Explore the profound connections between Moses' teachings and Jesus' mission. From prophecies to symbolic events, discover how the Old Testament points to Christ's redemptive role.
John 5:45-47 — Moses Pointing to Jesus — Aneel Aranha
Hello and welcome to the Bite-Sized Gospel with Aneel Aranha. Today we will reflect on John 5:45-47. Listen.
[Jesus said:] "But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?"
A few passages ago, we reflected on the interconnectedness of Scripture —on how the Old Testament is replete with prophecies, types, and foreshadowings that point to Jesus. In today's passage, Jesus refers to these again, speaking about the things that Moses said and did that pointed to him.
We all know Moses, who is known for leading the Israelites out of Egypt and delivering the Ten Commandments. Let us look at some incidents that point to Jesus to understand how much the Old Testament points to the New.
In Deuteronomy 18:15, Moses said, "The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him." This is often seen as a direct prophecy of Jesus, who would be a mediator between God and humanity, just as Moses was.
Then, the Passover Lamb. While Moses didn't explicitly say the Passover lamb was a type of the Messiah, the parallels are evident. The lamb was to be without defect (Exodus 12:5), and its blood protected the Israelites from death. Jesus is often called the "Lamb of God" (John 1:29), who is without sin and whose sacrifice protects believers from spiritual death.
Next, the Bronze Serpent. In Numbers 21, Moses made a bronze serpent to heal those bitten by venomous snakes (Numbers 21:4-9). Jesus directly compares this event to himself, indicating that just as the Israelites looked to the bronze serpent for healing, people would look to him on the cross for salvation (John 3:14-15).
Then, the manna from heaven. Moses pointed out that God provided the manna in the wilderness (Exodus 16). Jesus draws a parallel between the manna and himself in John 6, calling himself the "bread of life" that came down from heaven (John 6:32-35).
Then, the rock in the desert. In Exodus 17, Moses struck a rock, and water flowed out to quench the thirst of the Israelites. In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul identifies this rock as Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4), suggesting a typological connection between the rock Moses struck and Jesus, the living water.
There are more examples, but you get the picture. Now, the Jewish leaders prided themselves on their adherence to the Mosaic law, viewing Moses as their advocate. But Jesus flips this idea, suggesting that Moses, in whom they've placed their trust, will stand as their accuser. This is not because Moses is against them but because they've missed the heart of his writings. What Moses wrote pointed to him.
Jesus asks, "But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?" If the Jewish leaders cannot believe the writings of Moses, which they've studied and revered, how can they believe the words of Jesus, whom they view with suspicion?
The question for the world today is this: Do WE believe what Jesus says?
God bless you.