First Presbyterian Church of Blackwood
21 E. Church Street
Blackwood, NJ 08012
Sermon Notes (Sunday, February 5, 2023)
Rev. Dr. Mouris A. Yousef, Pastor
“Christ is Superior to Moses!”
Jeremiah 10:6-7; Hebrews 3:1-6
As we continue our reflections looking at the supremacy of Christ in the letter to the Hebrews, we come this morning to Hebrews chapter 3 where we get to know that Christ is superior to Moses. This was not an easy discussion to have with Christians from a Jewish background. After all, Moses was regarded as the most important figure in the Old Testament. He was the one who delivered Israel from the hands of their oppressors. He is the one who performed some great and mighty miracles including the parting of the Red Sea. In Exodus 33:11, the Bible says that “The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.” As far as I know, Moses was the only human who had this privilege. Moses was the mediator of the Old Covenant in Sinai. The Law was given through him on Mount Sinai. In short, Moses was adored and revered by everyone.
And here comes the author of the letter to the Hebrews to say that there is greater than Moses here. There is someone who is worthy of more glory than Moses. Moses was great, but Christ is greater. Moses was glorious. But standing next to Jesus, he looks like a gnat. Hold a candle out at arm’s length and look at the noonday sun next to that little flame—that’s Moses’ glory next to Christ. Jesus’ glory eclipses Moses’ glory. The author of Hebrews says that Jesus is worthy of more honor than Moses because He is the Creator and Moses is the creation, just like the Creator or Builder of a house is more worthy than the house that was built.
Let me make sure we get this right. This comparison between Jesus and Moses doesn’t put Jesus and Moses on different teams; it’s to put Moses in the right place and Jesus in the right place on the same team. You and I should love Moses; we ought to love him because he is one of the great heroes of faith. But he is on a different place in the team than Jesus. Jesus is the Captain, the Owner, and the General Manager of the team. Moses is a player; a faithful player.
The Hebrew Christians had begun well. Early in their Christian experience they endured great suffering and persecution. Many had their property confiscated on account of their faith, and they endured it joyfully as we read in Hebrews 10:32-34. But now they were in danger of drifting back into Judaism and neglecting their great salvation in Jesus Christ as the author states in Hebrews 2:1-4. We are always facing the danger of drifting away from the Lord. We are always facing the danger of settling for less. Like the Hebrew Christians, we can start great and finish terrible. In his letters, Paul spoke about people who started great but finished very poor. So the author is exhorting them to endurance.
In our text this morning, the message is simple: To endure, consider Jesus. Consider Jesus. Ponder Him. Fix your eyes on Him. To consider somethings requires time and effort. It doesn’t happen automatically, especially when you’re busy. But if you take the time to do it, it usually yields rich rewards. Our antidote to drifting and our strength for endurance is to consider Jesus Christ from His Word. I implore myself first, because I’m prone to drift, and I implore you: Take time to consider Jesus often! Our passage this morning suggests two ways to consider Jesus:
First: Consider Jesus as the Apostle of our Confession
This is the only time in Scripture that the title “apostle” is applied to Jesus. “Apostle” literally means, “one who is sent.” The Gospel of John often refers to Jesus as being sent by the Father (John 3:17, 34; 5:36-38). He came to reveal the Father to us and to accomplish the Father’s purpose, to redeem us by shedding His blood. Jesus said that He did nothing on His own initiative, but He only sought the will of the one who sent Him (John 5:30).
Jesus is the apostle of our confession, our faith, the body of the Christian truth. We are to believe what He has taught us in Scriptures; to value what He taught us to value and to prioritize what He calls us to prioritize.
Second: Consider Jesus as the High Priest of our Confession
The Apostle of our faith brings God down to us; the High Priest brings us up to God. Christ is our High Priest who is always present before the throne of God to intercede on our behalf. Although he was never called an apostle, in function Moses fulfilled that role in Israel. God sent Moses to deliver His people from bondage in Egypt. But Moses was not a high priest. That role fell to his brother, Aaron. Jesus fulfills both roles in one. He is our Apostle and our High Priest. We must submit to His commands as the authority of God Almighty. We must come before God only through the merits of Jesus’ blood. Think often and carefully of Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession!
Friends, let’s consider Jesus! He is God’s sent one to us and He is our High Priest. As the one sent by God to us, He reveals the very nature of the Father. He is God’s love and grace in a human form. As our High Priest, He brings us up to God when we cannot bring ourselves. He is our beginning and our end, our Alpha and our Omega, the author and finisher of our faith, and we need to hold fast to our confidence and confession in Him. He has no equal in the heavens above or on the earth beneath. To Him, to our Apostle and High Priest, be glory and honor forever and ever. Amen.
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