Mount Sinai vs. Mount Zion

Yesterday we looked at the arrival of Moses and the people at Mount Sinai.  This is the place where they would receive the 10 commandments and where Moses would catch a glimpse of God’s presence from the cleft in the rock.  However, the scene on the mountain when they arrive is described as treacherous (fire, storms, and earthquakes) because God’s holy presence had come to rest there.

This morning, I thought I’d share an excerpt from Hebrews 12.  In it, the writer references the dangerous presence of God that Moses saw on Mount Sinai.  The writer then contrasts that mountain with Mount Zion (a place symbolizing the Jesus-led kingdom of God).

Hebrews 12:18-24
18 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; 19 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, 20 because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”

22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

To the degree that Sinai was unapproachable, Zion is equally and conversely welcoming.  In the kingdom of God, under the new covenant of Jesus Christ, we are greeted not by isolation but by thousands of angels singing and a host of Christians welcoming us into God’s presence.  The kingdom of God is populated with joyful worshippers inviting our participation.  God is clearly present on both mountains, and at Zion has not ceased to be powerful and Holy.  However, now Jesus Christ stands beside him, making a way by his death and resurrection, for us to enter the city with boldness and gladness.

Let that image soak into your heart and mind this morning.  It’s a beautiful picture of our wonderful homecoming in the future that also reaches into the present and testifies to the kingdom of God that is alive and building in our world today.

Have a great week!

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