I recently spent three days in Egypt doing leadership training for 500 Egyptian pastors and business leaders. During my last night there my hotel overlooked the Nile River. I was reminded once again that Moses took a little float trip down this very river as a baby, nearly 4000 years ago. I later visited The Cave Church. It is a Coptic Christian Church that is literally carved out of a huge grotto beneath a sandstone mountain. There are numerous reliefs carved into the mountain side, one of which shows Joseph, leading Mary and her baby Jesus on a donkey. They are walking by the Pyramids in the relief. In that instant I was reminded that both Jesus and Moses spent their infancy in Egypt.
As I scanned the various other reliefs at the Cave Church I can across a full size cross with a replica of Jesus breathing his last breaths. Another connection between Jesus and Moses filled my mind’s eye. It was the Mount of Transfiguration when Jesus met both Elijah and Moses before his death. In that event the long dead Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus as Peter, James, and John looked on in wonder. The speculation has been that those two great prophets were bringing some strength and consolation to Jesus before he went to the cross.
So I began to think of all the parallels between Moses and Jesus.
1) Moses lived in the glory of Pharaohs house and left it as a result to trying to serve his people; Jesus lived in the Glory of the Father and left it in order to serve us
2) Moses has an encounter with God in the Wilderness prior to beginning a ministry of freeing his people; Jesus had an encounter with the Father in the wilderness when John baptized Him prior to beginning His ministry to free His people.
3) Moses went up on the mountain to receive the Word of God; Jesus delivered the Word of God in the Sermon on the Mount
4) Moses led a group of people to freedom yet they often grumbled and complained wanting to go back to the familiar comfort of slavery; Jesus leads a group of people to freedom yet we often grumble and complain about how hard it is to follow Him and we go back to the comfort and familiarity of our sin
5) The people Moses led were convinced that they were not strong enough to enter the promised land even though God had already parted the Red Sea and provided Manna from Heaven; Jesus leads followers who often lack faith that He will do as He promised in spite of the fact that He has done so, countless times in and numerous ways in the past
6) Moses prayed for the success of his people even though they often rejected him; Jesus prays for us constantly even though we often betray Him
7) Moses had people spread the blood of a lamb on the wooden door posts in order to save them from death and release them from slavery in Egypt; Jesus was the Lamb whose blood flowed down on the wooden post of the cross in order to save us from ultimate death and free us from captivity to our sins
Even with these parallels and the many more I can not even think of, there is still this key distinction. Moses was a man called by God to serve fellow man. Jesus is God, come in the flesh as a man to give His life as a ransom for many. We know that God loves us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.