Thursday, October 6, 2011

Covenant #4 - Through the Veil

I find great comfort in knowing NOTHING can separate me from Jesus (Rom. 8:38-39). But it wasn't always like that. I know that I was born into a heritage that would keep me from holy God; only His initiative to take away my sin barrier could give me open access to Him. I'm so glad He first loved me and made a way to Himself.

When God made a covenant with Abram in Genesis 15,  Abram BELIEVED God's promise of descendants like the stars. When God told him to get animals to sacrifice, Abram obeyed and put the two pieces of flesh opposite each other, leaving a space between. After Abram slept, God divinely brought a firepot and a torch to pass through the pieces of flesh covered in blood. As a 21st century gal, this might not seem like it makes much sense, but its meaning reaches beyond the limited years of my life. Covenant is defined by what happened here to Abram, the man who believed and was considered "righteous" because of his faith.

As the nation of Israel tried to gain access to the Holy God, they had to be represented by a priest who would enter the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement on their behalf. God's presence was there awaiting them, but it was hidden behind a veil.  Access was limited. It wasn't a wedding veil, but an 8 inch thick curtain that would've taken 2 teams of horses to rip apart. There was a separation between God and man under the Old Covenant.

When we look into the New Testament (Covenant), we find the "rest of the story" that explains some of what Abram's experience means to us, and we see the beautiful granting of access. As Abram's covenant was forged through blood, ours is also made possible by blood," but the sacrifice for us was made once for all when Jesus was crucified. 
"Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin. Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, his flesh, and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith..." (Heb. 10:18-22a).  

When Jesus died (Mark 15:25-39) the heavy veil that hung in front of the Holy of Holies in the temple in Jerusalem was torn in two by God, showing that the separation was gone. 
When Jesus' flesh was torn for us, He gave us access to know and unite with our Heavenly Father in a covenant relationship. Where once we were separated, but we're now invited to draw near. Breath taking. He is OUR sacrificial Lamb, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. And just like covenant happens only by passing through the pieces covered in blood, Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).

By passing through the sacrifice of Jesus' body, our Lamb, we gain access into a relationship with God. The curtain that once kept Him hidden from us is gone, and He waits for us to draw near. This song expresses the truth of the cross that welcomes us to God so beautifully. You might just click to let it play (If this is in email form, click the post title to get to the video) as you sit quietly, close your eyes and meditate, or just go about your work and let the Lord seal this beautiful truth on your heart today. 

I'm so glad He took initiative to love me and make a way to Himself. You?

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Faith Stewart said...

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