Hebrews 12:22-24 “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.”
One of the most destructive sins to every believer is the sin of bitterness. Families are destroyed when the poison of bitterness enters in through sometimes only one family member. Churches are polluted when members spread bitter words and bitter attitudes among each other. Relationships suffer when bitterness goes unnoticed. Bitterness must be recognized before it can be properly dealt with, but it must be dealt with at the right place. The mistake so often made when facing bitter roots is the mistake of going to the wrong place to find a remedy. Where are you going to find the cure for bitterness? We already know that Mount Sinai is the wrong place to find a cure, so where is the right place to cure a bitter root?
Mount Sion is the right place to find His grace to overcome bitterness in our lives.
In our text in Hebrews 12, Mount Sion is associated with the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem, angels, the church, God, the spirits of just men made perfect, and Jesus. At Sion, we will find grace to repent, to forgive, and to be forgiven. At Sion, we will find grace to properly respond to difficult assignments given to us by God. But what is so special about Mount Sion? What exactly is it that makes this the right place to go when bitterness has entered our life or the life of someone we care for? Notice three important actions that take place at Mount Sion:
Mount Sion is a place of sacrifice.
It was at this mountain that Abraham willingly took his only son, Isaac, to offer him as a sacrifice out of his obedience to God. Though it was called Mount Moriah, it was at the same location as Mount Sion. This was a prophetical picture of God’s future offering of His only begotten Son for our sins. This was perhaps the most trying time of Abraham’s life. How could God require such a sacrifice of him? Abraham could have justified becoming bitter over this unreasonable request, but he submitted and made the sacrifice. God often asks us to sacrifice things that are precious to us, and often it doesn’t make sense. The testimony of Abraham teaches us, that, rather than becoming bitter when God chooses to take things away, we should submit to God’s providence for us. What has God taken away that causes feelings of loss or emptiness? Bitter roots can be uprooted as we allow God to fill the void created by sacrifices He asks us to make.
Mount Sion is a place of worship.
The city of Jerusalem, or Zion, as it is sometimes called in the Bible, became the center of worship to the faithful Israelites and the earthly picture of what Hebrews 12:22 calls, “the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.” The heroic men and women of Hebrews chapter eleven saw beyond the earthly city to a heavenly city. It was said of Abraham that “he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10). The Israelites looked ahead to a place of worship instead of looking back to where they came from. “And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned” (Hebrews 11:13). Bitter experiences of the past, when focused upon, prevent us from expressing a genuine worship of God. If we will focus our attention upon the glorious attributes of the One we were created to worship, our past memories, though once embittering, can be forgotten forever.
Mount Sion is a place of reconciliation and grace.
A visit to Mount Sinai condemns us for our wickedness. However, on another mountain, Mount Sion, stands a cross that represents our reconciliation with a just and holy God. Grace and mercy is found at the foot of that old rugged cross. Jesus came to this earth, lived a sinless life, allowed Himself to be crucified on a cross for our sins, and rose again from the dead. It is His shed blood that covers our sin-stained lives and grants us the right to claim God’s grace (God’s work in our behalf). The Christ of Calvary is the person through Whom we may find the grace we need to live free from the fruit of a bitter root.
Sion is also known as “Zion” in the Scriptures. Zion was a mountain located in the city of Jerusalem, but Zion is sometimes used to describe the city of Jerusalem itself. But history reveals to us that when the book of Hebrews speaks of going to a place called Mount Sion, it is pointing us to Calvary, the cross of Christ Jesus! If we are appropriately positioned at Calvary with our eyes fixed on Jesus, the root of bitterness will never take up residence in our heart. Friend, will you come to Mount Zion? Zion is a place of grace! Here you will meet the one Jesus who will give you all the grace that you need to live free of the horrid fruit of bitterness. A personal and developing relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ will eradicate every bitter root and choke it of its devastating fruit. In Him, we all find our place of great grace!