Jenny’s house is situated on a little country lane, which is often used in rush hour by drivers who want to avoid the nearby main road and traffic lights. A few weeks ago workmen arrived to repair the badly damaged road surface, bringing with them large barriers and “No Entry” signs. “I was really worried at first,” said Jenny, “thinking that I would be unable to get my car out until the road work was finished. But then I went to look at the signs more closely and realized that they said ‘No Entry: Access for Residents Only.’ No detours or barriers for me. I had the right to go in and out whenever I liked because I lived there. I felt very special!”
In the Old Testament, access to God in the tabernacle and the temple was strictly limited. Only the high priest could go in through the curtain and offer sacrifices in the Most Holy Place, and then only once a year (Lev. 16:2-20; Heb. 9:25-26). But at the very moment Jesus died, the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, showing that the barrier between man and God was destroyed forever (Mark 15:38).
Because of Christ’s sacrifice for our sins, all those who love and follow Him can come into His presence at any time. He has given us the right of access.
Lord, thank You for paying such a price to enable me to have unrestricted entry into Your presence!
Access to God’s throne is always open.
The letter to the Hebrews contains images and ideas that would have been very familiar to the Jewish recipients of this epistle. The Most Holy Place (Heb. 10:19) was the holiest part of the temple in Jerusalem. The curtain (v. 20) refers to the temple veil that was torn in two when Christ died (Matt. 27:51). The great priest (Heb. 10:21) is Jesus, who succeeds in perfectly taking us to God—something that the human priesthood could not do. While this imagery would have been particularly meaningful to the Jewish readers of this letter, it also reminds us how wonderfully the Scriptures are put together. The practices of Old Testament Judaism create wonderful portraits of the person and work of Jesus.