God offers the covenantal agreement to the people. This is not going to be a one sided relationship. God seeks the participation of the people in the covenant. The people answer in verse 8 “We will do everything the Lord has said.” They are committing themselves to the covenant with and therefore relationship to God.
God gives instructions for the people to not set foot on the Holy Mountain of the Lord. God did this to show a difference between God, the one God of Israel and the many gods of Egypt and the surrounding areas. Those gods/idols could be touched, seen, handled, or manipulated. God wanted to be certain that God’s status as other, Holy was accepted.
In the Christian faith we hold dear, we are not only allowed to approach God, but invited through Jesus to draw close. This contrast is made through God entering our world as Jesus and coming close to us as the Emmanuel.
God spoke the 10 commandments to all of Israel. They all heard God speaking and were so terrified of the thunderous noise that they begged God to speak through Moses alone. I wonder how often I’ve missed the opportunity to hear God speak because I’ve been afraid to listen.
The 10 Commandments are rules for living out faith in community with God and others. We humans, left to our own devices will always look out for ourselves. These rules give a way to live in community setting the wellbeing of the whole above the desires of the individual.
Jesus is turned over to a legion of soldiers and they proceed to mock and abuse him. I have never noticed the detail that he was struck repeatedly on the head with a staff. I am greatly disturbed by these images.
Jesus is offered gall and wine to dull the pain of crucifixion, but once he tastes it he refused to drink. All of the pain was felt that day. Jesus was not dulled in any way when he faced the cruelty of the cross.
As a youth I was told that part of Jewish education would have included the memorization of Psalms. The 22nd Psalm in particular was one that mother’s taught their sons. I am not sure of the accurateness of this thought, but I often think of Mary, watching Jesus die and hearing him call out the first lines of that Psalm. How it must have broken and blessed her heart.
My name is Cardelia Howell-Diamond and I pastor a congregation in Alabama. I'm a clergymama, with a clergymama! I have three lovely littles and an amazing clergyman husband. I love life in the church, even when I don't! I knit, crochet, read, write and sew, though none of these as often as I'd like.