Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Party Time.

I was actually going to write about an entirely different topic today, but I stumbled across this passage and knew I couldn't move on without sharing:

"You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, because they could not bear what was commanded: 'If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.' The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, 'I am trembling with fear.'
"But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel." -Hebrews 12:18-24
WHOA. If those verses had no effect on you, you'd better read them again. Slowly. Don't worry, the rest of your life can wait for a few more minutes. These words are profound, life-changing. Drink them in.

This passage is contrasting two covenants: the old (established under Moses) and the new (established under Jesus). The old covenant was that of the law. It was a time when the people of God were separated from Him by a thick, heavy curtain. The people could not touch the mountain where the tangible presence of God had descended, for it was holy, and they would surely die (Exodus 19:12-13).

But we are under the new covenant. The covenant of grace. We now have direct access to His presence. We have died and been made new, granted access to the holy of holies through the sacrifice of the most perfect Lamb. His presence is no longer a place of fear but a place of joy, of celebration. We are the "church of the firstborn", and as such are given a firstborn's inheritance--the best that the Father has to offer, a share in His eternal kingdom.

We have come, not to the old covenant, but to the new. Not to Mount Sinai, but to Mount Zion. Not to the law, but to grace. Not to rules, but to freedom. Not to fear and trembling, but to intimacy and joy. So sing, dance, make a joyful noise! Join the celebration of "thousands upon thousands of angels" as we praise our God for the glorious love He has lavished on His children.

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