Isaac Ambrose has beautifully illustrated the truth of Hebrews 12:18-24, Mount Sinai Vs Mount Zion. We have talked a bit about the Fearsome God at Mount Sinai.(Exodus 12:18-21) He came down on the Mount in fearsome fire and smoke, and the mountain shook with an earthquake. Even the physical earth cannot remain passive in the Presence of the Lord of heaven and earth. Recall the restrictions placed upon Israel prior to the giving of God's Law: Clean clothes, no sexual relations between husband and wife, and no touching the mountain on threat of death. There was no room for curiosity at the mount, God reiterated his restrictions twice to Moses. Then the loud blast of a trumpet that increased in volume and duration, and the Lord spoke audibly/Voice of words in Hebrews12:19. The peoples' response? "All the people in the camp trembled." This is our Judge, robed in His Perfect Righteousness and Majesty. God tells Moses before the second giving of the Lay, "You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live." This is Mount Sinai, this is the declaration of the Holy, Perfect God with Whom we must give account. He is the source of Dread and Fear for fallen man, and unapproachable, even with clean clothes on! "And all the people trembled."
That brings us to Mount Zion, the city of the Living God (Hebrews 12:18) It first of all must be noted that man doesn't go tramping into this City on his own merit or strength either. Such presumption is just as fatal as touching Mount Sinai. The entire book of Hebrews is taken up in unveiling to us Jesus Christ, our God/Man High Priest and the Only Mediator between God and man. It goes into great detail to prove to us that Jesus is the One Atoning Sacrifice that sinful man must have. Jesus is the One High Priest Who can bring His One Atoning Sacrifice as the perfect satisfaction of the Triune Godheads' Righteousness and Wrath. Jesus is the only access that fallen man has to God, the only means into the Father's Presence. Jesus is our Eternal confidence and boldness to come into God's Presence because, "But He, because He continues forever (doesn't die), has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He ever lives (eternally) to make intercession for them.
That is why, and the only why, that those whose faith is in this Righteous Redeemer, "have come" to Mount Zion instead of Mount Sinai! Notice, not will come, but have come. There is a real sense, by faith, in which the children of the Most High God, whose faith is in His Beloved Son for their hope and salvation, why these blessed ones receive NOW the benefits of this Mount Zion. We will delve into these blessings as enumerated in Hebrews 12:22-24 next time.