Trying to climb a mountain without knowing the mountain would be a foolish endeavor. Spiritual mountains are no different. In scripture, Mountains frequently symbolize seats of power in the spiritual realm. There are two mountains mentioned in scripture that I believe everyone has to choose which one they will climb. We need to know these mountains before we choose.
Mount Sinai and Mount Zion are mentioned in Hebrews chapter 12. Both of these mountains represent two different powers and covenants of God. Mount Sinai represents the powerful fierce judgment of God that demonstrates His holiness. It’s where the law was given to Moses under the old covenant. Climbing this mountain is climbing the mountain of performance to gain God’s approval.
Hebrews 12:18 For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, 19 and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them.
When God’s powerful covenant touched earth on this mountain, judgment, fear and dread came with it. This mountain required perfect obedience and the dread that it brought was more than anyone could handle. Those at the foot of this mountain asked for nothing else to be spoken to them. They knew their climbing gear just couldn’t handle it.
But Jesus makes a different mountain available to climb; Mount Zion. This mountain, is the mountain of mercy. Climbing this mountain takes us straight into the presence of God. It is based on grace. And Jesus states that the gear needed to climb this mountain is light and effective.
Hebrews 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.
Jesus’ blood cries out for mercy. Abel’s blood cries out for justice and judgment. Jesus is the mediator the advocate, the interceder of the new covenant of Mount Zion. Something superior to the judgment found on Mount Sinai.
James 2:13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
Climbing Mount Sinai brings you into the presence of death, judgment and the law. Climbing Mount Zion brings you into the presence of heaven, mercy and Jesus Himself.
You have to pick one. You can’t climb both mountains.
Mark 2:22 No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins as well; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.”
If you try to climb both mountains, you will mix two covenants and make both ineffective in your life. Add some Mount Zion to Mount Sinai to make it a little more tolerable and Mount Sinai will lose its terror, which is the very thing that drives us to understand and reach for mercy. Add some Mount Sinai to Mount Zion to prevent people from abusing grace and you will destroy the peace, grace and power of Mount Zion.
There’s no Mercy on Mount Sinai and no judgment on Mount Zion. The terror of Sinai is supposed to bring us to Zion and to Jesus Himself but it cannot prevent sin, it can only judge it.
Abusing grace in order to live a life of sin, drains the power right out of grace. The very power of grace is to set us free from sin. Living in sin and justifying it by calling it grace is not grace at all. It is bondage. It is still living at the base of Sinai and partying with the golden calf.
Romans 6:14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!
Touching Mount Sinai will bring you to the mountain of performance and judgment which will bring death to your spiritual life. Even touching the base of Sinai brought death. But touching Mount Zion will transport you into heavenly realms and into the presence of Jesus and you will come fully alive.
Which mountain will you spend your life on?