Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Jesus greater than Moses

3.31.2015 Tuesday of Holy Week              Hebrews 3:1-19 Jesus greater than Moses

In the first four chapters, the author of Hebrews is concerned with the superiority of Jesus over angels, Moses, and Joshua. Today’s reading deals with Jesus’ superiority over Moses. We are to consider Jesus as high priest who is greater than the Levitical priests set up by Moses. Christ has done away with the Levitical priesthood and thus is superior to Moses. Jesus is high priest of a new covenant and is thus superior to Moses who initiated the old covenant on Mt. Sinai. These passages develop the idea of Jesus’ superiority by comparing Jesus as the builder of the house rather than as Moses as one who lives in the house. Moses served faithfully as a servant in God’s house while Christ was over God’s house as a son.[2]

Moses was faithful as a servant in God’s house. Jesus was faithful as a Son, thus being superior to Moses. Whose house are you? Whose family are you? To whom do you belong? Do you belong to Moses or to Christ? You belong to the family over which Christ is in place. Why shouldn’t the hope of living with Christ fill you with joy? This is our bold, firm, confident hope. A hope that will not disappoint. Moses was a member of the household of God. Jesus is the creator of that house. He is worthy of a greater glory.

The ancient Rabbis considered Moses to be the greatest man ever. Greater than the angels. The writer of the Hebrews does nothing to criticize Moses. He only looks to properly exalt Jesus.  Moses was faithful. In all His house as a servant. But Jesus, as a Son, is over His own house. Moses was a faithful servant. But he was never called a Son in the way Jesus is called as son.

O God, by the passion of your blessed Son you made an instrument of shameful death to be for us the means of life: Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ, that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen[3]

[1] Image by Ed Rioja © Higher Things
[2] Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B, John Brokhoff, pg.282, CSS Publishing, Lima, OH
[3] Collect for Tuesday of Holy Week, http://www.liturgies.net/Lent/LentenCollects.htm

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