Summary: The writer of Hebrews invites us to come to Zion where our Savior has made a way for us to draw near to God.
The Blessings of Mount Zion
There was a Judge who was an honorable man, a man of integrity who sought justice. He was a Judge who was motivated by his faith in Jesus Christ and he sought to live out the biblical commands of righteousness and justice as he presided over his courtroom. He poured over the Scriptures, especially the Old Testament Scriptures that dealt with judging fairly and not being partial to those who might have pull or power in society.
The day came when the Judge was notified that his own daughter had been arrested. The charge was really not that serious, a mere speeding ticket, but the Judge knew that he would have to deal with his own daughter in the same way that he dealt with everyone else who appeared before him.
In the days leading up to his daughter’s court appearance the Judge’s mind wandered as he thought of how he might make the ordeal the least painful and embarrassing for his daughter. She had never been in trouble with the law before. She had not really shown any signs of rebellion. Would it be best to simply dismiss it and let her go with no consequences for her breaking the law? As much as a daddy’s heart wanted to spare his daughter the anxiety of appearing in court, he could not make an allowance for her that he wouldn’t make for others.
The day came when she arrived at the courtroom. When it was her time to appear before the Judge she walked forward. The Judge asked, "How do you plead to the charge against you?" She hung her head while he was speaking. Deep inside she was mad and embarrassed that she even had to show up in court, but her dad had told her that he would have to deal with her offense in the same way that he dealt with everyone else. She looked up into the face of her father, the Judge. He looked back at her waiting for her to speak. Finally, she said, "I wasn’t really speeding. I was just trying to get to school on time. I was running late and I had to get to school." The Judge listened until she stopped talking then he pounded his gavel on the wooden block and said, "I find you guilty and fine you $100.00 for the offense." The Judge’s daughter began to cry. Not so much because of the fine or because she had broken the law, but because she felt like her dad was being cold hearted and uncaring. While she was crying, the Judge began to rise from his chair, take off his Judge’s robe, walk down from behind the bench, and wrap his arms around his daughter. He stroked her hair and then took her under one arm while he reached into his back pocket and took out his wallet. The father took out a $100 bill and laid it on the bench - fine paid.
The father walked his daughter to one side of the courtroom where he sat down with her. He talked softly so that no one else could hear what was being said. The two hugged, he kissed her on the cheek, and she left the courtroom with her head held high while he walked back behind the bench -- and the father resumed his duties as Judge.
The story of the Judge who paid the price for his daughter’s offense is a wonderful illustration of what our Father has done for you and me. I will assure you that as much as the young lady would have liked to have avoided the embarrassment of making an appearance before the court, she would not have liked living in a land where Judge’s show preferential treatment and thumb their noses at justice. We all desire justice when we are the ones offended. We would like to believe that we live in a land where justice will prevail. On the other hand, when we are the offender and we have broken the law we desire mercy more than anything in life.
The message of the Gospel is that God is the perfect Judge who is just in all of His ways, perfect in all of His judgments, righteous in all of His commands, and faultless in all of His decrees. That is the good news, but it is also bad news. It is bad news when you consider that none of us can meet the requirements of Almighty God. The Bible teaches us, "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23 NIV) The Bible also teaches us, "There is none righteous, no, not one." (Romans 3:10 NIV) Where does this leave us?
If God’s commands were graded on the curve, then you might have a chance to grade out pretty high if you were better, more noble, or godly than most, but God doesn’t grade on the curve. Let’s look at it from another angle. If God commanded us to jump across the Grand Canyon then we would all know that we were in trouble. Some can jump further than others. The world record for the long jump is 29.36 feet set by Mike Powell on August 8, 1991. Jumping almost 30 feet wouldn’t do you much good if you were told that you had to jump across the Grand Canyon would it? If God commanded us to lift one of the great pyramids of Egypt then we would all know that we were in trouble. Paul Anderson, some believe the strongest man to ever live, was able to clean and jerk 565 lbs. over his head, he could squat 1206 lbs., and once back lifted over 6000 lbs. - an impressive feat, but not even close to the weight of a pyramid. As strong as Paul Anderson was, does it really matter whether he can lift a fork or a forklift if he cannot lift a pyramid? Some of you here this morning are fast, really fast, but what if God commanded that we outrun a speeding bullet? Maurice Greene is the fastest human alive, the holder of the World Record in the 100 meter dash at 9.79 seconds, but that time won’t come near a speeding bullet so does it really matter how fast Maurice has run? Not really, because as fast Maurice is he is just running in place in meeting the command of God.