But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
In the latter part of this twelfth chapter of Hebrews we have law and grace set before us in vivid contrast as two distinct circles. One is centered in Sinai, the mount “that burned with fire,” and the other in Mount Zion, which speaks of God’s sovereign grace. Linked with this is the heavenly instead of the earthly Jerusalem, the city of the living God where dwell an innumerable company, a full gathering of angel hosts. Their delight is to serve those who belong to the assembly of firstborn ones—all heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. There God Himself dwells, and there too Old Testament saints now perfected through the work of Jesus, the Mediator of the covenant of grace whose blood speaks not of vengeance but of mercy. This is the circle of God’s favor to which all believers have come.
The gates of heaven are opened wide,
At His name all the angels bow;
The Son of Man who was crucified
Is the King of Glory now.
We love to look up and behold Him there,
The Lamb for His chosen slain;
And soon shall His saints all His glories share,
With their Head and their Lord shall reign.
And now we draw near to the throne of grace,
For His blood and the Priest are there;
And we joyfully seek God’s holy face,
With our censer of praise and prayer.
The burning mount and the mystic veil,
With our terrors and guilt, are gone;
Our conscience has peace that can never fail,
’Tis the Lamb on high on the throne.
—J. G. Deck
H. A. Ironside, The Continual Burnt Offering: Daily Meditations on the Word of God (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1994), 343.