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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

March 27, 2015

Access to God

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

Three of the four New Testament evangelists mention an event that occurred when Jesus died. Matthew describes it for us: "And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom" (Matthew 27:50-51).

When we keep the Passover, it is important to understand the meaning of this event. The rear room of the two rooms in the temple was known as the Holy of Holies. It was considered especially holy, since the high priest was only allowed to enter this room once a year on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:1-2).

The Holy of Holies was separated from the rest of the temple by an elaborate and beautifully embroidered curtain. According to Jewish descriptions of the temple, this curtain was truly massive – measuring some 9 meters wide, 18 meters high and 8 centimeters thick. Its tearing in two from top to bottom at Jesus' death was a shocking and bewildering event! God was not only behind this, He deliberately tore the curtain to make a point – that mankind's sins, which had cut us off from Him (Isaiah:59:2), could now be forgiven through Jesus Christ's shed blood.

Comparing how the high priest had previously only been able to pass through the curtain once a year to offer atonement for sins, a new High Priest, Jesus Christ, through the sacrifice of Himself superseded this ritual for all time and gives mankind direct access to God (Hebrews 10:19-22).

The lesson for us is that, following heartfelt repentance, we can "come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews:4:16). Because of Christ's sacrifice, we enjoy direct access to the throne of our merciful, loving Creator.

Jesus was willing to offer Himself as a sacrifice for us so we can have direct access to our heavenly father: "My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father" (John 10:17-18).

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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