Enter God’s gates. Come into His courts. Draw near to Him. Freely approach your Heavenly Father. What a privilege it is to be able to engage in relationship with the Most Holy One!
Under the Old Covenant of the law, few could approach the presence of God. Only the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies – the innermost part of first the tabernacle, and then the temple – and that only when specified by God. A thick veil surrounded it,standing between mankind and His presence. When the Lord appeared to people in the Old Testament, He was continually showing His back, for no one could see His face and live (Exodus 33:20). This wall of separation between man and God can be seen throughout the Bible, up until the time of Jesus. Why did it exist? It was there for one simple reason: God is holy. Man, in and of themselves, are not. God is completely perfect. Man, by virtue of their own deeds, are tainted by wrongdoing and failure. Try as they might to keep God’s standards of right living, they could never reach a place of perfection. Even their righteous deeds were as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).
How was this state of estrangement ever to be done away with? How could these differences be overcome? Were things ever to change?
Out of His love for us, God made a way. He brought about a wonderful plan of redemption. He sent His only Son – God in the flesh – to come to this earth, take our wrongdoing upon Himself, and receive the punishment we deserved. Christ took our place of sin, that we might receive His place of right standing before God (2 Corinthians 5:21).
What Christ has done for us enables God, while just, to be also the Justifier of all who place their faith in His Son (Romans 3:26). Because our transgressions were condemned once in the body of Jesus, God will never again bring them up against us. We are in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), and we have been declared righteous in the eyes of our Heavenly Father!
When Jesus died for us, the temple veil – which had separated mankind from God’s tangible presence on this earth for hundreds of years – tore in two (Matthew 27:51). The wall of estrangement has been broken down. We have been reconciled to God
(2 Corinthians 5:18). Now, we can come boldly to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:12). Through Christ, we can approach God with freedom and confidence, fully assured of His incomprehensible love for us (Ephesians 3:12).
This ability to engage in relationship with God – to draw near to Him – surely is a cause for thanks! The price Jesus paid at the cross, which allows us to do so, most definitely merits our highest gratitude. Through His finished work, we have been given the right to call God our Heavenly Father, and to come to Him as children would their dearly loved Daddy.
Possessing such a privilege, no wonder we are told to enter His gates with thanksgiving! Let’s come into His courts, full of praise to the One who gave His Son for us, that we might be saved!
Do you approach God freely, with the confidence that comes from knowing that you have been justified by the blood of Christ (Romans 5:9)? Or do you do so with hesitancy, full of a consciousness of your own wrong-doing? Listen to this song about the exchange that took place at the cross, and let God’s grace set you free from all condemnation!
My name is Emily Hockenhull. I started Called and Created as a way to share the good news of the gospel of God's grace with others. Come join me on the journey!