“According to the number of days which you spied out the land, forty days, for every day you shall bear your guilt a year, even forty years, and you will know My opposition. I, the Lord, have spoken, surely this I will do to all this evil congregation who are gathered together against Me. In this wilderness they shall be destroyed, and there they will die.’”
Innocent the–freshly liberated from Egyptian oppression–Israel people were not, and God’s justice would be satisfied. The sentence: 40 years of judgment experienced by wandering in the wilderness, which was commensurate to the 40 days of spying out the land. A year for a day. The first generation would die, and the next generation would carry the promise–God had made to Abraham some four hundred or so years ago–forward.
However, this judgment–though seemingly punitive–was merely a fraction of what might have been had not Moses interceded on behalf of these people. You see, just before this sentence was handed down, the people had raised such a ruckus of doubt and consternation after the spy report was given regarding the land that God was going to wipe them out completely. But He didn’t.
Because…there was an intercessor who stood in for them. There was a mediator who was previously raised up by God. There was one who spoke on their behalf despite their trepidation, wickedness, doubt, fear, anxiety, hopelessness, and sin. There was one, whose name was Moses, whom God had raised up as their mediator who would be a shadow, an example, and a demonstration of what the One true mediator would do for all of mankind. There was a mediator who interceded, and God heard his cries and supplications.
How does this apply to us today?
Moses was merely a man who no doubt had a mission to liberate and mediate for God’s people, but he was still just a man who lived and who died. He died because of the curse of sin, and also because he was not to be the One true mediator. No, no there was One coming whose purpose was to mediate on behalf of all mankind despite their evil, wickedness, and sin. Moses was pointing ahead!
Glory to our God, He has sent the one true Mediator, the God-man, Jesus Christ, to die in the place of all people receiving the punishment for their sin, so that they would have eternal life with Him.
How is this eternal life received?
By grace through faith. One looks away from their own life, works, deeds, successes, failures, acts of righteousness–giving to the church, helping the needy, attending Sunday School, or just being a decent person, etc. to Christ. They transfer their trust from themselves to be right with God to the finished work of Christ on their behalf. They believe that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was not just some good story to remember at Easter, but that it was the turning point in history where God poured out His wrath for all of mankind’s sin. They believe that it was the cross where God dealt with sin and received the only perfect sin-payment acceptable to Him in order for Him to be just–that of His Son, Jesus Christ. Thus all the work was finished in order to make man righteous and right with God. However, man still faces death–the consequence of sin–and thus God conquered death through Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Therefore, death–the consequence of sin–was dealt with, and now man is given hope beyond the grave–they could face death with confidence.
Jesus Christ was the ultimate Mediator that dealt with sin and death, in order to give the promise of eternal life to those who believe that this work that Christ performed was for them. Moses’ actions of mediation for those people of Israel were no doubt significant, but it could only point to the day when Jesus Christ’s mediation would be more than just significant, but completely sufficient for all of mankind!
Look to Christ in faith. Repent of your sins, your righteousness that you think makes you right with God, and believe that the work of Christ on the cross and His resurrection from the dead were for you. If you believe that Christ’s life, death, and resurrection were sufficient for you and your sin, then you are a Christian with the privelege of sharing this life saving message in your sphere of influence. It’s man’s only hope–only hope for eternal life beyond the grave.
Glory to our God, there is a mediator who pointed to the one true Mediator! And this is yet another reason why Christ Had to Die–the Mediator of Man.— August 25, 2017