Hello Project Ezra! I pray that you are doing well, and that the LORD has blessed you with many opportunities to share His blessed gospel. Here in the States we are coming up on one of the best opportunities of the year for sharing, our Independence Day celebrations on and around the Fourth of July. Parades, picnics, crowds of people waiting to watch fireworks, and the like are great situations for either open-air scripture reading and preaching or one-on-one conversations. We have just under two weeks (or less if you are in Canada, since Canada Day is the 1st) to invite folks to join us in sharing the gospel. For that event we will be reading 1 John, as unusual. It’s a short book, but very powerful, particularly in its convicting statements to those who believe themselves to be saved, whether they really are or not. So take the time to start inviting people now, and to be an encouragement to other brothers and sisters who need to take a step out of their comfort zone.
This week we will be reading Exodus chapter 24. It gives part of the account of God’s dealings with Moses and Aaron, and the nation of Israel. He had just given them the 10 Commandments, and he continues through Exodus giving the rest of His law. Here God established His covenant with Israel, and particularly with its leaders. That covenant was a covenant of blood, based on sacrifice for cleansing from sin. But this foreshadowing of a greater blood covenant to come the covenant and sacrifice provided through Jesus Christ on the cross.
So this week, I would like to encourage you to use this passage to show the serious nature of sin and our constant breach of God’s holy law, and of the true blood sacrifice through which we can be cleansed. There are a number of principles that will make great illustrations, and I’ll try to touch on a few of those as well. God bless, and don’t forget to invite folks to participate in First John on July 4th!
All for His glory,
READ EXODUS 24
In Exodus, God establishes a covenant with His people, a covenant of blood
The passage tells us that Moses threw the blood of the sacrifice on the people and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with these words.”
It was here that He gave His law, and here that he established the temple sacrifices for the covering of sin
In the book of Hebrews we are told: “Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” (Hebrews 9:22 ESV)
This situation, animals being sacrificed and blood being thrown on people, may seem an odd thing to you, but I would ask you to consider what this passage can teach us.
God is true and holy, and consistent in His character and nature, and this passage shows us some important truths about what He is like.
God is a God who communicates with His people, and expresses Himself. It is not true that God cannot be known. Here in Exodus He was made himself known to His people
Commanded that His words and will be written down
His prophets wrote His words
Those words were shared with His people, and read aloud in public, in some ways similarly to what we are doing today.
God is holy and pure
We are told the glory of the LORD like a devouring fire
Only Moses and elders allowed to come near
We cannot stand in the light of His true holiness
Isaiah, one of God’s greatest prophets, said this: “In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” (Isaiah 6:1-5 ESV)
Even Moses was told, when he asked to see God’s glory, that he could not look on His full glory and live.
Sin is real, sin is serious, and sin is deadly
The death surrounding atonement for sin shows us this
When God appeared before Moses, He stated that, though He was merciful and gracious, He would not leave the guilty unpunished
If you look at God’s law, the 10 Commandments, listed earlier in this book, you will see that you are indeed guilty.
GO THROUGH GOD’S LAW TO BRING CONVICTION OF SIN. BE SPECIFIC, SO THAT PEOPLE PERSONALIZE THEIR SIN, AND BE SELF-EFFACING, SO PEOPLE SEE YOUR HUMILITY, NOT SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS.
So how can these two be reconciled? How can God’s justice, and our guilt, the punishment we deserve, be reconciled with God’s patience and loving kindness?
They can be reconciled only through the power of the cross of Jesus Christ
2000 years ago another blood sacrifice was made, a perfect blood sacrifice.
Jesus Christ spilled His blood on a Roman cross, and suffered under the wrath of His Father, so that those who come to God through Him could be saved
On the cross, Jesus Christ paid our debt. Romans 2 tells us that because of our hard and impenitent hearts we were storing up wrath for the day of wrath, when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.
God is a good and righteous judge. Just as a good human judge will make sure a criminal receives
the justice he deserves, so God, as not only a good judge but the source of all goodness, will make sure justice is satisfied.
God’s justice was satisfied by Jesus Christ on the cross. Repentance and trust in Christ alone, and His sacrifice, is the only way to be made right with God. Otherwise, you must pay the cost of your sin yourself.
God’s word also tells us that Jesus Christ Is now seated at God’s right hand as our advocate, our lawyer for the Day of Judgment, and our high priest.
The book of Hebrews also tells us that He is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
So turn from sin and trust In Christ alone! He is one and only living God, and the only source of eternal life.
He is a good God, and is mighty to save!
MANY OTHER VERSES COULD BE USED TO DEMONSTRATE GOODS GOODNESS, LOVE AND MERCY SHOWN IN THE CROSS OF CHRIST. I RECOMMEND YOU SPEND SOME TIME STUDYING THEM AND COMMIT SOME KEY PASSAGES TO MEMORY. IT IS THE PERSON AND WORK OF CHRIST, AND THE GLORY OF GOD, THAT MUST BE THE FOCUS WHENEVER WE SHARE THE GOSPEL.