I’m convinced the vast majority of people do.
Exodus doesn’t really the picture any differently.
Exodus Chap 19 describes Moses’ encounter with God at Mt. Sinai, where God gives the 10 Commandments to the people, but the scene as described is pretty awe-inspiring.
God was on his mountain. No one, except Moses, could even touch the mountain.
12And 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.(A) Whoever touches the mountain shall be put to death.
On top of that…there is a HUGE cloud, thunder probably like no one has ever heard before, lightning so bright it probably temporarily blinds you…an earthquake, smoke, FIRE….a trumpet being blown out of no where at ear-shattering volumes…
Wow. OK then. God then proceeds to give the 10 Commandments…you know, those laws that our society is pretty much based upon. The people are so terrified when God is done giving them the “rules” they say “Umm, Moses. From now on YOU talk to us – Don’t let God speak to us anymore, he is so scary we may just DIE if we hear that again.” (Ex 20:19 – Ruel Translation)
Is that the kind of God you think of?
It’s pretty hard to think of being intimate with a God that says if anyone or anything gets close to me I will kill them.
Well, I can understand, BUT realize this: that Christ came to bring us to that very same God. Actually that very same God loves you very much…but you have to realize that God isn’t like us – he is totally different than us. He is the all powerful, Creator of the universe, He is 100% holy and pure, so much so that we humans in our 10-commandment-breaking sinfulness can’t approach such a being. It’s not that he doesn’t love us – it’s that our sin is incompatible with a 100% pure God. That’s a big problem, isn’t it? Worse yet, God considers our sin to him (and there isn’t one of us alive that hasn’t sinned) OFFENSIVE. God is also 100% just and fair and always has to punish sin…YIKES. So, let’s take stock here:
- God is 100% holy – no sin at all
- We are ALL, every one of us, sinners
- This sin is OFFENSIVE to God, as he is 100% holy
- God is also 100% fair and just and will always treat sin with the punishment it deserves
- We can do nothing to fix this ourselves.
This is a dilemma. As CJ Mahaney refers to it in his book “Living the Cross Centered Life” – this is a Divine Dilemma and we are in need of a Divine Rescue.
Enter Jesus Christ.
God, in his great love and mercy towards us, sends us Jesus Christ – who lived the only perfect, sinless life (remember those Commandments?), who was both fully God and fully human – to pay that punishment we deserved for our sin (see #4) and thus appease the Most Holy and Angry God (see image of Angry God type). The sin was so big that God himself had to pay it – he is the only one who could.
This is the Gospel – and I love the RC Sproul quote:
The glory of the gospel is this: the one from whom we need to be saved is the one who has saved us
The work of Jesus on the cross is what saves us. That is the only way that we can approach God almighty – by claiming the forgiveness that Jesus won for us on the cross. Then we will not see the pointing finger, the anger – we will see the love of the one who created you to be with him.
19(A) Therefore, brothers,[a] since we have confidence to enter(B) the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20by(C) the new and living way that he opened for us through(D) the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21and since we have(E) a great priest over the house of God, 22let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts(F) sprinkled clean(G) from an evil conscience and our bodies(H) washed with pure water. 23(I) Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for(J) he who promised is faithful.