"He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." Isaiah 53:12e
Text: Exodus 32 : 31-33
ANOTHER TRIP UP MOUNT SINAI
Moses knew that he had to attempt another arduous trip up Mount Sinai. The sin of the children of Israel was far graver than he had imagined. With the thought of making atonement in mind, Moses ascended Mount Sinai to seek the Lord once again!
“Then Moses returned to the LORD and said,
‘Oh, these people have committed a great sin,
and have made themselves a god of gold!
Yet now, if You will forgive their sin-
but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book
which You have written.'”
1. Full Confession of sin
Moses no longer pleaded for mitigation! He confessed freely that God was right and that Israel had indeed “committed a great sin”. They had foolishly made for themselves “a god of gold”.
2. A Plea for Forgiveness
What could Moses plead with? It seemed as if he had nothing else to plead with, except to repeat himself. That he did, pleading full forgiveness! Till blessing was pronounced, the danger of God’s wrath still hung in the air!
3. Offering himself in place of the children of Israel
Moses really cared for the children of Israel! What else could he say to the Lord that would move his heart? Could he offer himself as the atonement, as the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the children of Israel?
What a deeply moving prayer this was! He was willing to have his own name blotted from God’s Book of remembrance and life, if that could result in the full forgiveness of the children of Israel!
DEEPER LESSONS TO BE LEARNED
Would God be moved by this sincere offer of Moses? Could he actually atone for the sin of Israel by offering his personal life in exchange for forgiveness! God’s answer was profound and disconcerting.
“And the LORD said to Moses, ‘Whoever has sinned against Me,
I will blot him out of my book…”
Moses had yet to learn that there was only ONE person who could make full atonement for the sins of others! He was NOT that person! He may have been close to the Lord, and he may have been a faithful servant, but he would not be able to make atonement for anyone by offering his life as a sacrifice!
That privilege of being able to offer His life as a suitable sacrifice for the atonement of sin belongs to the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ!