NT Connect: Hebrews 3:1-6
Weekly Reading: Exodus 26-30
Jesus is Greater than Moses
Clean hands and a pure heart. Growing up in the Jackson household my sisters and I grew familiar with the phrase “clean hands and a pure heart.” This phrase was rehearsed in our home before every single meal at my mother’s table. Clean hands and a pure heart, clean hands and a pure heart. By repeating this phrase again and again, my mother was helping us understand our need not only to be physically clean, but spiritually clean as well.
In many ways, everything we read about this week – the Tabernacle, the altar, the bronze basin, and the priesthood – all served as reminders to the to the Israelites of their need to be made clean.
God so loves us and wants to be in a relationship with us. He desires to dwell with us. We have seen the Lord’s desire to dwell among his people on display in Exodus. He redeemed them from slavery in Egypt, and this week, we have read how he gave Moses instructions for building the Tabernacle where God would come to be among his people.
God desires to dwell among his people, but there’s a problem: we are dirty, stained with sin. How can a holy and perfect God be in a relationship with such unclean people? In his grace, God provided for his people so that they could come to him. He gave them sacrifices to bear their guilt and a priesthood to act as mediators between them. Our God made a way for his people to dwell with him.
Moses was faithful. He was faithful to lead God’s people out of Egypt. He was faithful to hand God’s law to them, and he was faithful to lead them through the Exodus. He was faithful “as a servant” (Hebrews 3:5), but by the end of his faithful service, we find that God’s people still had a fundamental problem: they did not want to obey God. God’s people did not just need a new law, a new place to worship, and a new land. More fundamentally, they needed new hearts.
Moses was faithful as servant, but now Christ has come as the faithful Son (Hebrews 3:6). As the Son, he has the power and authority to address the problem that plagued God’s people in the Exodus. He can give new hearts. He has made us clean, not with with the blood of goats or bulls, but with his own precious blood. On the cross, he washed our hands clean, made our hearts pure, and robed us in his righteousness.
If you are trusting in Christ to be made right with God, you are righteous in God’s sight. The problem of sin has been dealt with, and now, you are a temple in which God dwells by his Spirit (Ephesians 2:21-22; 1 Corinthians 6:19). It is through Christ’s perfect sacrifice that we can now be with our heavenly Father with clean hands and a pure heart.