1.24.2016

touch


The Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments and be ready for the third day. For on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. And you shall set limits for the people all around, saying, ‘Take care not to go up into the mountain or touch the edge of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall be put to death." - Exodus 19:10-12
 
In the Year of Biblical Literacy, we've reached the story of the Israelites at Mt. Sinai, where God gives them the Ten Commandments and there's the golden calf problem and all that stuff. This is really the first time that the Israelites have experienced the person of God coming so near to them. They've seen His immense power over and over through the plagues in Egypt that brought them salvation. They've seen Him part the Red Sea. They've eaten the bread He sent from heaven. They've watched Him win battles against their enemies. But the closest they've come to God Himself was when Moses stood before that burning bush. 

So here, as the LORD prepares to come down close to His people, what do you notice? As I was reading the passage, I picked up the phrase "on the third day," probably for obvious reasons. God seems to have a thing with 3 days, right? But most noticeable is the many commands and directions for how to keep the proper distance and respect for a holy, holy, holy God. 

Is "holy" an easy word for you to understand? It's not for me. And for a word that gets thrown around just about as much as "glory" in Christian books and songs and such, I think it's a crucial concept to understand. What does it mean that God it holy? Why couldn't the Israelites come on the mountain where God was? Why couldn't they even touch it without dying? This video helped me understand what "holy" means just a little bit more, and I hope it helps you. Please watch, and then keep reading!

Okay, now that you've watched the video, you may know where I'm going with this! Back to the Exodus passage. God told the people that He would come on the third day, and everyone had better keep their distance because of their impurity. In fact, don't even touch.

Caught by the "third day" reference, I thought of the resurrection of Jesus. I wondered if there was any connection. In both stories, God comes on the third day. Cool. But then I noticed a big, significant difference. 

Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit.  And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?  See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see." - Luke 24:36-39
Do you see it? Do you see how much Jesus has done? 

"Touch me." 

God hasn't changed. Jesus is full of all the holiness that covered Mt. Sinai back in Exodus. But in the plan of redemption, He changed us. Rather than allowing our impurity to keep us away from Him, Jesus because the purifying sacrifice we needed but could not provide. Thus, He has made us holy. And he invites us to touch the mountain. Not just the mountain, but to touch God Himself. 

Do you believe that?

God has made you holy simply by accepting it. It is finished. And He is calling you, saying, "Touch me." Touch me, taste me, know me, hear me. This is how much God did to show you how wanted, how desired you are. That may be something we have to preach to ourselves over and over again, so preach it! You are holy in Him. He wants you. Today, would you respond to Him again? Accept the invitation again to come and touch. I believe He will answer in ways we never imagined.

Peace to you!

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