Not long ago I heard the distressed chirping of a bird coming from the side of my neighbor’s house. I discovered that a nest of baby birds was inside a vent covered by a screen, placing a barrier between the mother bird who was trying to feed her hungry chicks. After I told the neighbors, they removed the screen and took the nest and chicks to a safe place to be cared for.
Few things are as heartbreaking as a barrier to love. Christ, the long-awaited Messiah of Israel, experienced a barrier to His love when His chosen people rejected Him. He used the word picture of a hen and her baby chicks to describe their unwillingness to receive it: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem . . . ! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Matt. 23:37).
Our sin is a barrier that separates us from God (Isa. 59:2). But “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Jesus took care of the barrier to God’s love by His sacrificial death on the cross and His resurrection (Rom. 5:8-17; 8:11). Now He longs for us to experience His love and accept this gift.
That blessed Name that sets the captive free;
The only Name through which I find salvation,
No name on earth has meant so much to me. —Eliason