Meditation: Exodus 32 (2 of 2)

Reading: Exodus 32:25-33.

The Israelites make and worship a golden calf. God is very angry saying “let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them” (Ex 32:10). Even after three thousand Israelites died, Moses understands that God is still angry about Israel’s “great sin” (vs 31). So Moses returns to the Lord on top of Mt Sinai seeking forgiveness of their sins. He even asks God to remove him from the book of life (that is, the people God has elected to receive eternal life) so that Israel can be saved. Moses, showing great love, is a true and selfless mediator for Israel; he is even willing to sacrifice his own eternal life!

But God does not accept Moses’ offer for several reasons. First, God shows His perfect justice when He says “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book” (Ex 32:33). God condemns only those who are guilty; He will not condemn Moses for sins he has not done. Secondly when God sovereignly writes a person’s name (like Moses) in His book of life, it is a permanent entry. Therefore nobody should ask God delete it. Finally, Moses is also a sinner; he cannot bring the perfect sacrifice required to save sinners. Psalm 49:7 says “None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him”. Moses, on Mt Sinai, cannot redeem his brothers and sisters.

But one day, on another mountain, namely Golgotha, the greater Mediator Jesus Christ, offers up Himself for His beloved people. This time God accepts the offer, because this Mediator, unlike Moses, is without sin. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus Christ saves all the elect; nobody will be missing, including Moses.

Key text: Ex 32:33 “And the LORD said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.”

Question: In what ways is Jesus Christ is a better Mediator than Moses?