In this article we will conclude this series seeking to better understand what sin is. We have been doing so through various life lessons we can glean from the present COVID pandemic. The main one has been the repercussion COVID has had on our society at large, and more specifically in our church by causing us to experience the acute pain of isolation and loneliness. We concluded on our last article how a true friendship is the only cure for loneliness and the impossible challenge it presents for us to be one.
It is at this point where we begin to grasp the importance of the gospel in our lives. In Luke 18:27 Jesus emphatically tells us that “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” God can transform us into the kind of friend that is willing to lay down one’s life for our friends. We know God made this change in Moses.
When Israel was behaving its worst and God told Moses He was going to start fresh with him, Moses responded to God: “Yet now, if You will forgive their sin—but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.” (Exodus 32:32) Moses was a friend to Israel, but not because Moses somehow was nicer than they. Remember how he killed that Egyptian some years back? Moses apparently had had a violent way of solving life’s problems. But that had somehow changed. How, you ask? “So, the LORD spoke to Moses, face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.” (Exodus 33:11). Moses had learned how to be a friend by speaking with humanity’s best Friend, face to face. Your Friend.
Moses understood (though not entirely at first) how God would deliver not just Israel, but the entire world from the ultimate form of slavery. Slavery to sin. That’s what Jesus says: “Most as- suredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.” (John 8:34) It first became evident to Moses the night they left Egypt. In all the previous plagues Moses had done something.
But in this one, God would do something powerful. He would protect all those who would slaughter an innocent lamb and place its blood on their doorposts.
That Lamb, which became central to the more detailed and elaborate Sanctuary service, God revealed to Moses. The idea of self-sacrifice out of love for a friend began to change Moses into the same image. Though like us, Moses did not have all the pieces together right away; he eventually did understand what it would take for God to deliver him and the rest of the world from sin. When Moses, after his resurrection, appeared to Jesus (along with Elijah), they spoke to Him “of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.” (Luke 9:31) Do you know what Greek word is used for “departure”? The word “exodos,” which is the exact same word for the book of Exodus. Moses learned and was transformed from the gospel which centers upon self-sacrifice out of love.
Another follower of Jesus, who also had a violent and angry way about life, was also trans- formed and summarizes how this change takes place simply and beautifully. “We love Him because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19) May the gospel change our church family. May the gospel change you and me into friends that love each other like our Friend loves us.