The Intermediary

When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt he took them straightaways to a mountain in Sinai where a personal visit from God was planned. Moses explained that God would descend before all the eyes of Israel and present them with the words of His covenant.

As He approached, however, there were heart-stopping displays of nature so fearful that the Israelites begged Moses to go to God and ask Him to send an intermediary in His place. (Ex.20:18-20). God agreed, gave them a shortened version of His words on ten stone tablets and told them through Moses that the Intermediary would bring the balance of His commandments when he arrived.

Moses told them: "The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like myself, from among yourselves, from your own brothers; To him you must listen. This is what you yourselves asked of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the Assembly. 'Do not let me hear again' you said, 'the voice of the Lord my God, nor look any longer on this great fire, or I shall die'; and God said to me, 'All they have spoken is well said. I will raise up a prophet like yourself for them from their own brothers; I will put my words into his mouth and he shall tell them all I command him to say." (Dt.18:15-19).

At first the people thought that Moses was to be the intermediary (Ex.20:19), but he said no, explaining that the intercessor was to be someone else. (Dt.18:14-16).

This coming intermediary soon came to be known among the Israelites as a 'messiah', a saviour, who would rescue them from their enemies, and the legal compromise at Sinai is the event that structured him into their Law.

The compromise at Sinai not only deferred God's visit, it left a void as far as the Testimony of heaven was concerned. Most of the Lord's commandments remained unstated. There were always meant to be more than ten, but the balance of God's commandments had to await the voice of heaven's intercessor.

The proof that the Israelites fully understood all of this was revealed by their consuming expectation ever afterward of the coming Messiah. The entire Hebrew religion was built on the promise of the appearance of this holy intermediary defined at Sinai.

But, when Jesus, the prophet that these words were written for finally appeared, He turned out to be more than a prophet and more than an intermediary. He came as Divinity. He came as God Himself, clothed in flesh.

Jesus' divine nature was the meaning of the Trinity, and it freed the world from the Law's stipulation for an intermediary because the moment Jesus was glorified in heaven, the intermediary became our ruling God. At that instant of glorification, the master of the Law of Moses became the Master and Lord of all creation.

This meant that Jesus' words were far more than mortal inspiration; they were, in fact, the direct Testimony of God. This put his Gospel on the same level as the Ten Commandments. "He who comes from above is above all others. He who is born of the earth is earthly himself and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven...speaks God's own words." (Jn.3:31-34).

Jesus brought the missing Testimony which the compromise had blocked at Sinai. And He brought it in a peaceful visitation by God. There was no theophany associated with His appearance. The sky did not cloud over. The earth did not heave and roll and belch fire and brimstone. There was no lightning; no thunder. He did not bring words of judgment.

Instead He brought an offer of peace and salvation -- an olive branch. Accompanying this offer of reconciliation Jesus issued a stern warning of what would happen if that peace was rejected.

The theophany of God, He said, would return in a world-ending display that would bring Judgment.

We can see in the great event at Sinai all the overtones of that final day at the end of the world when, again, because of God's personal appearance, dark clouds will cover the land and terrifying signs will signal the termination of all who have not obeyed God's Messiah and broken with sin in His name.

See Also:

'The Clock of God', Chapter 6, 'The Scattering'

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