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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Smith :: Portraits of Christ

Don Smith :: Exo 1-4; The Prophet

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Portraits of Christ in Exodus 1-4
“The Prophet”

  1. One of the great tragedies in the church today is its lack of comprehension and appreciation of the Old Testament.
    • Many are acquainted with some of its heroes, but not its purpose.
    • This crisis is not helped by present-day preachers who either avoid it or who claim the New Testament is for the Church, while the Old Testament is for Israel.
    • That is not only wrong, but it is sad and costly.
  2. What if Jesus interviewed people in churches across America this morning?
    • Would He find them knowledgeable of the Old Testament Scriptures?
    • Would they be able to answer the question Jesus posed Nicodemus?
    • “Could you tell me, by using the Old Testament Scriptures, how a man can be born again?”
    • What if Jesus asked Christians today, “Can you find Me in the Old Testament?”
    • Perhaps He would reprimand us like He did Nicodemus, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things?”
    • It was of extreme importance to Jesus that His disciples could systematically read through the Bible and see Him on every page, beginning with Moses. (Luke 24:27, 44-45)
  3. Let’s cut to the heart of this discussion. If Moses did write about Jesus, how would we recognize Him?
    • He wrote about Jesus by using types and shadows.
    • Actually, Moses, himself is a type of Christ.
    • But you ask, what is a “type” or “shadow”?
    • It is a Biblical picture or object lesson, which prepares us to anticipate and appreciate God’s sovereign purposes to be fully realized in Christ.
    • The Bible uses prophetic pre-figurements, patterns, and parables to teach that Christ is the central most important figure in all history.
    • No individual type or shadow can completely contain all the significance of Christ.
    • Yet when this prophetic tapestry is woven together there is a beautiful picture of His identity and His purpose.
  4. Here are a few Biblical examples.
    • In Hebrews 10:1, the law is called a shadow of the good things to come—that is Christ.
    • In Hebrews 8:4-5 the temple sacrifices are said to be a copy or shadow of the heavenly things to be fulfilled in Christ’s sacrifice.
    • In Hebrews 9:9, the wilderness tabernacle is called a copy of heavenly realities, of which we gain a glimpse of in Revelation.
    • Therefore, I am suggesting that types and shadows of Christ in the Law are not incidental nor peripheral.
    • Rather, these types are intentional, instructional and innumerable.
    • For purposes of this sermon series I have identified seven types in Exodus that point to Christ: Moses, the Burning Bush, the Temple, Mt. Sinai, Manna, the Bronze serpent and the Rock.
  • There is another question that must be asked?
  • Even though Exodus is a true and accurate history of Israel’s wanderings, what is the primary focus of this story?
  • Those of you who were part of our Genesis study probably know what I am going to say.
  • The significance of all Old Testament history beginning with Genesis is the story of the Seed.
  • Exodus is another chapter in the ongoing saga of God’s sovereign purpose in history to fulfill His promise of propagating, protecting and prospering His Seed.
  • Moses actually began this story in Genesis 3:15.
  • The serpent is Satan and his seed is unredeemed humanity.
  • The Woman is Israel and the Woman’s Seed is Christ and His lineage.
  • Moses tells us that a male Seed from the Woman, (Christ) would be fatally bruised on the heel by the serpent.
  • The Woman’s Son, however, would ultimately triumph by crushing the head of the serpent.
  • This is the first Gospel foreshadowing Christ’s birth, death and resurrection.
  • Therefore, Moses traces this story through the lineage of Christ from Seth to Noah; from Noah to Abraham; and then through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
  • Throughout this history, the woman and her seed are constantly at risk.
  • We learn, however, that God repeatedly reaffirmed His promise to propagate, preserve and to prosper His people.
  • Whenever we read in Genesis of infertility or famine, we are to understand that the promise of the Seed is under attack by the serpent.
  • For example, when Abraham was faced with a famine, he went to Egypt.
  • Even after Abram lied about his wife being his sister, Sarai was taken into the king’s harem.
  • The crisis is that the promised Seed was at risk.
  • God delivered Sarai from Pharaoh’s enslavement by bringing plagues upon the land.
  • When Pharaoh learned the reason for God’s wrath he expelled Sarai and Abram.
  • He gave them Egypt’s wealth to prod their exodus.
  • Does this sound at all familiar to other stories in the Bible?
  • Later when Jacob and his family faced famine, he sent his sons to Egypt.
  • In Egypt, by divine province, his son Joseph was Pharaoh’s Chief Administrator.
  • Joseph not only received permission for his father and his brother’s to live in Egypt, but they were granted some of the best land to raise their families and their flocks on.
  • The Seed of Christ is preserved and prospering by God’s hand.
  • This is where Genesis ends the story of the Seed.

So let’s turn now to Exodus to pick up the story of the Seed.

  • We will see that Moses is a prophetic type of deliverer. (Exodus 1:1-7)
  • Moses begins this book with the genealogy of Jacob’s household in Egypt.
  • He does not want us to forget the story of the Seed, which he began in Genesis.
  • The chosen Seed of Jacob is thriving and prospering. (Exodus 1:8-11)
  • So great was this blessing that they became a threat to Egypt’s national security.
  • To take advantage of this powerful workforce, Pharaoh put them into slavery to build the world-renowned building projects.
  • The irony is that the more Egypt afflicted the Seed, the more it multiplied.
  • This is the setting for the birth of Moses.

“Moses’ Life Foreshadowed Christ” (Exodus 3:10; 4:5; Deuteronomy 34:12; Acts 7:20-21)

  1. Both Moses and Jesus were born under foreign rule. (Exodus 2:1-4)
  2. Both were born under a king’s edict to kill all male Hebrew children.
    • Moses was protected in the Nile and delivered to Pharaoh’s daughter.
    • Jesus was protected when an angel directed his parents to flee to Egypt.
  3. Both were sovereignly protected by God. (Exodus 2:5-9)
    • Moses was adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter and became the Prince of Egypt.
    • Jesus was adopted by Joseph, who was the son of David and Solomon.
    • Jesus was also the heir to the throne through his mother Mary.
    • Jesus was the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
  4. Both shared royal heritage. (Exodus 2:10)
    • Moses was schooled by his mother in the faith of her fathers.
    • Moses also was mighty in word and deed—trained in the wisdom of Egypt.
    • Jesus was taught the Scriptures, including the words of Moses that spoke of Him.
  5. Both were well prepared to be deliverers.
    • Moses was rejected by the Hebrews as God’s deliverer, after he killed the harsh Egyptian task master.
    • Jesus was rejected by Israel as God’s deliverer, after He claimed to be the Son of God, the deliverer promised by Moses.
  6. Both were rejected by Israel. (Exodus 2:11-15)
    • Moses endured forty years in Midian.
    • Jesus endured forty days of temptation in the Judean wilderness.
  7. Both went through a season of temptation before they began their work.
    • Moses heard the Angel of the LORD (Pre-incarnate Christ in the burning bush) call him to return to Egypt and set his people free.
    • Jesus heard at his baptismal the Father speak from heaven and affirm his Sonship, as well as see the Spirit descended upon him like a dove.
  8. Both were divinely called to be deliverers.
    • No other man in Scripture witnessed divine power and signs like Moses.
    • No one could do the works of Christ—especially forgive sinners.
  9. Both of their ministries and messages were authenticated by signs and wonders.
    • Moses rejected the wealth of Egypt, “choosing rather to suffer affliction with God’s people than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ as greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he looked to the reward.” (Hebrews 11:25-26)
    • Jesus rejected the riches of this world and had no place to rest his head or to bury his body.
  10. Both rejected the riches of this world to obey God’s call.
    • Moses faithfully kept the Passover and led the Hebrews out of Egypt through the Dead Sea.
    • Jesus faithfully became our Passover and delivered His people from slavery to sin and death.
  11. Both Moses and Jesus were deliverers.

Moses and Jesus Were Mediators of God’s Covenants: Moses the Type, and Christ the Fulfillment

  1. Moses was the mediator of the Old Covenant. (2 Corinthians 3:7-18)
    • The Law came through Moses. (Exodus 19:3-9; 33:11; John 1:17, 45; Hebrews 9:19)
    • The Law was written on tablets of stone by God.
    • The Law was given because of our transgression. (Galatians 3:19)
    • The Law contained sacrificial types requiring the blood of lambs and bulls.
    • The Law has a passing glory.
    • Grace and truth came through Christ.
    • The Law, therefore, condemns and teaches us of our need for Christ.
    • The New Covenant was motivated by God’s grace.
    • It justifies us in the sight of God by crediting Christ’s righteousness to our account.
    • Christ’s blood was shed on the cross to satisfy the holy demands of God’s justice and cleanses us from all unrighteousness.
    • The New Covenant of Grace has a surpassing glory. (1 Timothy 2:5-6)
  2. Christ is the Mediator of a greater New Covenant.
  3. Both had a glory as mediators of God’s covenants.
    • Moses’ spoke face to face with God and his face glowed.
    • Jesus is the Word of God, who eternally existed face to face with the Father in glory and He was God.
    • Moses used to veil his face from the fading glory.
    • Jesus Christ was God in all His glory veiled in human flesh.
    • Moses beheld God’s glory on Mt. Sinai when he received the Law.
    • Moses beheld Christ’s transcendent glory on the Mount of Transfiguration.
  4. Both Moses and Christ were God’s prophets. (Exodus 4:11-12; 7:2; Acts 3:20-22; 7:37-38; Luke 24:27, 44)
    • Not only is Christ our Deliverer, our Mediator, but our Prophet.
    • This was an important understanding for the Apostles and the early church.
  5. Jesus Christ is the Prophet foreshadowed by Moses. (Acts 3:18-26)

    “They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: ‘Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested.’” (Revelation 15:3-4)

  6. Both Moses and Jesus were God’s faithful servants.
    • Moses was reckoned by God to be His faithful servant.
    • He spoke whatever God told him to say. (Numbers 12:7-8)
    • Christ was more than a deliverer, mediator, and prophet.
    • He was the faithful Son of God. (Hebrews 3:2-6)
    • It is this One to Whom Moses wrote this song that is sung in heaven:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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