Vol. 6, No. 3
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The theme of the Bible is redemption. In Genesis God selected the vehicle for this redemption, namely, the nation of Israel. In Exodus God redeemed this nation from Egyptian bondage. In Exodus, we read of the great events at Mt. Sinai. Here God gave the standard of life for his redeemed (i.e. the Law of Moses). Here he set forth the meeting place for the redeemed (i.e. the tabernacle). At Sinai God gave to this redeemed people a special Person (i.e. the Messiah, the Christ).
There are rich contrasts between the Law of Moses and the Law of the Messiah. There are contrasts between when these laws were given, where they were given and the results of these laws being given. Fifty days after Abraham's seed (the Israelites) were set free from Egypt, they came to Mt. Sinai, and the Law of Moses was declared. Fifty days after Abraham's true seed (cf. Galatians 3:16), the Christ -- was set free from death, and resurrected, the law of Christ was declared at Mt. Zion (Jerusalem -- 2 Samuel 5:7; 1 Kings 8:1). This was in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy (cf. Isaiah 2:1-3).
There is the contrast concerning where these laws were given. The Law of Moses was given at the mount that might be touched (Hebrews 12:18). This was a physical mountain. The Law of Christ was given from a spiritual mountain -- Jerusalem which is above (Galatians 4:26). The Law of Moses was given with the message for the people to stand off (Exodus 19:12-13; 20:19). The Law of Christ was given with the message to draw near (Acts 2:39; cf. Ephesians 2:13). The Law of Moses is the "stand off" covenant. The Law of Christ is the "draw near" covenant. That same God who called Moses in the long ago to Mt. Sinai calls you and me to Mt. Zion today!
The marvelous unity of the biblical scheme of redemption is seen in the contrast of results which occurred when both the Law of Moses and the Law of Christ were given. When the Mosaic Law was given, about three thousand men were destroyed (Exodus 32:28). When the Law of Christ was given, about three thousand were added to the Lord (Acts 2:41).
The Law of Moses produced a kingdom of priests (Exodus 19:5-6). Only the sons of Levi received the office of this priest hood (Hebrews 7:5). In contrast, every person who obeys the Gospel of Christ becomes a priest authorized to offer spiritual sacrifices (1 Peter 2:5, 9). The Law of Moses included a pattern for the tabernacle. All things were to be made according to the pattern given in Mt. Sinai (Exodus 25:40; 27:8; cf. Hebrews 8:5). The Law of Christ involves a pattern for a far greater house -- the church (1 Timothy 3:14-16; Hebrews 10:21).
On Mt. Sinai, in the midst of thunder, lightning, darkness, clouds and fire that burned unto the midst of heaven (cf. Deuteronomy 4:11), God gave the laws of his covenant with Israel, written and engraved on stones, to guide Israel to the day when the Christ came out of Israel. When the Christ came, he fulfilled that covenant and sealed a far greater covenant with his blood which is written, not on tablets of stones, but in the tablet of man's heart and mind (Hebrews 8:10-11).
"The hill of Zion yields a thousand sacred sweets, Before we reach the heav'nly fields, or walk the golden streets."