Advent Reading: Acts 3:17-22

Promise Made | While God was with Moses on Mount Sinai and inscribing the law on stone tablets for the benefit of His people, they were busy making idols. It had been less than two months since they had praised God for delivering them from Egypt: “Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?” [1]. Yet, while Moses was with God, they grew impatient and followed Aaron’s call to worship: “These [idols] are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” [2]. When Moses came down, he witnessed their absurdity: “You have sinned a great sin” [3]. Knowing God’s mercy, he continued, “I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement” [4]. Then he begged God: “Forgive their sin – but if not, please blot me out” [5]. But God refused his offer. Instead, He spoke through Moses: “God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you” [6].  

Promise Kept | Jesus is that prophet. He is the ultimate mediator whose offer to be blotted out was accepted by God. As Peter preached, What God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. Repent, therefore, and turn again that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers’[7].

Promise Meant | Jesus is greater than Moses. Moses was a shadow; Jesus is the reality. Through Moses, God gave the law on tablets of stone; through Jesus, God gave the law on hearts of flesh in the Spirit. Moses met with God; Jesus is God. Moses offered his life; Jesus gave his life. Thus, “Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses” [8]. He – not Moses – is the promised prophet.

Prayer | Lord, We are like the Israelites – we praise you and then, shortly thereafter, forget about you. Yet, today, as we prepare Christmas, we give you thanks for Jesus, whose life was blotted out so that we would not be. We repent, therefore, and embrace these times of refreshing in your presence. Amen.



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Footnotes[1] Ex. 15:11 ESV  |  [2] Ex. 32:4 ESV  |  [3] Ex. 32:30 ESV  |  [4] Ex. 32:30 ESV  |  [5] Ex. 32:31 ESV  |  [6] Deut. 18:15 ESV  |  [7] Acts 3:17-21 ESV  |  [8] Heb. 3:3 ESV