Contrast: The voice of the mediator


    But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.—Hebrews 12:22-24 ESV

John Piper on Hebrews 12

Then the writer contrasts Christian reality on this side of the cross of Christ with Old Testament reality at Mount Sinai (verses 18-21).

. . . because you have not come to a mountain that may be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word should be spoken to them. For they could not bear the command, “IF EVEN A BEAST TOUCHES THE MOUNTAIN, IT WILL BE STONED.” And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, “I AM FULL OF FEAR AND TREMBLING.”

In other words, the experience there was one of fearful, divine holiness without a mediator and with a voice so terrible that the people begged that the voice would stop. Then he goes on and contrasts the Christian reality since the cross (verse 22-24):

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.

Christians, at conversion, do not come to an earthly mountain to meet God. Christianity has no geographic center! We come to a heavenly city, a heavenly assembly (the great cloud of witnesses (verse 1), a divine Judge, but most importantly to a Mediator (verse 24) whose blood shed for our sins is the main voice we hear. All invisible, all spiritual, and therefore accessible anywhere.

The most explicit contrast between these two experiences is that at Mount Sinai (verses 19-20) the speaking of God was such that they said, “No more. No more” (verse 19). But in the Christian experience the voice we hear (see verse 24) is the voice of the sprinkled blood of a Mediator. We come to Jesus, “the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks . . .” And what it says is: “I love. I forgive you. I purchase you. I cleanse you. I protect you. I keep you. I will always be there for you.”

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One thought on “Contrast: The voice of the mediator

  1. Hi Pam, I really admire your sincerity and commitment. I regularly go through your alerts….But…please don’t go on quoting John Piper…..I am myself a great fan of John….but I feel you are doing disservice to him by ‘over-quoting’ him. There are plenty of others that John himself admires…so many Calvinists and Puritans…..

    please continue your great work….God bless you…..

    Sarath

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