Devo Day 11

Hebrews Chapter 12 & 13

Devotional day 11

By Jason Walsh

One of the caricatures of God that skeptics sometimes draw is the so-called distinction between the fiery, distant, vengeful God of the Old Testament and the loving, forgiving, turn-the-other-cheek God of the New Testament.Let us be clear, that is nonsense! The truth is that the God who set Mount Sinai on fire is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God's holy character did not change between the Testaments. It is the author of Hebrews, in fact, who warned that it is fearful to fall under God's judgment: “It isa fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).But there is definitely a difference between the way God manifested Himself in the Old Testament and His revelation in Jesus Christ. The author of Hebrews acknowledged that from the beginning when he writes, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointedthe heir of all things, through whom also he created the world” (Hebrews 1:1-2). As we have read this book, we have seen that the old covenant, represented by the Mosaic Law, was a temporary provision pointing ahead to Jesus.The difference between the two covenants is plainly spelled out in today's reading. The giving of the Law was an awe-inspiring, terrifying visitation of God. Even Moses trembled with fear. There was no drawing near to God with confidence on the Israelites' holy day. The people begged that the voice speak to them no more.Let us pause and consider another day of darkness and gloom. As Jesus was hanging on the Cross, darkness fell over the land for several hours. The people watching the crucifixion fell silent. When the darkness was at its deepest, Jesus cried out with a loud voice and then slumped in death. The scene was so striking that even a hardened Roman soldier had to confess: "Surely this man was the Son of God!" (Mark 15:39). And the temple's huge veil was torn in half.Because Jesus died in the darkness of Calvary, the barrier between God and us that would keep us from His presence was removed! Compare these two scenes and you'll see why the book of Hebrews refers to the better covenant Jesus initiated. And you'll see why refusing Him in the sense of turning back from full commitment is so dangerous. No matter which Testament you turn to, "Our God is a consuming fire" (Hebrews 12:29).My prayer is that we value and fully embrace each day we wake up with breath in our lungs. It is only by God’s grace we do so. And in doing so, although living each breathing moment underGod’s grace, we are still told to worship God "with reverence and awe" (Hebrews 12:28).God is worthy of our reverence because He is the awesome God who will one day shake the whole creation with His voice when Christ comes to establish His kingdom (v. 27). When God gets through shaking things, only what's eternal will be left! And so today, let us praise God that only because of Jesus Christ's sacrifice, we can be part of His eternal kingdom!“I sometimes think about the cross,

and shut my eyes, and try to seethe cruel nails and crown of thorns,and Jesus crucified for me.But even could I see Him die,I could but see a little partof that great love which, like a fire,is always burning in His heart.” – (Portion of Hymn entitled “It Is A Thing Most Wonderful”)

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