“Oh Lord, what do you want me to do?” I ask that question all the time.
We have the Ten Commandments, but we appear to want more; there are at least 30,000 federal laws, alone.
Recently I said to my wife “What do you want me to do? What is it that you want from me? Do I have to give you a kiss, buy you flowers, and listen to your stories about the day?” She said “Yes!” But she seemed perturbed. And then she said, “If I died, you wouldn’t even miss me!” I said, “Yes, I would. I don’t know how to pay the bills or the location of all our important papers; I don’t even know how to work the washer and drier. Of course, I’d miss you!” She screamed, “Look! I’ll write down all the instructions and when I die, you can keep them in a box along with my bones and carry them with you wherever you go!” And I said, “Thanks, you’re the best!”
I didn’t actually say that . . . at least not to Susan.
Adam wanted to know what to do. Isn’t that why he took the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden at the edge of time and eternity? He wanted knowledge of the Good in flesh, who is also the Life. On the Holy Mountain of Eden, humanity took knowledge of the Good from a tree and everything died. On the Holy Mountain of Sinai, that no longer looked like a garden, God gave knowledge of the Good, written in stone, to Moses; he gave the law.
And now it gets weird. He didn’t tell Moses to post it at the Courthouse (like we’re always trying to do); he told him to put it in a box that couldn’t be opened, in a tent inside of a tent, guarded by an utterly complicated set of rituals. God told Moses to put the Law in a “coffin,” an “aron,” also translated with the English word, “ark.”
When Joseph died in Egypt, hundreds of years before, he made the Israelites swear to put his bones in a coffin and carry them with them to the Promised Land. Now God basically tells Moses, “Just as you made a coffin for the bones of Joseph, which you carry with you this day (Ex. 13:19), make a coffin for me.”
Exodus 25 goes into elaborate detail about this gold-plated coffin for the Law—the coffin that we now call “The Ark of the Covenant (or Testimony).” On top of the coffin, Moses was instructed to make a solid gold “kapporeth,” translated as “Mercy Seat” or “Place of Atonement.” On Yom Kippur, the High Priest would make atonement for the sins of the people by sprinkling the blood of sacrifice on top of the coffin between the two cherubim in “the Most Holy Place.”
Exodus 25:22 “There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim (Last we heard of these guys, they were guarding the way to the Tree of Life along with a flaming sword, literally, a butcher knife . . . designed to cut flesh.) …from between the two cherubim that are on the top of the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you about all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel.”
In other words, “There I will tell you what to do. Do not look to the laws in the box; look to the living Mercy on top; not a map, but a presence.” Exodus 33 informs us that it was in this “tent of meeting,” that the Lord used to speak to Moses “face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.” It also informs us that God told Moses, “Man cannot see me and live.” As we saw last time, the Burning Bush and the Tabernacle were like giant bug zappers. I suspect that Moses died and lived. When I speak to a truly good friend, my flesh, my ego, does not get in the way—I lose my “psyche” and find it.
In Exodus 40, the Fire and the Glory Cloud descend upon the Ark in the Tabernacle. It was how Moses knew which way to go.
When Moses looked behind the veil to the top of the ark, what do you think he saw enthroned above the Cherubim? I bet he saw the God/man on the burning thorn bush/tree; he saw that the glory on the mountain was now in their midst; I bet he saw “Jesus Christ and him crucified” but now risen from the dead; I bet he saw the Lamb of God standing on the throne as if he’d been slain; I bet he saw God, dancing on his own grave . . . which is also your grave, that is Adam’s grave (“As in Adam all die, so in Christ will all be made alive”). I bet he saw “The Good in flesh, The Life, the Way, the Judgment, the Decision of God.”
It was our decision to take the Life of God on the Tree in the middle of the Garden on the Holy Mountain; It was God’s decision to give his own Life on the Tree in the middle of the Garden on the Holy Mountain.
Moses saw the Atonement in the Place of Atonement . . . between the Cherubim and guarded by the Flaming Sword. And then he knew whatever it was that God was asking him to do.
“So what?” You ask. “Where’s the lost Ark now?”
Well, it’s in the temple that is the tabernacle that is you.
In seminary I learned that there is an argument between those that believe the atonement is “objective,” that is that it happens outside of you regardless of your decision, and those that think the atonement is “subjective,” that it is dependent upon you and your decision. But if you are the tabernacle, the atonement is objectively subjective and subjectively objective. It happens in the garden of your soul at the edge of eternity and time, the edge of the 6th day, and the endless 7th day, where decisions are made (“Decision is the awakening to the eternal”). Actually, it is how God makes you . . . Good.
It was the heart of God, that hung on the tree in the Garden, and it’s the heart of God that Moses must have seen upon the Mercy Seat. When Moses looked into the Most Holy Place, he didn’t look to the law in the coffin, he looked to the Love standing on top. Law is a description of Love; Jesus is the Life of Love ruling all things. He is the Free Will of God.
When you see Jesus Christ and him crucified on the Holy Mountain, the curtain separating the Holy of Holies from the rest of the temple rips from top to bottom, and the Holiness begins to fill the entire temple . . . You begin to love as you have been loved; it’s literally everything that God wants you to do.
My wife does want me to kiss her, buy her flowers, and listen to her tell me about her day, but only if I want to, only if the desires of her heart have become the desires of my heart, only if I love her in freedom. And to do that I’ll have to spend some time in her tent.
Yet, we’re all afraid of the tent of God, the Bug Zapper of God. So, God has hidden his tent in the depths of your soul. And God has sent his Only Begotten Son to take you there. Jesus is the one revealed on the throne, and he is the High Priest who leads you to that throne that you might see the heart of God. . . and become the Body of Christ—the Messiah’s Complex. If you wonder why it hurts, you’ve never had open heart surgery, or been aware that you are entirely forgiven.
“Strive to enter that rest.” You can go there in an instant just by whispering a prayer or saying, “Thank you.” And when you live from that place, you will do exactly what God wants you to do, go where he wants you to go, and you will enjoy the journey, even if it hurts. People may think that you’re making beautiful decisions, but you will know that the Decision of God is making you.