Two Mountains

Hebrews contrasts Mt. Sinai (described in Hebrews 12:18-21) with Mt. Zion, mentioned by name in Hebrews 12:22-24.

“How is that? I thought that God was through with that physical mountain on which the temple and the city of Jerusalem were built.”

You’re right, of course—and wrong!

“What kind of talk is that?”

Straight talk, as the biblical word parresia means.

“OK. Go ahead; explain—I’m not interested in Greek terms.”

Sure. There is a heavenly Mt. Zion as well as an earthly one. People who are looking for good times in a future, earthly, rebuilt Zion, miss the boat. They look for something far inferior. The good times have already begun, and in the future will get even better—for believers, of course.

“Tell me more.”

In the heavenly city of the New Jerusalem, toward which the patriarchs were really travelling (see Hebrews 11:10, 13-16, 40), there will be feasting and joy aplenty, with angels and the saints of God who have preceded us. Just read Hebrews 12:22-24. You can almost hear them, can’t you? Here, too, you’ll be made perfect–just in the sight of God—no more sin! Think of it.

“Yes, but it hasn’t happened yet.”

Again—right and wrong.

“How so, I’m still alive.”

You are, but you also possess eternal life; you are a new creation of God. Nothing is the same. And one of the things that is different is that you are already enrolled as a citizen of that heavenly Zion (Philippians 3:20). And this has made such a difference that the writer of Hebrews can say that “you have come” to [that heavenly] Mt. Zion, and to Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant. Life is short, and no matter how young you may be, Christian—you are at the foot of the Mountain looking up (I hope) where the events mentioned in Hebrews are occurring! Not long from now, you’ll be “marching to Zion” as you head up the hillside singing like you never did before.

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