Moses is perhaps the most significant type of of Christ in the Old Testament. There are many examples of types of Christ given, such as the high priest, the sacrificial lamb, the branch that was thrown in the bitter water at Mara. Moses had a great many things in common with Christ; he led the Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt, gave them God’s Law, and led them through the wilderness to the Promised Land. Some teachers go as far as to point out that Moses was taken out of the water by Pharaoh’s daughter and Jesus was taken up from the waters of baptism by John the Baptist. That might be a stretch… but those things did happen. Jesus frees the Christian believer from slavery to sin, teaches us God’s Law (kept it perfectly so we don’t have to actually), and leads us through this present wilderness we are in toward the promised land of God’s Kingdom.
Moses is a type of Christ and many aspects of his life parallel things Jesus would do in his earthly ministry. The letter to the Hebrews is clearly addressing Christian believers – holy brothers who share a heavenly calling in 3:1 – but this audience is one that grew up in the traditions and rituals of the old covenant. Moses is a type of Christ for the Christian believer but was first perhaps the most significant figure in their history. Abraham is the father of all Hebrew people but through Moses God gave the Law. The Apostle Paul contrasts the Law with grace and the old covenant with the new to emphasize that grace is superior but he never says the Law is bad. It was a gift God gave to his people in the wilderness. Paul says it’s like a schoolmaster or a tutor. He compares the Law which came first to an heir that is not old enough to receive the inheritance. The heir has a caretaker, a trustee, and waits until adulthood to receive the inheritance. The Law took care of us until we receive the inheritance, namely the ability to be adopted as sons and daughters of God which is possible through Jesus Christ. Moses was like a faithful servant to God in verse 5 but Jesus rules the over the house like as a son (v. 6).
The remainder of the chapter, and these chapters have all been short thus far, reminds us that the followers of Moses failed to enter the land of promise because of their unbelief. If we have heard the call of Christ we must not fail because of the same unbelief and hardening of our hearts. This line of reasoning will continue right into Hebrews 4.