Saturday after Laetare
Scripture: Deuteronomy 34:1-12 (NKJV)
34:1 Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is across from Jericho. And the Lord showed him all the land of Gilead as far as Dan, 2 all Naphtali and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, 3 the South, and the plain of the Valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, as far as Zoar. 4 Then the Lord said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to give Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have caused you to see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.”
5 So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. 6 And He buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth Peor; but no one knows his grave to this day. 7 Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died. His eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished. 8 And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days. So the days of weeping and mourning for Moses ended.
9 Now Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; so the children of Israel heeded him, and did as the Lord had commanded Moses.
10 But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, 11 in all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, before Pharaoh, before all his servants, and in all his land, 12 and by all that mighty power and all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.
“But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face.”
In Deuteronomy 18:18 the Lord God promised that He would raise up for Israel a Prophet like Moses, in whose mouth He would put His Words and who would speak all that the Lord God commands. After our text announces that Joshua took over for Moses after his death, it tells us that there was no prophet like Moses that had arisen after his death. Therefore, the prophecy in chapter 18 does not refer to Joshua.
It in fact refers to the New Testament Joshua, the Lord Jesus Christ. The name Joshua means “Jehovah is salvation,” but the true Joshua, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the one true and only Savior of the world. He fulfills the Law of God for us. The Law was given through Moses, but the Prophet promised by the Lord God, who would arise after Moses, fulfills the Law broken daily by us. He then takes our sins upon Himself and endures our punishment on the tree of the holy cross.
As we enter into Passiontide and our focus shifts from our sins and our breaking of the Law to the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, let us give thanks for the Prophet who has arisen for us and wins for us forgiveness, life, and salvation by His death. He alone bestows such blessings upon us through the faith created by the Holy Ghost with the Means of Grace.
We pray: Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we, who for our evil deeds do worthily deserve to be punished, by the comfort of Thy grace may mercifully be relieved; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.