July 29, 2017
Read: Hebrews 12:18–24
Bible in a Year: Psalms 49–50; Romans 1
You have come . . . to the church of the firstborn.—Hebrews 12:22–23
Even though it was just a replica, the tabernacle set up in southern Israel was awe-inspiring. Built life-size and as close as possible to the specifications laid out in Exodus 25-27 (without actual gold and acacia wood, of course), it stood tall in the Negev desert.
When our tour group was taken through the “Holy Place” and into the “Most Holy Place” to see the “ark,” some of us actually hesitated. Wasn’t this the holiest place, where only the high priest was allowed to enter? How could we enter it so casually?
I can imagine how fearful the Israelites must have felt as they approached the tent of meeting with their sacrifices each time, knowing that they were coming into the presence of the Almighty God. And the wonder they must have felt, whenever God had a message for them, delivered through Moses.
Today, you and I can come straight to God with confidence, knowing that Jesus’s sacrifice has torn down the barrier between us and God (Heb. 12:22-23). Each of us can talk to God any time we want, and hear from Him directly when we read His Word. We enjoy a direct access that the Israelites could only dream of. May we never take it for granted and cherish this awesome privilege of coming to the Father as His beloved children every day. —Leslie Koh
Thank You, Father, for this wonderful privilege that Jesus has given us, to be able to come before You knowing we have been forgiven and cleansed by Christ’s blood. May we never forget how big a sacrifice it took.
Through prayer, we have instant access to our Father.
INSIGHT: In the Jewish temple, a curtain sixty feet high and thirty feet wide separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. Anyone who entered the Most Holy Place was entering into God’s holy presence. Only the High Priest—and only once a year on the Day of Atonement and after he had meticulously cleansed himself—could enter the Most Holy Place; anyone else would die (see Ex. 26:31-33; Lev. 16).
At the moment Jesus died as payment for our sin, “the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom” (Matt. 27:51), signifying that God had taken down the wall that separated us from Him. Because of Christ’s sacrifice, “we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body” (Heb. 10:19-20). Through Christ, we now “have access to the Father” (Eph. 2:18). What a privilege! Reflect on what direct access to the Father means to you. How does this affect your view of prayer? Sim Kay Tee
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