The Substitute We Need So Desperately

Exodus 32:15-35 – The people’s sin with the golden calf was so grave that God had to do something about it. Through the willingness of Moses and God’s rejection of his plan, we understand the substitute we need so desperately.

November 12, 2023

Sermon Notes


  • Every type of sin is nothing short of dramatically breaking God’s written instructions (32:15-20).
  • Our human tendency is to blame our sin on other people or unique circumstances (32:21-24).
  • Moses graciously provided a last chance to repent while there was still time (32:25-26).
  • Those unrepentant received wrath, but those repentant still required atonement (32:27-30).
  • Moses was willing yet unable to serve as a substitute for the people’s rebellion (32:31-35).


  • Your sinful habits lead you to lose control, and you must change before it is too late.
  • You can be enraged by the sin of others, but don’t overlook the vileness of your own rebellion.
  • Even your sins that you deem less damaging than others are severe enough to classify you guilty of breaking them all (cf. Jam. 2:10).
  • If you don’t repent from breaking God’s Law, you will experience the just wrath of God.
  • Jesus did what Moses couldn’t do so that wondrous grace could be given to you.