Meeting God

The book of Hebrews shows how the Old Covenant types and shadows are all fulfilled in Christ. The Old Covenant saints received the promises, but “did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.” This “something better” that these saints looked for and did not receive is that which God has now provided for us. We have “a better priest, a better hope, better promises, a better covenant, because the heavenly things have been cleansed by a better sacrifice.”* This “something better” is the “fulfillment of the Old Covenant promises and types in Jesus Christ.”*

“Hebrews 7:19 tells us that the law made nothing perfect, but that with the coming of the Messiah, we have a ‘better hope,’ by which we draw near to God. The implication is that, though the Old Covenant types and shadows did not perfect, the New Covenant reality does perfect, with the result that we are qualified to draw near to God. The connection between the perfection wrought by Christ and our qualification for drawing near to God is even clearer in 10:1: ‘For the Law . . . can never . . . make perfect those who draw near,’ with the obvious implication that the New Covenant can make those who wish to draw near perfect. Hebrews 10:14 draws a close connection between perfecting and sanctification, which has to do with access to the presence of the Holy God: By offering Himself once-for-all, Jesus ‘has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.’”*

We have a better mountain. “Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain.” Mount Sinai was good and right and necessary, but it was terrifying. It was “a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them.” It is certainly true that the people came out to meet God, but only at a distance. They could not draw near without being shot. The same held for the tabernacle and temple. But we who are in Christ do have access to the Father.  We “come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.”

This mountain on which we now gather is the kingdom of the Son which is growing to fill the earth. This great mountain shakes the earth, but cannot itself be shaken. It is that same kingdom of the Son that Daniel saw, “to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.”

*Peter Leithart, Biblical Horizons Newsletter No. 23



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