By Femi Aribisala
The God who appeared to Abraham and promised him a son is none other than Jesus Christ.
God says to Moses: “You cannot see my face; for no man shall see me, and live.” (Exodus 33:20). John equally affirms the same: “No one has seen God at any time.” (John 1:18).
If no one has ever seen God and no man can see God and live, which God did Jacob speak to at Penuel? Jacob said: “I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” (Genesis 32:30). How come Jacob did not die after seeing God? The same question applies to Moses: “The Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.” (Exodus 33:11). Which God did Moses speak to face to face?
Jesus says to Israel about God the Father: “You have never heard his voice nor seen his form.” (John 5:37). But Moses saw the form of the Lord. God said: “My servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. I speak with him face to face, even plainly, and not in dark sayings; and he sees the form of the Lord.” (Numbers 12:6-8). If no man has ever seen the form of the Lord, which Lord did Moses see?
Glory of God
The Lord no man has seen is God the Father. The Lord who spoke to Jacob and Moses face to face is the Lord Jesus Christ. Accordingly, David says by divine revelation: “The Lord says to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” (Psalm 110:1). David was king of Israel, so he had no earthly Lord. The Lord that spoke to his Lord was God the Father. The Lord that God the Father told to sit at his right hand is Jesus; God the Son.
Jesus confirms this. He says to the Jews: “From now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.” (Luke 22:69). The writer of 1 Peter further validates this. He says Jesus Christ has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand- with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.” (1 Peter 3:21-22).
Isaiah also says: “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.” (Isaiah 6:1). The Lord Isaiah saw was Jesus. This is confirmed in the New Testament: “Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.” (John 12:41).
Judge of all
In Genesis, God appeared in person to Abraham. He then renewed his promise to give him a child: “I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.” (Genesis18:10). Close investigation reveals that the God who appeared to Abraham and promised him a son is none other than Jesus Christ.
Mindful that his nephew, Lot, lived in Sodom, Abraham pleaded with God concerning the planned destruction of the city. He said: “Far be it from you to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:24-25).
Who is the judge of all the earth? It is Jesus. According to the testimony of Jesus himself: “The Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son.” (John 5:22). Paul also affirms that Jesus is the judge of all: “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 5:10). So Jesus is the God who spoke to Abraham.
Rock of Ages
Not only Moses, but the elders of Israel are all said to have seen God: “Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up and saw the God of Israel.” (Exodus 24:9-10). But again, the God they saw was Jesus Christ. Here is the proof.
Moses chided Israel: “Jeshurun abandoned the God who made him and rejected the Rock his Savior.” (Deuteronomy 32:15). The psalmist says: “Behold, he struck the rock, so that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed.” (Psalm 78:20). Israel’s God and Rock is actually none other than the pre-incarnate Jesus.
Paul says: “All our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.” (1 Corinthians 10:1-4).
Jesus is the Rock of Ages. He is the one who enjoins us to build our house on the rock. (Matthew 7:24-25).
God of Israel
Indeed, on investigation, it becomes clear that Jesus is the God who called Moses to deliver Israel from Egypt.
When God called Moses at the burning bush, Moses asked: “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God replied: “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:13-14).
Jesus reveals he is the “I AM” who sent Moses. He said to the Jews: “Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.” This irritated his listeners who queried him: “You are not yet fifty years old, and you have seen Abraham!” Jesus’ answer was loaded. He said: “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I AM!” (John 8:56-58).
This shows Jesus is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (Exodus 3:15).
Forgiver of sins
When Jesus said: “I and my Father are one,” the Jews decided to stone him to death. They told him: “For a good work we do not stone you, but for blasphemy, and because you, being a man, make yourself God.” (John 10:33).
However, again and again, Jesus proved to be true to his words. When a paralytic was brought to him, he told him: “Son, your sins are forgiven.” The teachers of the law who were there said: “He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Jesus then decided to demonstrate to them that he is God indeed.
He asked them: “Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” He then said to the paralytic: “I tell you, get up, take your bed and go home.” (Mark 2:5-11). The man got up, picked up his bed and went home, proving once and for all that Jesus is the God he claims to be.
In short, the God of the Old Testament is the Jesus of the New Testament. Jesus confirms this to the Jews: “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me.” (John 5:39).