In the book of Luke 1:8 we see the way that the priests used to cast lots in order to determine who would approach the holy of hollies and offer sacrifices to atone for the people's sins. Not just anyone had access to the holy of hollies and the priest who was chosen for this task had to wash himself severally a day in preparation. This was a reminder to the people that they were sinners and that God was holy. When Christ died however, the veil that was at the temple was torn down in two. This now meant that the people could access God without fear because Christ had taken all our sins to the cross.
Since God has given ACCESS to His presence through Christ, we can now come boldly to Him. But like Isaiah found out during his commission in Isaiah 6, in this presence, we realize our own unholiness. The apostle Peter himself asked the Lord to get away from him when he realized in whose presence he really was. However, God wants to connect with us and that's why He sent His Son to reconcile us to Himself.
God has also given us Jesus Christ to ADVOCATE for us. The high priest of old used to be the people's advocate and offer sacrifices of animals. It is the advocate's job to thoroughly prepare for a case that is against his client, but Jesus believed in us despite our guilt and entered with his own blood. He became atonement for our sins. We are better represented by Christ because he is related to the judge-he is the Judge's Son! 1John 2:1 says, "My children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense-Jesus Christ, the Righteous One". Surely, is there better representation than this?
In the Old Testament, the priest did not just go into the holy of hollies, there was order-there was a systematic APPROACH. God is God of order and we must approach Him in holiness. He does not see our sins and fail to condemn them, He is our judge.
As we draw to Him we must do so with clear and blameless hearts. Our works and our walks must be clean and speak for us. In Psalm 15 we see this, "Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellow-man, who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the Lord, who keeps his oath even when it hurts, who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken".
We have the ADMONITION to be fervent in our worship and have hope in our salvation because this is the anchor for our souls. We may be highly motivated in our jobs yet lack-luster in our worship of the Most High. We may spend hours at our jobs, long after every one else has left, yet be impatient when the pastor speaks past the promised time to stop. There must be a change in us once we have felt the sweetness of being in the presence of the Lord our God. In His presence, we learn the need to love one another, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick and the prisoner, pray for the non-believer and share the Gospel with those that do not know about Jesus Christ.
Let us not be under-cover Christians but instead be the light that shines brightly for everyone to see. What good is a lamp if it is lit and hidden under the bed? Our lives are our testimony for those that we never get to talk to. God calls us a body and where two or three of us are gathered in His name, He still comes in and makes a seat in our midst. He has given us access to Himself-He has given us His own son-Jesus Christ who is the ASSURANCE that we have His attention.
May these words (sermons), from various men and women of God be a blessing to all.