Hebrews 12:18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,
19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:
20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:
21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)
22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
In verse 28 God contrasted the situation for the New Testament saint with that of the Old Testament saint. God called Moses up into Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments. He also gave him instructions on building the Tabernacle. God warned Moses to tell the people not to touch the Mount lest they die. God’s presence on that Mount made the entire Mount holy. No man could touch that Mount except for Moses and Joshua.
Exodus 19:16 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.
The New Testament saint has access to God’s throne through Jesus Christ. We do not need to be afraid of coming too close to God. We cannot see God, but we have full access to Him through the Lord Jesus Christ.
In verse 19 we read of the trumpet sound that was heard from the mount. God spoke from Mount Sinai. The people could hear the sound but did not understand the words. God spoke directly to Moses. The people feared God because they were rebellious sinners. They lacked faith in God and they knew they were not in a right relationship with Him. Rather than humble themselves and believe in God, they did not want to draw close to Him. That was a shame.
God invites us to come to Him. He is the same holy God. However, Jesus Christ made it possible for us to come boldly unto the throne of grace. Those who are saved have a special privilege. Those who are lost tend to want to stay away from God. They do not seek out a good church. They want something that will scratch their itching ears, but they do not want the truth. They do not spend time in God’s Word. They do not have that intimate and close relationship with God that the saints can have.
Verse 20 continues the condition of the people in the Old Testament. They missed out on so much because they rejected God. Moses needed to understand that he needed to come humbly before God, but God invited him to come. Aaron also had the privilege of coming into God’s presence in the holiest place once a year. However, New Testament saints can come at any time because Jesus Christ made the way for us to come to God. When Jesus died on the cross, the vail of the Temple was torn in two from the top down. That indicates that God opened the way for man to come to Him through Jesus Christ.
In our text Paul was directed to write about this privilege that New Testament saints have been granted.
It is important for us to realize that we have access to God through Christ, but we are still coming before the same holy God. We are seeing that most religious groups today have taken such a casual approach to God. They make no special effort to come before Him. They have greatly downgraded the holiness of God in their thinking and in their actions. It is true that a mechanic can pray to God in his shop with his grease stained coveralls on. A farmer can come to God with his manure stained coveralls as well. However, when we come before God we must understand that we are coming before a holy God. Jesus Christ is just as holy as His Father. There needs to be a reverence in coming into His presence. That is greatly lacking today.
Verses 22-24 gives us the contrast of the new covenant that was brought about by Jesus Christ. Now we come directly to the throne of God in Heaven. We do not need a Tabernacle with a brazen altar and a lamp stand and a table for the shewbread. We do not need the holiest place where the Ark of the covenant is and the mercy seat. We do not need to kill an animal and collect the blood in order to come before God. We do not need a priest to come in our stead. We have the Great High Priest, Jesus Christ Who is seated on the right hand of God and we can come before God in Jesus’ name at any time.
Notice as well that God is described as the “living God”. He is not dead. He is not old and decrepit. He is alive and He knows our needs and is willing to meet our needs as we come before Him in humility.
It is also important to note that it is those whose names are written in heaven that have this privileged place. The lost are outside. They have chosen to remain outside. By God’s grace, some will come yet. He works in the heart of the lost to show them their need and the blessing of being saved. Some will finally listen and be drawn to salvation. Sadly, many will continue to reject Him and be lost for eternity.
We are also reminded that God is the Judge of all. This is important to note. Man is not the judge. A godly pastor is told to teach and uphold God’s righteous standards. A godly father needs to set godly standards for himself and for his household. Those godly standards are God’s standards, not man’s. He is the judge. A godly pastor or a godly father wants to make sure those he is called to rule over can know God’s blessings.
The true child of God is coming to the same God that all saints in the past have come to. There is only one true God. There is only one way of salvation. Others have gone before and they are in glory now. We, who are saved await the day when we too can be with the Lord in glory.
In verse 24 we are reminded again that Jesus Christ is the author of the new covenant. It is because of Him that we have this privileged place. He is the mediator between God and man. He fulfilled all the typology of the Old Testament.
The Catholics still want to keep some of the typology, but they have corrupted that and they have added Mary and dead people they call saints to their religion. They are idolaters and have missed out on God’s blessings.
The nation of Israel is still waiting for the opportunity to build a Temple. They have searched for years for the red heifer whose ashes are needed to purify the Temple and the instruments of it. They are still missing out on the blessings that Jesus Christ provided. However, for those who are saved, we have the risen Saviour that is the Author of the new covenant. We have the blood of Jesus Christ that is better than the blood of Abel. Abel was a righteous man, but his blood could not save him. His blood could not save his brother, Cain. His blood spoke of his righteousness from the ground where it was shed. Cain was guilty of shedding innocent blood.
Jesus Christ’s blood was not shed on the ground. He took His blood and presented it before His Father in glory and His blood satisfied God’s righteous demands for the payment of sin. Through Jesus’ sacrifice, the way to Heaven was opened and we now come to God ourselves through Jesus Christ, the Great High Priest.
We are blessed. We need to see that. Those who are saved have such a great blessing. That blessing is there for all, but you must be saved to receive It.