The Word of God is rife with stories of just how much has changed since the death of Christ on the cross, His burial, and His resurrection. Salvation is now here, and what was once an insurmountable mountain separating us from the holy presence of God has now been broken down, demolished, and paved for all to cross.
One of the coolest examples of this astounding change is revealed when comparing the encounter that Moses had with the Lord at the burning bush in the very first book of the Bible (Genesis) and the encounter that John had with the Lord in his vision in the very last book of the Bible (Revelation)!
When Moses saw the burning bush from afar, it was natural for him to be curious. A bush that was apparently alight with the flames of fire but didn’t have a single scorch mark on it?
That had to be investigated.
And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” | Genesis 3:2-3
In this time (the Old Testament) which is overarchingly categorized by the fact that the Savior had not made himself fully known and had not done His good work of saving, sin was rampant in the world. As a result, man continued to solidify separation from the Holy God. So when the Lord revealed His presence in this un-burnable bush, it was a mistake for Moses to try and draw near –
he had no right.
The Lord quickly put him in his place, and once Moses clearly saw what was happening, fear overtook him and he hid his face in terror as the Lord spoke to him!
When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. | Genesis 3:4-6
In contrast, we fast forward to the book of Revelation, which was written millennia later after the work of reconciliation [to God] Christ did on the cross. John wrote the book with clear direction from the Lord, and we see that happen right at the beginning. John heard a loud voice like a trumpet behind him, and out of curiosity like Moses:
Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lamp stands, and in the midst of the lamp stands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest… When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last…” | Revelation 1:12-13,17
- Our response to His glory and majesty does not change. It is fear; it is awe; it is reverence. Just as both Moses and John displayed.
- His response to us, by His grace, has.
Praise the Lord that what was once, “Do not come near,” has now become a gentle embrace and a “Fear not” for ALL who draw near!
Look at how the Savior has lifted separation and tell the world that the mountain has been
d e m o l i s h e d !
“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price!” | Isaiah 55:1