NT Connect: Hebrews 11:23-28
Weekly Reading: Exodus 1-5
The Reproach of Christ
Jumping into Exodus this week, we see that a lot has changed since the ending of Genesis. More than 400 years has passed, and the people of Israel have become enslaved to the Egyptians. Fear drove the Egyptians to give them agonizing burdens, but Israel continued to grow stronger even under severe oppression. Many wondered if God heard their cries and knew their pain, but he was well aware of Israel’s affliction and suffering. He was waiting on the right time and the right man to lead his people out of Egypt.
Few biblical characters are as pivotal to the gospel narrative as Moses. In his lifetime, Moses was used by God to issue plagues, lead the Exodus from Egypt, split the Red Sea, receive the Ten Commandments, and take Israel within sight of the Promised Land. Sometimes, I struggle to leave the couch! That is why Moses is a such a captivating figure. His story is not your typical rags to riches story. Actually, it is the exact opposite! Moses could have maintained a much easier and more lavish life.
We read in Exodus 1 and 2 this week that Pharaoh issued a decree to execute all of Israel’s newborn sons. Not obeying such a heinous command, Moses’ mother hid him as long as she could. When there was no other option she crafted a waterborne basket, and by faith, she placed Moses in the basket on a heavily trafficked portion of the river. To their surprise, Moses was not only discovered by an Egyptian woman but one of Pharaoh’s daughters! This discovery and adoption allowed Moses to be brought up as Egyptian royalty. Comfort, refinement, and wealth were common place for him. Despite the ease of maintaining a royal lifestyle, he rejected wealth and comfort to be associated with and seek justice for his true people. It was better to suffer with his brethren than to look on their misery from his own comfort.
This is where we begin to understand what the “reproach of Christ” means in Hebrew 11:26. Simply put, reproach means to suffer or endure penalty. Moses was willing to reject his status and endure the sufferings of his people for the greater good of seeing God’s promise fulfilled. Moses was a prophetic forerunner of what Jesus did for you and me. Jesus stepped away from his majesty and splendor as Triune Godhead to join us in an earthly body. As we know, that led to his own crucifixion and death. Jesus did this because the reward of salvation and eternal life for those that come to faith in him was a greater than the suffering he would face! We learn from Moses and Jesus that it is better to suffer for eternal rewards than have comfort in temporary treasures.