The Lord said to Moses, “Cut for yourself two tablets of stone like the first, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. 2 Be ready by the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to me on the top of the mountain. 3 No one shall come up with you, and let no one be seen throughout all the mountain. Let no flocks or herds graze opposite that mountain.” 4 So Moses cut two tablets of stone like the first. And he rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him, and took in his hand two tablets of stone. 5 The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. 6 The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” …
10 And he said, “Behold, I am making a covenant. Before all your people I will do marvels, such as have not been created in all the earth or in any nation. And all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the Lord, for it is an awesome thing that I will do with you…
29 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. 30 Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses, and behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him.
The people were afraid to go up the mountain close to God because of the thunder, the smoke and fire and the shaking earth. Understandable! So, they said, Moses, you go up for us. He did.
When he came back down, they discovered another source of fear. The face of Moses shone because he had been with God. Moses had somehow “absorbed” something of the glory of God so much that his face shone with that glory.
This was an excellent Old Testament picture of what we have in Christ. Jesus dropped one of the most important principles for understanding Scripture in one obscure passage in Luke 24:25-27 “And he said to them, ‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” The phrase, “Moses and all the Prophets” refers to all of the Old Testament. The important point, all of the Scriptures are essentially about Jesus Christ.
In this section, Moses prefigured Jesus Christ. Moses came out of Egypt as did Jesus as a little child. Moses led Israel out of slavery in Egypt; Jesus leads us out of slavery to sin. Moses was the mediator for Israel, and Jesus is our Mediator. Moses brought the Ten words, and Jesus is the Word (John 1:1). By Moses came the law, by Jesus Christ comes grace and truth (steadfast love and faithfulness). The face of Moses shone with the glory of God; we see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ in the gospel. 2 Corinthians 4:5-6 “For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
Through the gospel, we see the glory of God in Jesus Christ. In Christ, we see all of God’s many perfections. We can’t see God directly; his glory has to be mediated through the man Christ Jesus. Then we see his glory.
The great many parallels between Moses and Christ give us an indication of the depth of God’s love for us that he would weave such a beautiful story through centuries to show us his glory.
What is your reaction to this piece? Did you previously realize the tremendous continuity between the Old Testament and the New Testament?