The first three verses of Hebrews chapter 1 are about how Jesus is superior to the prophets. God speaks to us through Jesus now, not prophets. Hebrews 1:4-2:18 is about how Jesus is superior to the angels. The angels are messengers from God, but Jesus is both the messenger and the message from God.  Chapter 3 begins his discussion on how Jesus is far superior to Moses and far more deserving of honor. To the Jews in Jesus’ day, Moses was the bomb! They rejected Jesus and claimed to be disciples of Moses (John 9:28-29). Pink writes, “During the most memorable portion of their history, all of God’s dealings with Israel were transacted through him (Moses). His position of nearness to Jehovah was remarkable, awesome, unique. He was in his own person, prophet, priest and king. Through him the whole of the Levitical economy was instituted. By him the Tabernacle was built. Thus we can well understand the high esteem in which the Jews held this favored man of God.”[1]

It was inconceivable to the Jewish leaders that this Jesus, standing before them in the flesh, was to be more highly esteemed and praised than Moses. That was heresy to even consider such a thing. But that’s exactly what the author of Hebrews called his readers to do; consider it! The first verse of chapter three calls us to think profoundly about it and to reflect on this “Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession.” Moses was certainly “sent” by God, as were all the prophets and angels of old. The Greek word for sent is “apostello.” An apostle was one sent by God. Moses certainly was an apostle in that regard, but Jesus was “the” sent one! Moses was a prophet of old but Jesus was “the” apostle. Yes Moses performed prophetic miracles, but Jesus performed more! By the hand of God, Moses did incredible miracles that delivered a whole nation from slavery, but Jesus did incredible miracles that delivered individuals from sickness, blindness, imprisonment, and even death! Moses was sent by God to redeem a people. Jesus was sent by God to redeem all people!

It’s easy to see how Moses served as a priest to his people. He interceded for them when they broke the Law of God. He even dissuaded God from the entire destruction of the sinful nation. Moses offered sacrifices for the people. Moses sprinkled the blood for the people. Moses gave them drinkable water in a poisoned land. Yes, and more. Moses was certainly a priest for the people. But Jesus is “the” priest for all the people.  He was the sacrifice that satisfies God’s anger over all sin. It’s His very own blood that eliminates the need for any other sacrifice from us. He completely and totally makes peace with God for us. When we choose to focus our attention on the law and our own righteousness, we in essence choose Moses. The author of Hebrews is still addressing people who have been so ingrained and trained in religion that it’s inconceivable to turn from the law to Christ. That’s us! We still want religious rituals, restrictions, and regulations in order to prove ourselves worthy rather than accept the grace of God that makes us worthy through faith in Jesus. We have a choice! Choose Jesus!

[1] Arthur Walkington Pink, An Exposition of Hebrews (Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1954), 143.