Did you hear about the couple who booked a trip to Sydney, Australia, but accidentally ended up on the wrong continent?
Back in 2002, teenagers Emma Nunn and Raoul Christian booked their once-in-a-lifetime holiday online, not realizing that there was more than one Sydney in the world. Unbeknownst to them, their flight was actually taking them to the town of Sydney in Nova Scotia, Canada, thousands of miles from their intended destination.
Apparently, this sort of mistake is more common than you’d think.
Last year, a group of French football fans managed to miss their team’s game against Hungary in the Euro 2020 championship. They ended up in the wrong country, inadvertently travelling to Bucharest (Romania) instead of the similar-sounding Budapest (Hungary).
The next month, the mascot for the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team accidentally travelled to Toronto, Ohio instead of Toronto, Canada for a game. It took him quite a few hours before he realized his mistake: seeing an American flag is what finally clinched it for him.
The same thing almost happened to me once. I had boarded a connecting flight at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, on my way to a wedding in Bloomington, Illinois. As our small plane waited on the tarmac for takeoff, however, I overheard some of the other passengers talking about Bloomington, Indiana.
Indiana? You mean there are two Bloomingtons? Which one is this plane about to fly to?
After a few panicky moments, I ascertained that I was indeed on the plane to the correct Bloomington. I breathed a sigh of relief and relaxed for the short flight.
When we’re travelling, it’s crucial that we make sure we’re going to the correct destination.
The same applies to our spiritual lives, too: we need to ensure that we’ve got the right direction and headings for our journey.
The book of Hebrews in the Bible tells us of two mountains, each representing a different approach to our relationship with God. It’s critical that we pick the right one.
The first mountain mentioned is Mount Sinai, where Moses received the Ten Commandments from God. It represents the old covenant. Hebrews 12 describes this mountain as burning with fire and involving darkness, gloom, storm and a fearsome voice.
The ancient Israelites viewed Mount Sinai with fear and trembling: to them, God seemed distant, terrifying and hard to please. Even the mere idea of approaching Him there seemed threatening: they were afraid to set a foot wrong.
But since Jesus came to earth, we no longer have to approach that mountain. Rather, we have the privilege of coming to the second one mentioned in Hebrews 12, which is Mount Zion. It represents the new covenant instituted by the coming of Christ.
In contrast to the foreboding atmosphere surrounding Mount Sinai, listen to the joyful way Mount Zion is described:
“No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect. You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel.” (Hebrews 12: 22-24)
What a difference Jesus has made to our relationship with God!
We no longer have to approach Him in fear, afraid of His judgement. Thanks to Jesus’ atoning sacrifice on the Cross, we can be forgiven. We now have access to God as His beloved children. We’re welcomed joyfully and can participate spiritually in worship of Him along with believers who have gone before us and a multitude of angels.
And this is all because we chose a different mountain.
So whether you’re travelling spiritually or physically, double-check your ticket to make sure you’re going to the right destination. It will make all the difference!
© 2021 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.