“Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:19-23).
I love these verses and yet I forget them more often than not. I have access to God – you know, the God of the universe, the One who spoke the world into being, the One who has complete power and control over all. I have access to the One and Only Living God, every moment of every day. Awesome.
Sometimes, though, I skimp on my prayer time and sometimes I chat with Him like He is my buddy instead of my God. I ask Him for things and yet somehow in my heart I am not completely for sure He can pull it off. Am I crazy? Maybe.
It is certainly an honor and a privilege, but it is not because I have some spiritual title or extra benefits. I am just like any other Christian today or any time since the time of Jesus. Not all people in history have had such access.
Long ago in the times of the Old Testament, God spoke to His people through other people or angels or even burning bushes, but very few of them could come into the presence of the Living, All-Powerful God. We read in Exodus 26, as the Israelites were wondering in the wilderness, that God had them build a Tabernacle. The Tabernacle had different areas. There was an outer courtyard, a Holy Place, and a Most Holy Place. The presence of God resided with the Ark of the Covenant in the Most Holy Place. Everybody could come in the courtyard area, a very few could go into the Holy Place, and even fewer into the Most Holy Place. They also had many guidelines about what to do before even those allowed to enter the Most Holy Place could go in. It was a restricted place to say the least.
Most of God’s people through the Old Testament would never get to be in the presence of God, yet many desired such a thing. But how could unholy people come into the presence of a Holy God? Enter Jesus. His death on the cross took the veil or curtain that separated us from God and ripped it in two. From that moment on, we as Christians have direct access to God, and yet how well do we take advantage of that?
We can confidently enter the presence of God. Hebrews tells us to “draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings.” We have been cleaned and washed thanks to the blood of Jesus. My prayer for me and for all of us is to understand the amazing privilege we have in our relationship with God, a privilege for which many before us only wished – access to the Living God. Standing before Him, we can trust that He is capable, willing, and faithful, laying down at His feet every concern and every care of this world. The challenge? Remembering the opportunity we have and the God that we serve.