SCRIPTURE: Acts 7:35-43
35 “It was this Moses whom they rejected when they said, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’ and whom God now sent as both ruler and liberator through the angel who appeared to him in the bush. 36 He led them out, having performed wonders and signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea, and in the wilderness for forty years. 37 This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, ‘God will raise up a prophet for you from your own people as he raised me up.’ 38 He is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors; and he received living oracles to give to us. 39 Our ancestors were unwilling to obey him; instead, they pushed him aside, and in their hearts they turned back to Egypt, 40 saying to Aaron, ‘Make gods for us who will lead the way for us; as for this Moses who led us out from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has happened to him.’ 41 At that time they made a calf, offered a sacrifice to the idol, and reveled in the works of their hands. 42 But God turned away from them and handed them over to worship the host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets: ‘Did you offer to me slain victims and sacrifices forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel? 43 No; you took along the tent of Moloch, and the star of your god Rephan, the images that you made to worship; so I will remove you beyond Babylon.’
The people of Israel have had a habit, according to Scripture, of breaking their covenant with God, and God holding them accountable. This passage outlines the rejection of Moses’ leadership by the people, even though he was (through God’s hand) their liberator from slavery in Egypt. The reader can quickly draw the parallels between this situation and the one with Jesus. Both Moses and Jesus were rejected by the people. Both were seen as threats by the leadership of the time. Both brought liberation (although different levels or kinds). One could even draw similarities between their respective oppressors of Egypt (during Moses’ time) and the Roman Empire (during Jesus’ time).
One other important connection point between Moses and Jesus is that Jesus came to fulfill the Law, the one originally brought through Moses. In a way, Moses and Jesus are like bookends of the same story, although the story does begin before Moses and continues on after Jesus. But in both instances, God never gives up on them. In the case of Moses, the covenant is repaired between God and the people, and the relationship continues. In the case of Jesus, a new covenant is formed and through the work and power of the Holy Spirit, the relationship again continues and thrives.
What other parallels can you draw between Moses’ story and Jesus’ story? What are some of the important differences you can identify?
God of all time and space, you have never given up on humanity, even when we continue to turn away from you and reject your teachings and love. You have given your people not just one, but many saviors throughout their history from the oppression and challenges they face. Help us to never reject the saviors you place in our lives today, that instead we might acknowledge their calling from you and work alongside them to make disciples in your name. Amen.