Mystery on the Mount -- The Resurrection of Moses
Deuteronomy 34:5-6 So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-peor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.
Moses was the first leader the children of Israel had ever known. By God's mighty hand, Moses led them out of the land of Egypt. But his disobedience to God in striking the rock the second time when he had been told to speak to it left him on the wilderness side of Jordan. Num 20: 8-12 God promised that Moses could see the promised land, but could not go over. Moses was sweetly kissed to sleep by God and buried by the Lord. But no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.
We have no difficulty suggesting the Jews searched for the grave of Moses, no doubt to worship it. They mourned for a considerable period. They were still fresh enough in the pagan worship of ages past that they would have attempted to make Moses a God. But no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day. Just the fact they admit no man knows the location is evidence they looked for it.
The Lord had even told them where the burial took place: .in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-peor. But even had they found it, they would not have found the body of Moses. Perhaps they even discovered a grave they suspected to have been Mosesí but couldnít be certain because it was empty!
Let's go to the New Testament and Mount of Transfiguration.
Matthew 17:1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
What an unusual pair to appear on the mount with Christ! Had the Jews of that day been polled to determine whom they would have most desired to see, many names would crowd the list: Abraham, Noah, Daniel, Job, Jacob, Issac or even King David. But the Lord had a purpose in these two. They represented the Law and the Prophets.
And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.
Luke 16:16 The law and the prophets [were] until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.
Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here... Amen. Peter understated the case.
We know that Christ, by his own power was transfigured, and His own glory shone forth there. We know how He, Peter, James and John came to be there. But what of Elias?
Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him...
Enoch is the first record we have of someone leaving this planet without the sting of death. And unless we are given further details, by first appearance becomes our precedent for all similar cases. Elijah was taken by God. The verse in Hebrews 11 lets us conclude he also did not see death. We know his sinful body had to be changed by God to be fit for eternal heaven, yet he did not die. We reason, therefore that Elias is on the Mount of Transfiguration in a glorified or spirit form.
But what about Moses? He died and was buried. In order for Moses to be there it must be in a physically resurrected body!
Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
If Peter has fully understood what he was seeing, his desire would not have been to burden them with tabernacles, but rather, to cast off his own. These figures stood on this Mount as examples to the disciples, of the manner in which our bodies will be changed and resurrected.
I Corinthians 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
And note as well, Peter had no problem identifying the ancient figures that lived generations and thousands of years before him. You know he didn't flip through an old book looking for pictures of the prophets to determine who stood with him. Divine inspiration and instant knowledge. Another hint of what eternal heaven will be like.
I Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
But how is it possible that Moses could be physically brought out of the grave? Or was he on the Mount only in Spirit form, as so many proclaim? What saith the scriptures?
Jude 1:8-9 Likewise also these [filthy] dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
Can you imagine Satan coming forward and arguing his case? "You can't take that body. It belongs to me. The power of sin and death still reigns over it and no price of redemption has been paid!"
Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
The devil held the power of death, until the victory of the cross. The resurrection of Moses would have taken place before Christ suffered, died and rose again.
I Corinthians 15:53-56 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory? The sting of death [is] sin; and the strength of sin [is] the law.
How fitting the sting of death be gone from the one who represented the law!
I Corinthians 15:57 But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
What a wonderful picture those on the mount provided us of the changes these bodies will make on that glorious morning!
I Corinthians 15:51-52 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
I Thessalonians 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
4:17 Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
My friends, if He brought Moses from the dead before the price of redemption was paid in time, (although Christ stood as surety against all costs), how much more can we rejoice in knowing we too will come forth or be changed, thanks to the shed blood of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!
And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.
And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying,
Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.
But now, declare it from the rooftops! Shout it throughout the earth! The King has paid the ransom for His people and will soon return to gather His Bride! How fortunate that Moses was considered a friend of God and enabled to enjoy what we anxiously await. Moses was prohibited from entering the promised land as judgment for disobedience in striking the Rock the second time instead of speaking to it as commanded. Yet how quickly did mercy follow for Moses? Denied entry into the promised land, but grace gave him a personal tour from another mountain.
Romans 8:23 And not only [they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body.
II Corinthians 5:2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:
For years, Iíve heard the argument that Satanís contention over the body of Moses in Jude was about the ďfirst 5 books of the bible,Ē the body of writing with which Moses is credited. But what authority or contention can Satan bring against Godís word? He has no legal ground on which to argue. He did have a scriptural case over the physical body of Moses.
Brother Royce Ellis