Best stuff in the Bible!!

 
Hebrews, like Revelation, had a hard time gaining admission into the bible. Both books had the same problem – we just don’t know for sure who actually wrote them.  What a shame that would have been, both books have made huge contributions to advancing the Kingdom of God that Jesus Christ talked about almost exclusively.  Besides, we would have missed out on passages like this one.  There is good stuff in the bible, there is some not-so-good stuff in the bible.  And then there is the best stuff in the bible.  That is what we find here in Hebrews chapter 12.

 


You have not come to a physical mountain, to a place of flaming fire, darkness, gloom, and whirlwind, as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai. For they heard an awesome trumpet blast and a voice so terrible that they begged God to stop speaking.   Remember Mt. Sinai?  The place where Moses went up alone for forty days and forty nights, into the fire darkness and gloom described here.  The place where Moses came down to find the Israelites had lost faith in Yahweh and started worshipping the golden calf they  had made from their own possessions.  The place where the Levite priests were consecrated with the blood of 3000 of their own brothers, neighbors, friends and fathers.  

They staggered back under God’s command: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” Moses himself was so frightened at the sight that he said, “I am terrified and trembling.” The author here is describing some of the not so good stuff in the bible.  I say this not because it wasn’t the truth of the time, because it was.  This is part of the progressive revelation of God which began in the garden, continued with Abraham and the patriarchs, wound through Moses and then the Prophets, and finished in Jesus Christ dying on the cross, rising on Sunday, walking the earth in His resurrected body for forty days, then ascending into heaven and sending His Holy Spirit down to earth.   But – this is a picture of God as He was understood and known at the time.  The monster God, which so many to this day live in fear of.  The monster God of which even Moses was terrified.  The monster God that was laid to rest once and for all on the cross with Jesus, yet we keep bringing back to life by taking these parts of the bible and applying to our lives today, without using the filter of Jesus Christ.  As if we don’t know He existed and walked this world and taught us what God is really like.  The author here is simply telling the story to prove a point, using not-so-good stuff from the bible to bring us to some of the best stuff in the bible.

No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things.   Wow!!   No, we have not come to a physical mountain, a place of danger, secrecy and fear.  We have come to Mt Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.  Just as we pray in the Lord’s Prayer – “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.”  Do you see that?   In the old Jerusalem, there was one temple, and many different levels of entry into that temple.  Fewer and fewer people were allowed the deeper you got into it.  Until, finally, you would come to the holy-of-holies, and only one man (the high priest) was allowed to enter into it one time each year to have direct contact with God.  We have come to Mt Zion – the spiritual mountain.  Instead of one temple with ever increasing exclusivity the farther you get into it, our temple is the ENTIRE PLANET.  The temple of God today is everywhere, anywhere believers are gathered in His name!!  The temple of God is no longer ever-increasing in exclusivity – it is all-inclusive.  That holy-of-holies that could only be visited by one man once a year…I ask you – what is the holy-of-holies now??   I’ll tell you what it is, it is the communion table, where the body of Christ is broken for you.  The blood of Christ, shed for you.  Who can come to our holy-of-holies??  ANYBODY THAT WANTS TOO!!!  Who do we encounter there?  You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things.  We have come to Mt Zion…

You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect. You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel.   We come to Jesus, who mediates the New Covenant between God and people.  Not the old covenant of laws and regulations, that resulted in 3000 dying on Mt Sinai.   No, Jesus mediates the new covenant, the covenant of the life-giving spirit, that was introduced with 3000 souls saved on Mt Zion.  We come to his blood on the cross at our holy-of-holies, His communion table.  “And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” Luke‬ ‭22:19-20‬ ‭ESV‬‬.  His blood that cries out for forgiveness, not vengeance.  The best stuff in the bible.

“You have not come to a physical mountain, to a place of flaming fire, darkness, gloom, and whirlwind, as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai. For they heard an awesome trumpet blast and a voice so terrible that they begged God to stop speaking. They staggered back under God’s command: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” Moses himself was so frightened at the sight that he said, “I am terrified and trembling.” No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect. You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:18-24‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/heb.12.18-24.nlt

 

John Lewis

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