2008-04-11 - The Soft Voice of Mercy
Leviticus 1:1, "Then the Lord called to Moses and spoke to him from the tabernacle."
There are subtleties in Scripture that, at a passing glance, or careless read-through, we are prone to miss. This is true for us all, and it is a reminder to us all to chew on the Word of God - and while meditating upon what it says clearly and explicitly, we also must ponder carefully those inferences and instructions that can be deduced from the Sacred Word. One observation, that has many implications to the follower of Christ, is to compare God's process of giving the Law to the Israelites, and His instructions to Moses respecting the sacrifices to be offered up for sin.
In the giving of the Law of God, the experience for the people was one of terror. Lightning and thunder, such that the people of God feared greatly. The Law of God was given in dread shock. It was terror to the people, and it told them how seriously God took His Law. The people could not have helped thinking, "If the Law of God is given in such a manner, what shall be the consequences of breaking this Law?" However, when Moses was given the instructions respecting the sacrifices in Leviticus chapter 1, we are told that God spoke to Moses from the tabernacle. There is no lightning, no thunder - but as the Jewish Rabbis interpret the passage, the sacrificial law was given in a still, small voice. It was given gently from the mercy seat, and it gives us a blessed window into the grace of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is peace to the soul, and in the giving of the sacrificial law, which was a forerunner to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for sin, that peace, that compassion was experienced - and God exhibited His loving nature to His people.
The work of Christ in the Atonement of sinners is an amazing thing to consider. What would things be like if Adam had never sinned, and was still living in the garden with all his descendants? Surely we cross into speculation here, because Adam sinned, and we all fell into sin with him. But what if Adam had not sinned, and death had never entered into our consideration? We can only assume that there would always be the fear that disobedience would creep in somewhere, sometime. There can never be an end to obedience. As long as Adam lived, he would have been bound to obey. It is not the case with Christ.
What a wonder it is, that Christ's obedience is finished (John 19:30). Christ's work is completed. If Adam had been in the Garden of Eden from the first day until now, he might fall tomorrow, but Christ's work is finished. He has perfected Redemption. This is the wonder of grace. The work is done, and Christ is glorified. In Adam, we never could have had that finished nature, and hence the wisdom and glory of God in our Salvation. His plan is perfect. His ways are always to our advantage.
The Gospel brings peace to the soul. It speaks in a gracious quietness, of the love of a merciful Savior. The Gospel is not like the Law of God, a thunderous cacophony that produces fear, but rather the Gospel is peace, forgiveness, and the still small voice of love in Christ Jesus.
Soli Deo Gloria,