Mar 22, 2023
(Ex.32:7-14; Ps.106:4,19-23; Jn.5:31-47)
“If you believed Moses you would then believe me,
for it was about me that he wrote.”
As Moses wrote, so Jesus speaks. As Moses wrote, so Jesus is. The eternal life to which the Scriptures testify is now in our midst. The Word has come to life; the Law is now fulfilled. The “form [we] have never seen” now stands before us. The “voice [we] have never heard” now speaks to our ears. But do we “have His word abiding in our hearts”? Do we “believe the one [the Father] has sent”? “The works the Father has given [Jesus] to accomplish” “testify on [His] behalf.” Let us exult in their light.
The Lord “had done great deeds in the land of Egypt,” “wondrous deeds” and “terrible things” in the sight of the Israelites through His servant Moses. But “they forgot the God who had saved them,” “making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it” instead of the living God. They could not wait for the Word to come to them; their hearts were not set on Moses’ return from the mountain with the Law of God. And so, for their lack of faith God “spoke of destroying them.” The fire of wrath the Lord would have “blazed up against them to consume them” – such was the thought of His heart.
But Moses “withstood Him in the breach.” “Let your blazing wrath die down; relent in punishing your people,” he begs. And so, because of Moses’ intercession, “the Lord relented in the punishment He had threatened on His people” for their lack of faith in Him. And now it is Jesus who stands in the breach made by our sins, preventing now our eternal punishment at the hands of a righteous God. For by all accounts we deserve death for our lack of faith; but in His grace the chasm between us and God He fills by stretching out His arms on the cross.
Brothers and sisters, let us believe in His redemptive sacrifice. Let it never be said of us, “You do not have the love of God in your hearts,” for such a state would mean the end of our days. But God has promised: “I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky.” About this Moses writes, and the words speak of Jesus, He who is our salvation. Let us not forget the One who saves us in His love, “on whom we have set [our] hopes.”
O LORD, as Moses once stood in the breach
to save your people,
now Jesus would return us to your love –
let us listen to Him.
YHWH, help us to believe in your Son and the work of love He accomplishes in our midst; in Him let us recognize your presence. Let us not turn from such true worship of you who are the only God to worship of the image of a grass-eating bullock or any of the images of this adulterous age. Let us have your love in our hearts, set ever upon your Word.
In your Son is eternal life, LORD; in Him all Scripture is fulfilled. Of Him Moses has spoken, of Him you yourself have given testimony – let us have faith in His glory, which comes only from you. Let our hopes be set on the testimony He offers of your presence among us.
O LORD, forgive our wayward hearts and minds, which turn so easily to the vain idols of this anxious world. Punish us not in your wrath but look upon your only Son, who has died for our sins.