One day, I took my daughter to the Art Institute of Chicago. While admiring a painting, I accidentally stepped too close, and a jarring alarm sounded; I had crossed an invisible barrier. The alarm system was a helpful way to protect the precious art, but it also served as a reminder that I was only a visitor to the museum and had to keep a respectful distance.
In the Old Testament, Israel was reminded of the holiness of God every time they went to the Temple. They were kept at a respectful distance from God. For example, only the priests were allowed into the holy place. And only the high priest was allowed into the Holy of Holies once a year on Yom Kippur. Israel understood that their access to God was limited because of their sin.
One of the gifts we have received through Christ’s coming is a more personal and direct access to God the Father. Today’s reading reminds us that because of Jesus’ death, we can boldly enter the heavenly throne room (v. 19). What a privilege! We do not have to cringe or anxiously edge our way into God’s presence, but we can enter with confidence.
Because of this, the writer of Hebrews encourages the church to “draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings” (v. 22). We should regularly meet together for corporate worship and make full use of the great privileges we have in Christ (v. 25). Worshiping together will help us to hold onto the hope we have in Christ until He returns (vv. 23, 25).
>> Perhaps you struggle with feeling unworthy before God. Our worthiness is not measured on our own merits, but on Christ. In Him, we are worthy to stand in the presence of God. You are welcomed into His presence! Praise God today for what you have received through Jesus.
We stand in awe of who You are, Father. What is even more incredible is that You, the Creator of the Universe, chose to love us. Thank You for the gift of Your Son, Jesus, who allowed us to know You.