But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
Hebrews 12:22-24 NIV
As followers of the Lord Jesus, what is it that we have become a part of? The previous four verses tell us what we have not joined. And there, the reference was to Mt. Sinai when the old covenant was established. That was a fearful time, and the people had to keep their distance under threat of death. We have not come to God under the old covenant.
In contrast, under the new covenant, we have come to Mt. Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. Zion was one of the hills Jerusalem was built on and had come to represent the whole city. But, rather than the physical Jerusalem, we have come to the Jerusalem described in Revelation 21-22, the heavenly city of God.
We have joined with a great multitude of angels and to the assembly of the firstborn. The firstborn of Israel all belonged to God. So firstborn is an appropriate term for those who belong to him now. And our names are written in heaven, in the Lamb’s book of life (Rev. 13:8). We are part of a great host in heaven.
We have also come:
- to God, the judge of all people
- to the righteous ones who have come before us
- to Jesus, who mediated the new covenant
- and to his cleansing blood sprinkled on us.
What we have joined as disciples of Jesus is better than anything this world has to offer. And it should impact everything we think, do, or say. This world and all it contains are passing away (1 Cor. 7:31). But we have become a part of the city of the living God, an eternal kingdom that will never pass away. This should lead us to lives of thanksgiving and worship (Heb. 12:28). Not just on Sunday mornings. But always.