Post it note Gospel
It’s easy to get side-tracked. So many things compete for our attention in a given day. You might have a few goals that you write down in the morning, or even the night before, only to find that all kinds of other things are in need of more pressing attention.
It is frustrating. Instead of a straight line to achieve the daily goals, you zigzag, dodging and swerving to get these accomplished. Sometimes “priorities” get pushed back days or even weeks.
If you’re like me, you have a dozen sticky notes with various reminders on them. This helps me to recall goals I had set earlier. These little notes remind me of what is important.
The opening portion of Deuteronomy reads like reminder notes to Israel. Moses recounts the ways in which Israel was rescued and provided for by Yahweh. He does this to remind Israel of how they are little, weak and rebellious, but Yahweh is a mighty, infinite and connected God.
Even so, Yahweh is tired of Israel’s rebellion early on in Deuteronomy 9, which Moses retells:
“‘Furthermore, the Lord said to me, “I have seen this people,
and behold, it is a stubborn people. Let me alone,
that I may destroy them and blot out their name
from under heaven. And I will make of you a nation mightier
and greater than they” (vs.13-14)
Although Yahweh had invested so much into this people, He was ready to destroy them. “That’s not the post it note I want to be reminded of, Moses. I’d rather hear about how we are a chosen people,” the Israelites might have said to themselves.
Even worse, Moses tells them later in this chapter that he had to beg God for mercy on Israel:
“So I lay prostrate before the Lord for these forty days and forty nights, because the Lord had said he would destroy you.And I prayed to the Lord, ‘O Lord God, do not destroy your people and your heritage, whom you have redeemed through your greatness, whom you have brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand.Remember your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Do not regard the stubbornness of this people, or their wickedness or their sin, lest the land from which you brought us say, “Because the Lord was not able to bring them into the land that he promised them, and because he hated them, he has brought them out to put them to death in the wilderness.” For they are your people and your heritage, whom you brought out by your great power and by your outstretched arm.’ (vs 25-29)
Moses threw himself down before the Lord on behalf of Israel. He literally laid down his life before an angry God. In essence, Moses was saying, “If you have found favor with me, please forgive them.”
For us Christians, this is powerful stuff. Moses lays down his very life, first, then makes appeals based on the Lord’s own statements about His people. He also makes an appeal based on the lives of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
This scene is a foreshadowing of what Christ would do. He laid down His own life. But, instead of laying it down for the small community of people with a common bloodline, He laid it down for all people of all bloodlines. The God-man was pleasing to God the Father in His very existence. He fulfilled the entire law entirely. His life was not given for the extinguishing of just one moment of God’s wrath. He gave His life for the eternity of the Father’s wrath that was to be poured out upon us.
He left no sticky notes of sin, but was covered with every single one of them, both yours and mine. In Him, we are set free from the Law of sin and death. In Him we can loudly proclaim, “Therefore, there is now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
And, when we do sin, we can come to Him, confess our sin, and hear the statement: “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This is the giant post it note God has chosen to repeat to us in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
He has laid down His body. He has given His life. His death is our forgiveness, now and forever.