May 21, 2021
Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him (Matthew 17:1-3).
There is no doubt that Moses was the greatest leader of the Hebrew people in their history; some say the greatest leader among men in all of history, except for Jesus. Above all others, he was the epitome of a servant of God. His life was preserved by God as an infant (Exodus 2:1-10). Although he was raised in the courts of Pharaoh. He realized he was a Hebrew and defended his brethren against the harshness of the task-masters. Although he killed an Egyptian for abusing a fellow Hebrew, God preserved his life by allowing him to escape to Midian where he became a shepherd for 40 years.
God called Moses to be the deliverer of the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt. Although he was reluctant to obey, he surrendered his will to that of God. He was God’s man from that day until his death 40 years later. He met with God on Mt. Sinai and received the law that would govern God’s people (Exodus 19). During the 40 years wandering, it was Moses who stood before the Lord continuously as the supreme human leader of His people.
Numbers 12:3 states, Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth. Very humble, meaning he was fully aware of his faults and weaknesses, but took no steps to vindicate himself, rather he let the Lord intervene on his behalf. This is not to say that Moses was weak or shied away from responsibility. It is to say that he understood his role as mediator between God and His people - that God would lead His people from Egypt to Canaan through Moses and not vice versa. Before Israel had prophets, priests, and kings, Moses served in all three roles, taking the responsibility but always deferring to God’s sovereignty.
No one but the Lord God knows the exact moment and place of Moses’ death. He died in a valley in the land of Moab, but there is no indication where his body rests, if it even exists to this day.
Moses was the ‘Great Law-giver’ who spoke of Christ (Deuteronomy 18:18; Acts 3:22) who is the consummation of the law. His appearance with Christ in the transfiguration was to speak with Him concerning his ‘departure’ (lit. His ‘exodus’). The word involves the Lord’s passion, cross, death, resurrection, and ascension - all of which were experienced and understood by Moses through his 40 year service to the Lord. His ‘exodus’ would also be His glory (as indicated in some ancient manuscripts), in answer to His prayer in Gethsemane (John 17:1). Jesus’ death would be His glory because by it He gained the victory over sin, death, and hell, and purchased salvation and eternal life for all who would believe in and receive Him by faith.
“Thank You, Lord Jesus, for this monumental event that not only gave Peter, James, and John assurance in their faith, but gives me that same assurance in faith that You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God. To You be all praise and glory forever, Amen.”