There are two famous mountains in the Bible. The first is Mount Sinai, where the Ten Commandments and the Law were given to Moses. The second is Calvary, the peak on which Jesus was crucified. Which mountain are you living on? The first mountain represents the Old Testament, the second represents the New Testament. Under the Law of Moses, sacrificing an animal could temporarily cover sin. But on Calvary, Jesus became the ultimate sacrificial lamb. At the cross, Jesus took upon His body the punishment for every Law that had ever been broken. All of God’s need for justice was poured out upon Jesus. All of God’s judgment, wrath, and anger was placed on Jesus. Even though He had never sinned, Jesus was punished for the sins of the entire world. As Jesus died, He cried out, “It is finished.” Jesus did all that needed to be done to save sinners—there was nothing left for them to do.
In the Old Testament, no blemished, crippled, or defective animal or man could enter the Temple. But in the New Testament, Jesus invited the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. Grace made room for the imperfect.
In the Old Testament, the Levitical laws forbade contact with lepers, dead bodies, anyone bleeding, or anything else that was deemed “unclean.” In the New Testament, not only did Jesus touch all these kinds of people, He made them whole. Through grace, the unclean becomes clean.
The Pharisees prayed daily, “God, I thank you that I was not born a Gentile, a slave, or a woman.” Paul, the Pharisee of the Pharisees, wrote “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male not female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Grace makes us all equal before God.
In the Old Testament, God says He will “by no means clear the guilty” (Exodus 34:7). In the New Testament, God says, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more” (Hebrews 10:17).
On Mount Sinai, 3,000 people died (Exodus 32:28). After Calvary, on the day of Pentecost, 3,000 people were saved (Acts 2:41). For the Jews, Pentecost is still tied to the Jewish harvest festival of Shavuot, which celebrates the giving of the Ten Commandments to Moses. For Christians, Pentecost is a celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit.
The final word in the Old Testament is “curse” (Malachi 4:6). But the last thought in the New Testament is, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all” (Revelation 22:21).
What mountain do you live on? Are you living on Mount Sinai or on Calvary? Are you a disciple of Jesus or a disciple of Moses? In the story of Jesus healing the blind man on the Sabbath (John 9), the Pharisees called themselves the disciples of Moses; the blind man who received his sight became the disciple of Jesus. The disciples of Moses denied the grace of God, but the disciples of Jesus received the grace of God. It’s pretty hard to stand on top of two mountains. We weren’t made for that kind of stretching. Once when He was teaching about money, Jesus said that it was impossible to serve two masters. The same is true about the Law and grace, about Sinai and Calvary. You can’t serve them both; you can’t stand on both. You have to choose just one. I want to live on Mount Calvary. What about you?