February 20, 2023
Today’s Reading: Ex. 24:8-18
“Moses went up into the mountain of God.” (Exodus 24:13)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. When God gave the Law to the people at Mount Sinai, there were three distinctions for how close one got to the Lord: The blood-sprinkled people; Moses, with the priests and the 70 elders; Moses in the mountain of God. The people worshiped from afar; the elders ate and drank in the Lord’s presence; and only Moses entered the cloud. The closer you got to God, the closer you were to the holiness, and the more risk to sinful humans. This was all meant to prepare us for what God would ultimately do.
When the fulfillment of all of this came, it was not about man ascending to God, but holy God descending to sinners. He did not come in bright glory which made people tremble, but the fulness of deity was veiled in mortal human flesh (Colossians 2:9). An Infant weak and suckling grew into a Man seized by Moses’ disciples, the elders, and crucified as a criminal. On the mount of Calvary, Jesus Christ did what the Law could not do—bring sinners to God.
Now all of those divisions have been removed in Jesus Christ: His is the blood which sprinkles you (Hebrews 12:22-24). He is the great High Priest who intercedes for you (Heb. 6:19-20). He is the holy and true Son who can ascend the hill of the Lord (Psalm 24:3-5)
The Lord has come down to you in order to raise you up into His presence. With a holiness which surpasses that of Moses, you are covered in Christ. You are a beloved child through God’s Son. You have been given boldness and access that surpasses even the Levite high priest standing in the Holy of Holies (Ephesians 3:12).
So what can we do with such access to God? We come to Him as Father, bringing the needs of the world and those of the people we know. We live as pilgrims in this world in the confidence which our Baptism gives, that we have an advocate whose blood speaks on our account and who has put His authoritative forgiveness on human lips (Matthew 18, John 20). We have peace when this world is raging and trembling in Him “who makes wars cease to the end of the earth” (Ps. 46:9). And when everything in creation has been shaken and crumbles away, He has promised us a new heavens and new earth in which righteousness dwells. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Hope of the world, God’s gift from highest heaven, Bringing to hungry souls the bread of life,
Still let Thy Spirit unto us be given To heal earth’s wounds and end our bitter strife. Amen. (LSB 690:2)
-Pastor Michael A. Miller is Pastor at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Lebanon, OR.,
Audio Reflections Speaker: Patrick Sturdivant, Development and Marketing Executive at Higher Things.
Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.