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Thursday, Fourth Week of Lent

March 22, 2007

Blessed Thursday!

Readings:
Exodus 32:7-14 (Moses intercedes for the Israelites, who are worshiping the golden calf)
Psalm 106:19-23 “Lord, remember us, for the love You bear Your people”
+John 5:31-47 (Old Testament prophesy points to Jesus as Messiah)

“The one to accuse you is Moses” (John 5:45).

Those are strong words. Moses was Israel’s advocate with God. He was
the one who pleaded with God to spare His people, the one who refused
to stand aside so that God could wipe Israel off the face of the earth &
start over with Moses (see Exodus 32:11-14, Numbers 21:5-9).
“Moses, His chosen one, withstood Him in the breach to turn back
His destructive wrath” (Psalm 106:23). When your advocate starts
accusing you, where do you go for defense?! This would be like
walking into a courtroom with your lawyer, only to have him tell you
that he knows you’re guilty and he’s going to argue against you.
When you’re dealing with God, there’s no use trying to find another
lawyer. He knows the truth.

The truth is that there is no defense for rejecting Jesus. There is no
defense for sin. The devil will be only too eager to accuse us (see Job
1:6-11, 2:1-5, Revelation 12:10), and God, who is the One who most wants
what’s best for us, will not turn a blind eye to the sin that eats us
alive. The best thing a true advocate can do for us is to accuse us
so that we will cast off the sin that is our true enemy.

Repentance is the only constructive response to our own sin,
our only defense against its ravages, and no one can do our repenting
for us. Israel learned that the hard way, repeatedly (Numbers 21:5-9,
Judges 10:10-16, I Samuel 7:6, etc.). We need to face sin for what it
is, reject it, and take concrete steps to turn back to God. Moses and
the prophets set before us life and death, the blessing and the curse,
and urged us to choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19). If we’ve chosen
death, we have only ourselves to blame. The good news is that these
same prophets also set before us the remedy for our bad choices.
We can repent. We can return to the Lord, heed His Voice with all
our heart and soul (Deuteronomy 30:2) and keep His commandments.
He will take us back, cleanse us (Isaiah 1:18-19), and heal us
(Deuteronomy 32:39).

This is all possible because of the price Jesus paid for us. Moses
could plead for his people, and even offer to take their punishment on
himself (Exodus 32:32). However, because God is infinite, offenses
against Him take on infinite proportions. Moses, as a finite creature,
was utterly incapable of paying that infinite price. Only Jesus,
because He is infinite God (because He and the Father are One), could
pay the infinite penalty. He is the One to whom Moses and the prophets
point as our ultimate remedy for sin.

May we turn in repentance to Jesus, the remedy for our sin,
that He may cleanse and heal us from the only disease
that can ultimately destroy us.

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