I want to greet you on this Lord’s Day in the name of our Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Lord has called and gathered us together today. Before us stand two great mountains. The writer of Hebrews describes these two mountains in this way:
For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. For they could not endure the order that was given, "If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned." Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, "I tremble with fear." 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 12:18-24]
It is only as we first stand before the first mountain that we see the beauty and grace of the second one. Mt. Sinai is where the Law of God reveals His holiness and our sinfulness. Mt. Sinai is where we are stripped of all our filthy rags of self-righteousness and stand trembling and shamefully naked before the Triune God. It is there that we must die to ourselves; the place where we are buried in the death of Jesus Christ.
Mt. Zion is the mountain of life. It is not mountain that cannot be touched. It is the very inheritance of all those who are in Christ. The first mountain brought us death; this one is the place where we are raised to new life. God brings us to the place of death that He might cause us to be reborn to new and everlasting life. Let us stand upon the mountain of God’s grace clothed in the garments of sons and daughters and gaze in wonder at all He has given us in Christ Jesus. AMEN!