(10) And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes,
(11) And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.
(12) And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death:
(13) There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.
Because of His holiness, God is unapproachable by man in his natural state. When God appeared to Israel on Mount Sinai, He gave careful instructions about how the people should prepare. Boundaries were set (v. 12). The people could only come so close, or they would risk death.
On the day of His visitation before the people, God had to charge Moses to send the people away.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish. (Exodus 19:21)
Perhaps it was because some of the people were coming in too close, or God was concerned that they might, their curiosity getting the better of them. Whatever the case, the meeting with the people was brief and they had to be sent away because people in their natural state cannot stand before a holy God.
Then came the finished work of Christ:
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
Man in his natural state still cannot stand before a holy God, but because of Christ, those who put their trust in the Savior’s finished work at Calvary can come boldly into His presence. As believers, we are invited to come into God’s presence. Because those who trust Christ and Him alone for their salvation do not stand before God in their natural, sinful state. They stand before God in the righteousness of Christ, fully justified and accepted in the Beloved.
Because of Christ, we can enter boldly into God’s presence!