May 11, 2019

Highlights in Hebrews 37

Highlights in Hebrews
Highlights in Hebrews
(with Roger Kirby)

37. Hebrews 12:22–24 Our wonderful destination

you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect. You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel. (Hebrews 12:22-24 NLT

The most astonishing two words in these verses are ‘have come’. Not ‘will come’ looking forward to some future date. Not tomorrow; not next year; not when we die; but now. We are already there. Wow! What is it that we have already come to? Our writer’s words form something of a purple patch in his description of it. He does it all with a half-concealed contrast to what happened to the Israelites as they left their slavery and travelled to the promised land so that there they might build the Temple which was to be the resting place of the Lord.

We are already there, on Mount Zion, that is we are living in the city of God - wherever we may be living in this world of ours. So we are at the place where the Lord God will be. There are countless thousands of angels already worshipping all around us even though we cannot hear them or see them. We are surrounded by God’s first-born children - that is by all those with whom we are in fellowship, world wide. We have only ever met the tiniest fraction of them, a few dozen or a few hundred at most. But they are there, all around us, none the less real because we have never met them. We have met with the Lord, or perhaps we should rather say that he has met with us when we were converted and turned to follow him. He is the judge over all things, but that does not frighten us because we have been accepted through the blood of Jesus. At that same time we met the ‘spirits of the righteous ones in heaven’, that is we entered the spiritual world. But above all we met Jesus.

We are, each of us, one tiny bit of Jesus, the Lord of Glory. Paul says in Philippians 3: 3: 9 he (Paul) had become one with him (Jesus). Turning it the other way round Jesus represents us, every one of us who are his. In all this wide world of ours there is nobody and nothing with which we are in closer relationship than we are with Jesus.

This is because we are now members of the Kingdom, the unshakeable kingdom where no earthquake will ever disturb us, as it did the Israelites as they camped round Mount Sinai. We are now present in the very Temple of God, which is Jesus, a far superior temple to those built in Jerusalem.

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