Singing “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain”.
“Yes Ian the whole of creation will focus on My throne, ten thousand times 10 000 and many more, will bow down and sing and declare My worth. Now your worth does not depend on who you are and what you are doing or have done – it depends on and derives purely from My grace. Having chosen you before time you are where you are because of my grace and love which I have lavished on you. Your worth is dependent on that and not on your performance or willingness to obey – you are my workmanship my “poiema”, my lyric who carries my song out to the world. That defines your worth, made in My image to glorify Me in whatever way you feel I am leading you. I will make those paths straight for you till you eventually join the heavenly throng in worship”.
Looking today at the last part of Heb 12 from 14 – 29. The writer is busy wrapping up his ‘melody line’. Firstly with a reminder in vv 14 – 17 again of our responsibility towards each other in preventing some from drifting away. The ‘bitter root’ which people often interpret as a hidden sin in an individual is more focused here on that dissension which so easily happens in the church community and results in it no longer being effective in standing together against sin.
Then he produces this magnificent visual of the two mountains. Of course he is wanting to remind those Jewish believers that wanted to return to the Old Testament way of worship of the inadequacies of that covenant in comparison to the New Covenant represented by Mt Zion. Notice again how he emphasizes the theme and importance of salvation with the use of the concept of “men made perfect” being the ones who will be in the heavenly choir. That, in fact, is the message of the New Covenant.
While love should be the main motivator for us to follow and obey Jesus, notice how the writer again takes out the big stick in this closing section with several warnings and frightening pictures of what will result if one “falls into the hands of the living God” , the “God who is a consuming fire”. The clear message from all these exhortations is that we are invited to “be thankful and worship God acceptably with reverence and awe”.
So with this he brings his message to a close except for a few closing exhortations in the last chapter. The ultimate prize of being there with Jesus on the heavenly mt Zion, made perfect, in a perfect relationship with him and the Father through Him, compared to the inadequacies of the Old Covenant, faced with and separated from a fearsome, wrathful God and no mediator, shows clearly that it is not worth turning back to the Jewish rituals which this represents, because of the tremendous prize you would forfeit.
The word that I received from God before I read this passage was so similar to this message of scripture that I was again filled with the sense of the reality of His communication through His Word and His Spirit and the effect of that on me was undoubtedly a renewed desire to worship Him with reverence and awe..