Friday, November 1, 2013

Forgiven Because of Christ, not Moses

A friend of mine once told me:

"I know that God forgave me, because He forgave Moses. Moses murdered a man, and God forgave Him for that, then He must have forgiven me."

"Must have forgiven". . . .

Where's the blesses assurance in that, where's the hope, the confident expectation of good when a man bases his forgiveness on the possibility, even the strong probability, that God forgives me because He forgave someone else.

The writer of the Book of Hebrews could not make it more plain:

"And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission." (Hebrews 9: 22)

So, there must be blood shed in order to pay for our sins, not confession, not good works, not anything that we do or say, or even think.

"For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins." (Hebrews 10: 4)

The blood of animals, the system of sacrifices in ancient Israel under the Old Covenant, could never fully satisfy the conscience of man:

"1For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 2For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 3But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year." (Hebrews 10: 1-3)

We have this perfect sacrifice though Jesus Christ:

"Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;" (Romans 3: 25)

We are forgiven not because Moses was forgiven of his sins, but because our sins have been paid for once, for all, forever in Christ!

"1My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." (1 John 2: 1-2)

Jesus is our advocate now and forever at the right hand of the Father:

"31What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 34Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." (Romans 8: 31-34)

And Jesus is better, way better than Moses:

"1Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; 2Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. 3For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. 4For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. 5And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; 6But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end." (Hebrews 3: 1-6)

Jesus is greater than Moses, and even Moses said so:

"15The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;" (Deuteronomy 18: 15)

Moses told the Israelites, and even to all of us today, to hearken to his Prophet greater than Moses:.

This preeminence of Christ is affirmed in the Gospels:

"And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus. 5And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. 6For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid. 7And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him." (Mark 9: 4-7)

Peter, who represents a law-minded believer, wanted to put Jesus on the same level as Moses and Elijah. God removed all doubt about the One whom we should all heed: His Beloved Son Jesus!

We are forgiven because of the Son, not the Servant. We seek to see the Son, not the servant, and the Son is the greatest Servant of all:

"For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." (Mark 10: 45)

The Greatest Servant of all is Jesus, who ministers for us through the power of an endless life (Hebrews 7: 16).

We are forgiven because Christ has paid the debt forever. Forgiven because of Christ, not because of Moses.

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