Gospel in Exodus: A Broken Law, A Second Chance

It is often said that great minds think alike, and perhaps it is for this reason the Bible confirms that God’s ways are not like our ways (Isa 55:8). In a world where relationships are strained and broken every day by sin, the all-too-frequent human reaction is to “cut our losses,” walk away, and despise the offending party. Throughout the Bible we learn that this is not how God operates. The Bible tells us that God is “rich in mercy” (Eph 2:4), is “good and forgiving” (Psa 86:5), and asks, “Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity?” (Mic 7:18). God’s mercy and forgiveness were never more evident than in the life of the Lord Jesus, who startled His audience by proclaiming, “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luk 19:10 ESV).

Not only is God clear on who He is, but He shows us who we are as well. We struggle to accept how accurately God describes our spiritual condition when He tells us we are lost. As sinners, we fall short of His standard and are unable to bridge the gap. Our sin debt requires payment, and only the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus is sufficient to meet our need. By His death we can receive forgiveness and spiritual life (Act 13:38). The miracle of the gospel is that God’s grace is greater than all our sin, knowing no limit, and able to save the very worst. Paul claimed to be the worst (1Ti 1:15), but every forgiven sinner since stands ready to challenge him for the title!

We learn of our sin by the Law of God. It was, in fact, for this very purpose that the Law was given: to show us our sinfulness and need of a Savior (Gal 3:19), not to provide a false hope of being able to meet its requirements. Our inability was evident the very day the Law was given. It was an unforgettable experience, a day marked by a display of God’s majesty and glory as a holy God to be reverentially feared and obeyed. And yet, the people did the very opposite. As Moses descended the mountain carrying two tablets engraved by the very finger of God, the Law they contained was broken before His eyes. God said of these people He loved, “They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them” (Exo 32:8 ESV).

Not many days later, however, our God of second chances displayed His unending mercy and unfathomable forgiveness by writing again the words of the Law on two new tablets prepared by Moses. In those moments, God revealed Himself to be “a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness … forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin” (Exo 34:6-7 ESV).

Have you accepted God’s diagnosis of your problem? Have you accepted your responsibility as a lost sinner? Have you appreciated the mercy and forgiveness of God that was sublimely demonstrated and provided by the substitutionary death of the Lord Jesus on Calvary’s cross? If you have, have you told Him? Tell Him today; He longs to hear from you!