Jesus: The New Moses
By Andrew White, 9th grade
Jesus, the messiah of the Jewish prophecies, is closely foreshadowed by many Old-Testament Jewish figures, but the one that most resembles him is Moses. Moses had several roles that correspond to Jesus’: priest, mediator, miracle worker, lawgiver, and deliverer. In each of these roles are several instances where an act of Moses prefigures one of Jesus.
The most obvious link between Jesus and Moses was that they both were mediators of a covenant between God and his children. This is also seen with Adam, Noah, Abraham and David, under different signs like the Passover, rainbow, circumcision, and the Eucharist.
One of Moses’ most traditional roles was that of a priest. One of the things that come to mind when thinking of Moses as a priest is the Passover. Moses and the Israelites, in celebrating the first Passover, killed one lamb for every household and sprinkled its blood on the doorposts of the house. This was meant to remind the Angel of Death to “pass over” the house and spare the firstborn inside. Jesus, on the other hand, was both the priest and the lamb for his sacrifice. He saved not only the firstborn but the world. This similarity in roles can be seen in the Old Testament, in Ex. 24:8: Then Moses took the blood in the bowls and threw it on the people. He said, “This is the blood that seals the covenant which the Lord made with you when he gave all these commands.” Moses’ act is only a foreshadowing of what Jesus did at the last supper in the Gospels; Mat. 26:28: “Drink this, all of you” he said; “this is my blood, which seals God’s covenant, my blood poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” This covenant was brought in full when Jesus was crucified.
Even the mere fact that both Jesus and Moses performed miracles links them together. One miracle, in particular, shows the relationship between Jesus and Moses: the water from the rock. It prefigures the water from the side of Christ after his crucifixion, as well as his giving of life, or “water”, to those who followed him. 1 Cor. 10:3-4 says: All ate the same spiritual bread and drank the same spiritual drink. They drank from the spiritual rock that went with them; and that rock was Christ himself. This is foreshadowed by Ex. 17:6: “Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” Moses did so in the presence of the leaders of Israel.
Moses, like Jesus, also acted as a leader and savior. This role can be seen in the entire book of Exodus, which narrates the story of the Israelites’ flight from Egypt. Like Jesus, Moses protected and led his people. After they worshipped the golden calf, Moses asked God to spare them (Ex. 32:31-32). God did, but at a price: Moses would not be allowed to see God’s face again afterwards (Ex. 33:7-11). This was, for Moses, just a small price to pay to save his people. As we know already, Jesus’ death was needed to save mankind.
There were many Old Testament figures that foreshadowed Jesus, but Moses prefigured Him most closely. Moses even prophesied that the Messiah would be like himself! Deut. 18:18 says: I will send them a prophet like you from among their own people; I will tell him what to say, and he will tell the people everything I command.