible, the Torah, or the Pentateuch and so the whole Bible.  C. S. Lewis points out that the way to Golgotha must always pass by Sinai, that is the only way to know the Gospel is to spiritually know the Law accusing and showing us our sin so we can see by faith our Savior.  It is Jesus Christ Who looms over and under the New Testament but even more:  all of creation, all of the world. The comparison between Moses and Jesus is important: 

Hebrews 3:  Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, 2 who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house. 3 For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. 4 (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) 5 Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, 6 but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.

and

St. John 1: For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

But when we forget the Ministry of Moses we do not know the Ministry of Holy Spirit.  When we forget the Law, license looms. When we forget the Gospel, despair grabs hold. The difference between Moses and Jesus, Law and Promise, the one Word of God is beautifully illustrated by Lucas Cranach in his Law and Grace painting below.  If you want an explanation of painting, check out this link  Living Treasures from the Reformation: Law and Promise

“…the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory?”  For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory.”  (2 Corinthians 3: 6-8)  The Ministry of Righteousness through Jesus Christ has fulfilled all the Law. Even Jewish theologians see the Law given on Sinai destroys as the rabbis tell it,  God held Sinai over the heads of Israel, and He said:  Obey.  The Law condemns, as Moses points to the Law, and the prophet Moses saw the ministry of the Holy Spirit:  “But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord‘s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” (Exodus 11: 29).  Moses was faithful as a servant, Jesus as the Son, right hand side, and God gives life through the preaching of Christ. 

Lord God, heavenly Father, through the prophet Moses, You began the prophetic pattern of teaching Your people the true faith and demonstrating through miracles Your presence in creation to heal it of its brokenness. Grant that Your Church may see in Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the final end-time prophet whose teaching and miracles continue in Your Church through the healing medicine of the Gospel and the Sacrament;through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

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