[reprinted from February 8, 2010]
19Now then, brethren, we have boldness to go into the holiest place through the blood of Jesus, 20which he placed as a living way through the curtain, not previously available, which is his flesh. 21Jesus is also a great priest over the household of God. 22So letâ€™s come with true hearts and full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled clean from bad conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Hebrews 10:19-22 (my translation)
~ Henry Neufeld
Sometimes we miss one of the most obvious facts about salvation, because it is something we live with all the time. No, Iâ€™m not talking about sin, though that is a critical point. Iâ€™m talking about the fact that we are so limited and ignorant. We could know nothing about God unless he chose to reveal it to us. There is no way that we could reach God, unless he chose to make a way.
You may recall something about infinity from math classes. Infinity minus any finite number equals what? Infinity. Infinity plus any finite number equals what? Yep, infinity again! Basically there is the widest gap possible between us and God, and we have no way of getting to God.
People often look at the tabernacle and later the temple as symbols of Godâ€™s presence with his people. And thatâ€™s not entirely wrong. But there is another set of symbolism involved. The structure of the tabernacle showed the separation between the holiness of God and the people. First we have the outer courtyard. There only priests and people coming to offer sacrifice could come. Then there is a veil, and another chamber. Here only the priests could enter. Then there is another veil, and the most holy place. There only the high priest entered one time each year.
Each veil served to illustrate how far Godâ€™s people were separated from their God, while at the same time pointing toward the possibility of coming in closer.
What Jesus did in becoming one of us was to empty himself of that infinity (Phil. 2:5-11) and show us the way. He bridged the greatest gap that can possibly exist. He made it possible for us to approach God. And he didnâ€™t do it half way. He made it possible for us to approach boldly.
In our families, our communities, and our churches, we regularly face gaps. People are different. Some of us are annoying! Some of us are so perfect we canâ€™t imagine how annoying we are! Often we think that reconciliation and forgiveness is not possible. The gap is just too big.
But always remember this: The biggest possible gap has already been crossed. When God emptied himself and became a human being, he showed us that there is no difference too great, no depth too low, no height so unreachable, no distance too great, that Godâ€™s grace wasnâ€™t sufficient to manage to open a way. The grace may not be easyâ€”it cost Jesus his life. But it is sufficiently powerful.
Remember: We worship a God who opens the way, no matter how impossible it looks to us.
19God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not counting their transgressions against them, and he has given to us the ministry of reconciliation. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 2 Corinthians 5:19 (my translation)