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Byline: Rev Tom Cant

We reach the end of this little series about Moses.We will be challenged by its uncompromising message. Moses was the one who saw God face to face, whom God considered a friend ( Exodus 33.11 and Deuteronomy 34.10).

So intimate was the relationship between Moses and God that Moses'face shone with a holy radiance after he talked with God (Exodus 34.29). Consider all that Moses had endured on the journey.The waywardness of the people with their constant complaints:"Would that you had left us in the land of bondage" (Exodus 16.2-3).

Now they stood on the borders of the Promised Land. But Moses was refused entry into the Promised Land as a punishment from God. Because once, only once, Moses had disobeyed God.

speak to the rock from whence water would flow.

But Moses had struck the rock (Numbers 20.8-13)."Ascend to Mount Nebo and view the land of Canaan which I will give to the people, and die on the mountain you ascend. Because you broke faith with me and did not revere me as holy in the midst of the people'(Deuteronomy 32. 49-50).

Moses paid a heavy price for his mistake.This story about Moses should make us seriously review our life and conduct. It is a lesson society in general and the church membership in particular have conveniently forgotten.We live, or should live, in a moral world as moral individuals.

As John Macmurray, my professor of Moral Philosophy at Edinburgh University, used to say: "We are moral agents."At the end of our life we will be judged."For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ"(2 Corinthians 5.10). I once stood in the Sistene Chapel in theVatican and stared at Michelangelo's epic mural of the Last Judgment when Christ rises from his throne to separate the sheep from the goats. I departed subdued.

But this issue of our moral and personal accountability can be brought into yet sharper focus. Moses the friend of God paid God's price for his single misdeed. But Jesus Christ the Son of God paid the ultimate price of salvation for the human race."God so loved the world that He gave us his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have ever lasting life"(John 3.16). John had declared:"No-one has seen God at any time, the only begotten Son of the Father, in the very bosom of the Father, Jesus has revealed God to us"(John 1.17-18). Jesus revealed God to us by paying the price of human sin and evil. For the Cross is the ultimate revelation of the holy God.

The Cross is also the holy condemnation of sin, evil and wrong. This sacrificial life of Jesus is dramatically described in the letter to Hebrews."Although he was the Son of God Jesus learned obedience through what He suffered and being made perfect (on the Cross) he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him"(Hebrews 5.8-9).

Jesus died at the festival of Passover.This festival celebrated how the children of Israel escaped from Egypt. Moses ordered them to sprinkle the blood of the lamb on their houses.

Then the angel of the Lord saw the blood of the lamb on the Israelite doors and'passed over' these houses (Exodus 12.1-7).The Early Church described Jesus'death as"The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world"(John 1.29). Our life can often demand a terribly high price from us. Our broken health, or our disappointed hopes and dreams.We often require to pay a high price for the mistakes we made.

But there was One who drank life's bitter experiences to the full even although he begged of God that the cup pass from his lips (Luke 22.42)."There was One and the Lord laid on him the iniquities of us all"(Isaiah 53.6). Little wonder that Moses and Elijah spoke with Jesus on the Mount OFTRANSFIGURATION. But did Moses also converse with the Lord about the price of the Cross soon to be paid for the iniquities of us all.

"Moses and Elijah were talking with Jesus"(Mark 9.4).
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Publication:Paisley Daily Express (Paisley, Scotland)
Date:Feb 2, 2019
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