Hebrews 12 gives us hope in telling us not to let our past sins drag us down.
Paul said that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, so there is no need to be burdened down by the sins that cling to us so closely. Jesus endured our sins for us on the cross, took our shame for us, and now is seated at the right hand of the throne of God!
Jesus endured our sins for us, taking our punishment so that we need not grow weary with our burden of sin. We struggle against it daily, yet we have not resisted it to the point of the shedding of our blood as Christ did for us!
Paul said that the law was for discipline that must be endured. God was treating the people as sons, and without discipline they would have been illegitimate children. If we are disciplined through our earthly fathers and held respect for them, how much more our heavenly father?
Our earthly father disciplined us for just a short while as they saw fit, but it was for their own good. God disciplines us for our good so that we can share in His holiness! The discipline of God may have seemed painful, but later yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness!
Paul told the people to lift up and do not hang low. He said to strive for peace with everyone, and strive for the holiness that enables us to see the Lord. They were given clear instructions: See that NO one fails to obtain the Grace of God!"
He warned them not to let any root of bitterness spring up among them. Let no one become sexually immoral or unholy like Esau who sold his birthright. Though Esau sought his birthright with tears, it was too late; there was no chance to repent.
The blessing we have is not something that we can see or touch. It is not a blazing fire of doom and gloom, and the message we hear is not one that makes us beg to hear no more. Though under the law, Mount Zion could not even be touched by an animal or that animal would be stoned, Jesus is the new mediator of the new covenant. Though Moses trembled in fear when he approached the mountain, we need not tremble in fear.
Paul said to make sure that we did not refuse the words of Christ that was being taught to them. If they did not escape to peace when they were warned on earth, how much less would they reject Him that warns from heaven? Paul said that God promised us that He would no longer shake the earth when He promised to once more shake the earth and the heavens.
We should be grateful to receive a kingdom that cannot be shaken. We should offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe. Our God is a consuming fire!
As Christians, we should ask ourselves: Are we grateful that Christ rose to shake the heavens once for all? Do we drag ourselves down, burdened by our sin? Do we turn back to the discipline that was under the Mosaic Law, or do we partake in the peaceful fruit of righteousness that it produced? Do we tremble in fear of our God, or do we bless his Holy Name with thanksgiving?