Many reasons may stop us going right into God's presence. We may be afraid that we are unacceptable. We may feel guilty or ashamed, that we're not good enough. But, after repentance of our sins, the amazing truth dawns upon us that we are welcomed, forgiven, accepted, and unconditionally loved. We need have no more doubts, but can come with 'true hearts' and full assurance of faith.
In the Jewish Temple only the High Priest was allowed into the Holy of Holies, where the presence of God was, and only once a year, to make an atonement for the sins of the people, with the blood of a slaughtered lamb.
Jesus is our great high priest and he offered himself as the Lamb of God, a sacrifice once and for all, for the sins of the whole world. We have no need for any other priests, but can go right into God's holy presence because of Jesus.
The things we read in the Old Testament, the Law and the Prophets, are patterns or shadows of the heavenly truths to come. They came to us through the Jewish people, to whom we're eternally grateful. As we begin to understand the Covenants in the Old Testament we see God's incredible plan of Redemption and how it was fulfilled by the coming of the Messiah in the New Testament. There is a wonderful book called 'Christ in all the Scriptures', by A.M. Hodgkin where Jesus is shown in all the Scriptures, not only in the New Testament.
We know that we're all sinners and carry the stain and guilt of the past, but after turning away from our sin we can appreciate what Jesus meant when he said 'You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you (John 15:3, NIV). When we listen to the 'word' of Jesus and understand and receive His truth it's as if we're washed with pure water. There's a wonderful freedom in knowing that our heart is clean and our conscience is pure before Almighty God.
As Isaac Watts wrote in 1709, 'Not all the blood of beasts on Jewish altars slain, could give the guilty conscience peace, or wash away the stain. But Christ the Heavenly Lamb takes all our sins away; a sacrifice of nobler name and richer blood than they'.
Prayer: I stand amazed in Your awesome presence O Lord. I worship and adore You as I see the wonder of Your plan of Redemption for the world. Thank You for opening the way for us to come in. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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