[Feb 21]--Two Very Different Covenants

Exodus 20:18-21

Overall, I was very impressed with the movie The Prince of Egypt. I especially loved the presentation of Moses’ encounter with the Lord at the burning bush, and most of the scenes were either directly from Scripture or at least consistent with what could've happened. One major problem I had with the film, however, is how it ended. Not the drowning of the Egyptian army, but the very end when Moses comes down from the mountain, presumably with the Ten Commandments in his hands. The Hebrews all stand in awe, gazing with adoration and looking more than willing to enter into this new relationship with their Redeemer. This is certainly NOT the image from Scripture, as you can read in this passage.

They were terrified, and with good reason. The Lord met with Moses, and Almighty God's appearance was accompanied with thunder, lightning, smoke, and a loud trumpet. This was so frightening that they begged for Moses to be their mediator instead of having the Almighty speak anymore to them directly. Moses told them that the main purpose of this display of God’s power was to “keep [them] from sinning.” He ultimately wanted to have an intimate relationship with them, but he had to establish at the very beginning who was in charge. They were not an employee and a boss negotiating over terms of employment, and they were certainly not buddies who were going to “hang out” with each other. He was God and they were his people, and the intimacy of their relationship was going to be within that framework. Transcendence was going to be established, and then immanence.

The passage should make us so grateful for the New Covenant we have in Christ. Read Hebrews 12:18-24: "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."

As wonderful and awe-inspiring as the First Covenant under Moses was, ours is infinitely more marvelous. Most of them only had a relationship with the Lord from a distance, but ours is much more intimate. When Jesus died, the curtain in the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom, indicating that the way has now been opened for us to come directly into his presence. The door's open wide. Come on in.

Lord Jesus, it took your blood to get me into the presence of the Father. You are my High Priest, my Mediator. You are all I need.

No comments:

Post a Comment