for you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. for they could not endure the order that was given, “if even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” indeed, so terrifying was the sight that moses said, “i tremble with fear.” but you have come to mount zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, a mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of abel. [hebrews 12:18-24]


saved—from wrath unto Jesus


under the covenant of grace, we are not just saved from wrath, we are saved to be in God’s presence! the israelites in the desert trembled at God’s voice and had to keep distant under pain of death, but by the blood of Christ the Spirit of God makes his home in us! God heard hagar’s voice in the wilderness calling out and said, “what troubles you, hagar? fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. up! lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for i will make him into a great nation.” (genesis 21:17b-18) God protected the son of the covenant of the flesh as well, but only to be apart from God’s presence. praise the Lord that we now can be grafted in with the chosen of God, under the covenant of the promise! praise God that the willing blood of the lamb speaks a better word than the murderous blood of abel, the testimony of our sin!

thank you Lord for saving us, from our sin to be with you! help us to remember every day that you are with us, and desire to be near to us! under Jesus’ blood there is now therefore no condemnation and no shame before your presence; help us to believe that, even when we must humbly repent. we are yours; send us!


~ stephen hall