December 18, 2022
“So Moses returned to the Lord and said, ‘Oh, this people has committed a great sin; they have made for themselves a god of gold. Now if You would only forgive their sin.”
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“So Moses returned to the Lord and said, ‘Oh, this people has committed a great sin; they have made for themselves a god of gold. Now if You would only forgive their sin. But if not, please erase me from the book You have written.” The Lord replied to Moses, ‘Whoever has sinned against Me I will erase from My book. Now go, lead these people to the place I told you about; see, My angel will go before you. But on the day that I settle accounts, I will hold them accountable for their sin.’ Exodus 32:31-34
Fifty days after Passover is the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, or “Pentecost.” Shavuot is, perhaps, the most important harvest festival on the Jewish calendar. Since it coincides with the giving of the Law, Shavuot has become emblematic of God’s confirmation & consecration of Israel as His “first fruit” among the nations.
Their worship of the calf overshadows the day of Israel’s consecration. On that day, Moses gave Israel a “with me or against me” challenge, and the Levites gathered to him. Later that very day, the day that the Torah (God’s teaching) was given, 3000 men were killed. The implication of this account in Israel’s history is that Israel, left to its own designs and judged solely through the lens of the Law’s standard, can only produce a “crop of death.” Furthermore, God said that on the day He “settles accounts,” solely by the standard of His commands, none can survive His judgment.
Fast-forward to Acts chapter 2. At the time of the same festival of Shavuot (Pentecost), after Jesus’ resurrection, the Holy Spirit was given to the believers in Jerusalem. Those believers were the “first fruits” of His Greater Messianic Community (the Church), which has grown to be worldwide. The first fruits of God’s Spirit were also counted to be 3000 men, but this time, their experience was unto life! When God settles OUR accounts based on Messiah’s blood atonement (it’s worth imputed into our spiritual accounts upon the moment of our belief and certified by the presence of His Spirit), His Judgment of us returns, “Not guilty!”
“But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Messiah, he does not belong to Him. Now, if Messiah is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of His righteousness. And if the Spirit of Him who raised Messiah from the dead lives in you, then He who raised Messiah from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through His Spirit who lives in you.” Romans 8:10-11
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