Moses and the Christmas Story

Date: December 19, 2022

For the law was given through Moses but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17 KJV

He was portrayed by the master sculptor, Michelangelo, as a powerful figure with a stern face and horns. Believe it or not, Moses set the stage for the Christmas story.

“My sole purpose in going to Florence,” wrote Mark Twain in his book, A Tramp Abroad, “was to see this immortal ‘Moses.’“[1] That was in 1880 but tourists still flock to see that almost 8-foot sculpture of Moses.

You may be surprised to know that Moses gets figured into the story of Christmas. The Bible book of John says, “For the law was given through Moses but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17 KJV).

Michelangelo pictured Moses with horns, which represented power and authority! What a contrast to the tiny, infant Savior who was born in Bethlehem. No wonder the book of John contrasts the law that was given under Moses with the grace that came through Jesus Christ.

The law of the Old Testament showed man’s failure–our inability to measure up to the holiness of God–while grace represents God’s reaching down to us to bring, forgiveness, healing, and restoration. With our failures, our sins, our frustrations, our good but failed intentions, Christmas reminds us that God reached down to touch us in our need. “Grace and truth, came by Jesus Christ.”

Someday the once baby of Bethlehem will reign as King of Kings over all. Man may be impressed with the image of the lawgiver, Moses, chiseled out of marble by the hands of Michelangelo, but the incomparable work was done by Jesus who gave himself to bring us unfailing love.

[1] Twain, Mark. “The Complete Works of Mark Twain.” A Tramp Abroad – Chapter L by Mark Twain,