5. The Perfect Mediator (Exodus 33 and 34)
After the Israelites were found bowing down to a golden calf, Moses feared the absence of God’s presence. Desperately wanting to know he still had God’s favor, Moses pleaded with God to show him his glory. So, God took Moses up to a cleft in the rock and said all of his goodness would pass before Moses, but since no man could see God’s face and live, he would have to cover Moses until he had passed by. Despite Moses not getting God’s face, he glimpsed enough of God’s glory to be visibly changed by it.
The Hebrew word panim used in Exodus 33 and 34 for “presence” and “glory” is synonymous with “face.” But the reason Moses did not get to see God’s face is because only later at the cross would the full radiance of God’s glory be displayed in the face of another man who had God’s back. This time it was God’s own son that he turned his back on. His son is the one who bore God’s judgment of sin, in order that we could have God’s face.
One more skip ahead to the New Testament, this time in Luke 24 when Jesus appeared on the road to Emmaus after his resurrection. Jumping into the conversation between the travelers over Jesus’ death and their dashed hopes that he was the Messiah, we read, “And beginning with Moses (the first five books of the Bible) and all the Prophets (the rest of the Old Testament) he interpreted to them in all the Scripture the things concerning him” (Luke 24:27).
We have now seen five places we may have missed Jesus before. As we approach God’s Word as the one unfolding story about Jesus, instead of viewing it as disjointed bits of advice and rules, is when it becomes for us the “manna” we need. This is why Exodus! Happy hunting in your continued search to see him in it. “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17) who is visible throughout all of God’s Word.
* Portions of the article were adapted from The Gospel-Centered Life in Exodus for Teens © 2018 New Growth Press.
Kristen Hatton is the New Growth Press author of The Gospel-Centered Life in Exodus for Students, Face Time: Your Identity in a Selfie World and Get Your Story Straight. In addition to her own blog, she frequently contributes to the Rooted Ministry and PCA Women’s enCourage blogs, and recently started Redemptive Parenting on Instagram. Kristen lives in Oklahoma with her pastor husband and is the mother of three teenage/young adult children. Learn more by visiting her website at www.kristenhatton.com.
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