Few have a name so great.
“I just hear that name and I shudder,” said Shenzi. Her clansman responded, “Mufasa!” She shook and asked for more, “Oooh … do it again.” Benzai sounded back, “Mufasa!” Shenzi shivered even more. This time, her face puzzles up. Benzai takes it home, “Mufasa! Mufasa! Mufasa!” Shenzi rolls over to her back laughing as only hyenas can.
Most of us will never forget that scene in The Lion King. Mufasa was the lion king. He led the pride to their purpose and protected them from evils of the jungle. His name was known among all. And most shuddered at the mention of it.
“Moses” had a name like that. It even has a similar ring to it. The mention of his name was enough to seize the attention of any Israelite. He was the greatest leader in the history of Israel. When Moses took over, the people were literally in ruins. When he finished, they were headed into the Promised Land. He affected big change, and that is no overstatement.
He found the Israelites in slavery. He took on the dictator of Egypt, the world’s superpower, and extracted the basis of its economy—one million Israelite slaves. After leading them out into the desert, he ensured they had enough food, water, law, and order to keep a holding pattern while he wrote a constitution. With this constitution in place, Moses developed a governmental infrastructure, organized a national military, established a civil leadership system, and staffed all of it. He turned a million slaves into a self-sustaining nation and led them to the Promised Land. In his free time, he wrote Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy—some of the most critical Jewish books of all history.
Moses’ leadership was so great, he is named at least 700 times in the Bible. Even Jesus quoted him. If you mentioned his name to any Jew, they would immediately know who you were talking about and many ideas would rush through their mind. Without question, Moses was a great and transformational leader.
“Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession” (Heb. 3:1-2).
We shouldn’t move too quickly to miss the obvious bridge from chapters 1 and 2 to 3. “Therefore,” says the writer of Hebrews. Chapter 2 began the same way. “Therefore we must pay much closer attention” (Heb. 2:1). He is progressively moving us along a path to see Jesus more clearly.
As children who “share in flesh and blood” with Jesus, we are “made like his brothers in every respect” so that we might identify ourselves with Him, both in His death and resurrection. He became a man like us to become a priest for us to “make propitiation for the sins” of us (Heb. 2:14-18).
With all this in mind, we are called “holy brothers” because He is holy. Our life in His life makes us holy before God because He is holy. We “share in a heavenly calling” by which all who are in Him are called.
The Jewish identity was shaped by the events of Moses and the great Exodus. Their leader entered into the enemy’s land and brought them out of it. By God’s design, he liberated them from slavery to share in a heavenly calling to be holy—set apart—from the rest of the world. But as big as this was, it only foreshadowed the superior leader, God’s glorious leader, Jesus.
He is “the apostle and high priest of our confession.” That is to say, Jesus is the one who was sent by God to deliver His people from spiritual Egypt and its bondage. He is like Moses, and then some. He saves from eternal slavery and liberates to eternal freedom.
Consider Jesus. He is superior to Moses. Hear the name and shudder.
This article was adapted from the study guide, Jesus: The Superior One, written by Jacob Abshire, Laura Jackson, Curtis Riddle, and Katie Van Dyke, and based on sermons by Nathan Lino, pastor of Northeast Houston Baptist Church.