(The 3,000th Orange Moon devotional. From the bottom of my heart, I am thanking God for all of you as I send this out. And I thank you. Glen).
Three thousand people died on the day the law was given. Three thousand people were born again unto eternal life on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was given.
"And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us... And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men" (Exodus 32:1; 27-28).
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls" (Exodus 32:27-28; Acts 2:41).
"The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life" (II Corinthians 3:6).
The law was perfect, but it could not save sinners from their sin. It was rather given to be a "schoolmaster to lead us to Christ." The law was the character of Christ in moral, ethical, and ritual form, and the failure of Israel and all of humanity to fulfill its tenets revealed our need for "a new and living way" to God (Romans 7:12; Galatians 3:24; Hebrews 10:20).
"I am the way" declared the Lord Jesus. Only Christ can save us from the sin that dominates our hearts until His Spirit enters our innermost being to make us His home. The law spoke to man from without; the grace of God confronts us from within by the conviction of the Holy Spirit as He personally confronts us with God's gift of a Savior, and our condition as condemned sinners. Only the Lord Jesus can change our heart, and thus establish the process whereby our sins are forgiven, and we are increasingly conformed to His spiritual and moral image (John 14:6).
We only truly live when we are trusting God in the submission of faith as revealed and defined by the Word of God. All other experience is actually a form of death, and produces little more than chaff driven away by the wind. "To live is Christ" wrote the Apostle Paul, and nothing else qualifies. Grace gives to us the living person of the Lord Jesus, and we "live by Him." The testimony of three thousand on the day of Pentecost, and countless multitudes throughout the centuries, bears witness to the Savior who is "the resurrection and the life." May our Heavenly Father illuminate us more and more with the wonder of being alive unto Him because we are spiritually united with the Christ whose promise shines within our hearts...
"I am... the life."