Verse of the Week: Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Encouraging Thought: Back in Old Testament times, the people did not have access to God, but today we can come directly to God through His Son, Jesus. I Timothy 2:5 says, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” We do not need a human mediator such as a priest or a rabbi. God’s throne of grace is open and available to all His children. We may now approach Him with boldness (not rudeness), but with confidence that we may obtain mercy by confessing our sin and find grace to help and strengthen us by petitioning God in our times of need. Ephesians 3:11-12 says, “According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.”
Words of Wisdom: At the moment of Jesus’ death, God tore the veil at the temple from the top to the bottom (Mark 15:37-38). No longer did God place a barrier between His holy place and His people. Sin was not free. It came with a tremendous price tag. Hebrews 9:22 says, “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” That means that something innocent had to die to atone for the sins of the guilty.
Once a year, the high priest offered an atoning sacrifice for the sins of the children of Israel. He had to follow very strict rules to prepare himself to enter the holy place, which represented the very presence of God, and before he ever went inside, God instructed him on what to do while he was there. He didn’t neglect the tiniest detail because to do so meant instant death. (Leviticus 16)
God was holy and pure while the people (including the high priest) were corrupted by sin. Therefore, before the high priest could come into God’s presence to make atonement for the sins of the nation, he had to thoroughly cleanse himself and make atonement for himself and his family. And the only one permitted to enter the holy place was the high priest and only once a year to offer the atoning sacrifice. That veil separated God’s holy place and His mercy seat from the uncleanness of the people.
Back in those days, the people did not have direct access to God. Then Jesus, God’s holy Son, perfect and righteous in every way, came to Earth to die for the sins of all mankind. John 1:29 says, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice, so at the moment of His death, God tore the veil in two, from top to bottom, giving people everywhere direct access to Him.
Hebrews 10:19-22 says, “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”