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God’s Word for You

Hebrews 11:24-28

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Wednesday, December 24, 2014

In these verses, we see Moses in an excellent way. Earlier, by showing how superior Christ is to Moses, our author may have led some to think that Moses should no longer enter our minds. But “superior” does not mean that the inferior one has no value at all. Instead, we see Moses in light of his true faith; Moses the man, Moses the believer, and in case you’ve never considered him in this way, here he is: Moses, by faith, the Christian.

24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.

Here Moses is shown to prefigure Christ by setting aside the greatness that was his by right, as an adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He had every right to the power, dignity, authority and protection of being part of the Egyptian nobility. So it was in a much greater way with Christ. He set aside the greatness that was his as God, the Son of the Everlasting Father. He chose to be mistreated for the sake of mankind rather than enjoy even the simplest pleasures of a God-pleasing life (“Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head,” Matthew 8:20). He regarded the disgrace of the cross for the sake of mankind to be the ultimate gift he would give to rescue us from the devil, the world, and our own sinful human nature, because he was looking ahead to our reward.

27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.

This isn’t a reference to Moses leaving Egypt in disgrace and terror after he murdered the Egyptian (Exodus 2:12), but when he led Israel out of Egypt (Hosea 11:1). Knowing God was with him, he trusted in the Lord and led his people to Canaan. So also Jesus’ parents, who ran to Egypt to flee the murderous edict of Herod, returned by faith and trusted in the Lord, returning to Canaan.

28 By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.

God instituted the first Passover through Moses, a reminder for the people of their rescue from bondage in Egypt that was about to happen as they ate the meal. God instituted the Lord’s Supper at the very last Passover meal that was kept in faith, a reminder for all who believe of our rescue from the bondage of sin which was about to happen as Jesus and his disciples ate the meal. The first Passover meant the actual release from slavery in Egypt, and every time we celebrate the Lord’s Supper—the second Passover, if you will permit me to call it that—we receive the actual release and forgiveness of our sins and our slavery to the guilt of those sins. So Moses is merely a shadow, but a true shadow, of the greater things we have in our Lord Jesus.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

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