Jesus is the living way to the presence of God. In front of the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle hung the veil to screen off the presence of God. Jesus on the cross, the blood and torn flesh of our savior tore that veil apart. We are able to see the love of God for us by his giving his son so that the sins of this world might be forgiven. We also can see the full greatness and love of Christ for the Father and for us, all God’s people, lost in sin.
It was when the flesh of Christ was torn upon the cross that people really saw God. All his life showed God; but it was on the cross that God’s love really was revealed. As the tearing of the tabernacle veil opened the way to the presence of God, so the tearing of that flesh of Christ revealed the full greatness of his love and opened up the way to him.
Jesus is the high priest over God’s house in the heavens. Just as it was the function of the High Priests of old to be a bridge between the people and God, we now have a High Priest who not only guides us but takes us into the very presence of God.
Jesus is the one person who can really cleanse. The Priests had their way of blood sacrifice and then washing their hands in a brass basin of clear water, but only Jesus can clean us completely. He cleans our innermost thoughts and desires and makes us a much better person, new in his grace and forgiveness of our sins.
And What About Us……After the Cross?
For us there is an after the cross also. What are our responsibilities to this new covenant? How do we move beyond the words to living as one who is committed to the precepts of this new salvation?
Let us approach the presence of God. There are those things of the eternal world and then those things of this world. We must learn to put aside the things of this world and make time to enter into God’s presence, in worship, prayer and living our faith so others might see what we have and want it also.
Let us hold fast to our creed. There will be those who will tempt us with the material things of this life, those who will attack our faith in an attempt to cause doubt or uncertainty, there will be events in this life that will shake our faith. We must never allow these things to marginalize what we believe.
Let us put our minds to having a genuine concern for others. While our personal salvation is of course important we must not forget our calling to bring people to repentance and salvation through the good news of Jesus Christ.
We must encourage each other to set a good example by living a Holy Life. We can do that by keeping to our traditions and responsibilities, never putting them aside for an easier way. We must encourage others to do good they must see Christ in us. We must Do all the good we can, whenever we can, wherever we can.
We must work to remove the barriers that encourage others to seek a kind of Christian Isolation. This habit of no longer worshiping with God’s people, in God’s house on God’s day. Moffatt gives us three reasons why this might be happening.
–They may not go to church because of fear. Simply put there may be friends or family or people they work with that don’t go to church and tend to laugh at those who do. They may be trying to avoid their criticism and contempt and in doing so they become silent or secret disciples. They may be trying to hide where their loyalty lies. Truth is it won’t work. True Disciples can’t hide. God’s love will always shine through by the way we live and treat others.
-For some people it is a matter of being uncomfortable around others that are not like them. I might add as a personal observation that some churches can seem like a club and as Moffatt wrote “There may be congregations where a form of social snobbery is practiced.” Christ died for all and there is no such thing as a socially acceptable class of people. In the eyes of God there are no common people. Christ died for all people.
-They may not go because of conceit. There are many people who feel they do not need the church and even worse is the idea that they are intellectually beyond the standard of preaching there. You can not live a christian life and neglect the fellowship of the church. We must remember that while it is true we go to church to receive, it is also important to give of ourselves in worship and praise. Being in God’s house with his people is not a matter of intellect but one of obedience and respect.
-We must encourage one another. The early church lived in the expectation that Christ would soon return. One thing we must realize is that we are in the position of not knowing when the call will come, for us each day is one of expectation.We must never cease to encourage others with a smile, a kind word, prayers of support and as was written earlier it is our duty to do all the good we can to all the people we can in all the ways we can.
Thanks for coming by the Pew this week.
Life is Good