- Virginia Brown
The Bible is a big book. Capturing and communicating the entire message in a concise manner can be difficult. Nevertheless, the Bible itself gives us these tools we need to understand its message in a simple manner. Specifically, the Bible summarizes its message by comparing two mountains: Mt. Sinai and Mt. Zion.
The author of Hebrews describes the first mountain, Mt. Sinai, as one characterized by dread, doom, and judgment (Heb 12:18–21). The reason? This was the place where God, in His magnificent, eternal righteousness, etched His law into stone. Considering our sin, God’s law is a terror. God’s holiness was not to be trifled with, for whoever (animals included) touched Mt. Zion was to be stoned (Ex 19:13). Though Sinai cannot save, it leads us to another mountain (Gal 3:24).
In His grace, God provides Mt. Zion. Zion offers something Sinai didn’t: the sprinkled blood of the Christ (Heb 12:24). Mount Zion represents for us grace, healing, mercy, heaven, and Jesus Christ. Further, Sinai also represents a renewed relationship with Mt. Sinai. Through Zion, Sinai no longer exists as a terror but as a blessing. In Christ, “the law is good” (1 Tim 1:8). Our experience at Mt. Zion grants us the forgiveness we need to approach Sinai.
God reveals His plan of redemption through two mountains. One represents God’s justice, holiness, and righteousness; the other His mercy and grace. Sinai leads us to Zion, and Zion leads us back to Sinai. Stated differently, the law leads us to Christ, and Christ leads us back to the law.