“The Lord replied, ‘Go down and bring Aaron up with you. But the priests and the people must not force their way through to come up to the Lord, or he will break out against them.’ So Moses went down to the people and told them.” — Exodus 19:24-25 (NIV84)
Over the last couple days I have been thinking about the parallels between what God did with Moses and Aaron in our verses for today, and what Jesus did with His disciples before the Sermon on the Mount recorded in the Gospel of Matthew. Both God and Jesus were speaking to a larger crowd, but they specifically brought the leaders closer. The one difference here was that the children of Israel were not allowed to come near the mountain, but the people listening to Jesus teach were able to sit on the mountainside. God became flesh in Jesus so He was accessible. The first thing that God taught Moses, Aaron and the children of Israel was the Ten Commandments. The first thing that Jesus taught His disciples and the people was the Beatitudes. Both describe what the lives of redeemed believers should look like. Neither prescribes necessary works to become a child of God, but rather the out-flowing works of a child of God who is motivated by grace and gratitude.
These parallels fascinate me because they reveal so much about our God and the integrity of His inspired word. Events that took place thousands of years apart and were recorded by two separate individuals have a design and pattern that only God could place there. Each shows how intensely God desires that we know and are obedient to His will as the children of God. Mostly I am overwhelmed by the blessing we get in the incarnate Word. We do not have to keep our distance from Jesus. Jesus makes God approachable, touchable and relatable. One last comparison: God ultimately left Moses, Aaron and the people of Israel with a sacrificial system to deal with infractions to His law. Jesus died on the cross as our sacrificial lamb, once and for all, so that our forgiveness would be certain and true.