A Prophet Like Moses

Key Verse: “The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.”
—Deuteronomy 18:15

Selected Scripture:
Deuteronomy 18:15-22

TO FIND AN APOSTLE speaking to the fulfilment of prophecy is a great advantage in safeguarding against error and uncertainty. Such is the case when Peter recites the words of our Key Verse and identifies this “Prophet” as Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:20-22) Peter describes the likeness of this coming prophet not in the form of personality or nature, but in broad terms of position and work. This general likeness is referred to by the Apostle Paul when he states that the experiences of the nation of Israel, under the leadership of Moses, were examples, or types, for the instruction and admonition of those who would live under the leadership of Christ.—I Cor. 10:1-11

We first note Christ is the prophet like unto Moses as shown in the Passover. The institution of the Passover, recorded in Exodus 12:1-28, describes how the firstborn of Israel were “passed over” from the death-plague pronouncement, and that as a result they and the rest of the Israelites were given new life, free from Egyptian bondage. The Apostle Paul identifies the greater Passover lamb as Christ. (I Cor. 5:7) We recall that the blood of the Israelites’ slain Passover lamb was to be put upon the doorposts and lintels of their houses, so that the lives of the firstborn would be preserved. Thus, they were “redeemed.” (Exod. 13:15) This was a figure of the reality which would come later through the precious blood of Christ, the source of true redemption. (I Pet. 1:18-20) The applied blood of the lamb preserved the life of the firstborn and provided the Israelites escape from bondage, but they also needed strength for the wilderness journey that lay before them. In fulfilment of this, Jesus told his disciples that he was the true “bread from heaven,” a source of spiritual food to strengthen his footstep followers in their consecrated journey.—John 6:27-58

We also see that Christ is the prophet like unto Moses as it pertains to the resurrection. After their release, the Israelites were pursued by Pharaoh and his host. Blocked from escape by the waters of the Red Sea, God saved them by parting the waters so that the people walked safely to the opposite side on dry ground. Pharaoh and his armies, attempting to follow, were destroyed in the waters. (Exod. 14:1-31) The Apostle Paul says the Israelites were all “baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea,” and he further teaches that baptism is emblematic of both death and resurrection.—I Cor. 10:2; Rom. 6:3-5

Christ is the prophet like unto Moses also as pertaining to the attainment of life through God’s law. In this, the order of Israel’s experiences is significant. After the Passover and their deliverance through the Red Sea came the giving of God’s law to Israel. Thus it is also with the greater prophet than Moses. After the death of Jesus, the greater Passover lamb, for the redemption of the human race, the subsequent raising of all mankind from the dead during his Messianic kingdom will take place. Then will come the giving of God’s law to all the people. For Israel, Mount Sinai was the place of the law-giving “glory.” In the greater fulfilment, Mount Zion is the scene of “the glory that excelleth.” (II Cor. 3:7-11) Under Christ, all nations are to be delivered from the bondage of sin and death and be led to symbolic Mount Zion, to receive the law of our loving Heavenly Father.—Heb. 12:18-24; Isa. 2:2,3