As a child I was fascinated by the Insect-O-Cutor fly killer that hung at the back of the little café, where we would often go for an ice cream. On a hot day a constant stream of flies would be attracted to the warm purple glow and realise too late that when they landed they would die. The Insect-O-Cutor and the fly were incompatible.
The ancient Jews discovered much the same thing as they responded to God’s call to be in relationship with him. He was utterly holy and they were not, and much as he loved them, they quickly discovered that to draw too close in the wrong way could lead to fatal consequences. Their nature was incompatible with the God they were inexorably drawn towards.
The good news is that because God loves us so much, he found a way to overcome this problem. He became a human being – Jesus – who lived a holy life, died for us, and now shares his holiness with us when we choose to follow him. Because of him we may become the fly that can land on the Insect-O-Cutor and live!