Inside Looking In

When have you felt like you were on the outside looking in?

Growing up, at times I felt the ache, the wanting to be part of clubs I couldn’t; reserved for just a few. Swim clubs, study groups and cheerleaders were just a few with specific criteria I couldn’t meet. Other “clubs”, not so set in stone also had yardsticks measuring what I didn’t seem to have.

Reading my Bible recently, a similar thought crossed my mind: I wish I was part of that club.

Zechariah, while performing his priestly duty, was greeted by an angel, standing right next to the altar, delivering him a message. He and his wife, Elizabeth were about to become part of a club they had been excluded from – parenthood.

Zechariah stood stunned. He just couldn’t believe that they now had what it took! Zechariah and Elizabeth were well past child-bearing years. “And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news” (Luke 1:18-19, ESV).

After reading Gabriel’s bold and beautiful words, I scratched these words into my journal: How blessed is Gabriel! He gets to stand in God’s very presence!

And then I remembered: So do I!

So do you!

Because of Jesus, You & I Can Come In!

When Jesus came and died on Calvary for us all, the exclusive club of those who could enter God’s presence opened up to all!

Before Jesus came, God’s presence came to the temple, in a particular chamber called the Most Holy Place. (1 Kings 6:15) Only the high priest was allowed to go behind the curtain and enter this sacred place. Even he could do so only once a year on the Day of Atonement, a day set aside for repenting and renewal. (Leviticus 16)

One man; once a year.

Now, all that has changed! You and I, when we become His children, have access to God and can come into His presence at any time. God wanted to make it clear that Jesus’ death and resurrection made this possible. He used a physical sign to prove it. As Jesus was dying, Luke 23:45 tells us darkness covered the land and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus removed the separation of sin between us and God; the very thing that has always kept us apart. Only He could do this because He is our Great High Priest. (Hebrews 4:14)

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” Hebrews 4:16 (ESV).

Yes, you and I, because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, can confidently come before God right now. We can ask for whatever we need, knowing that as we do, He hears our every prayer.

Thank you, Jesus, for making coming into Your presence an experience we can all have. Thank you for the sacrifice of Your death and the triumph of Your resurrection. Thank you for making your accessibility possible to us all! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Know a Girl Who Needs to Know that She Can Come In?

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“… “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV)

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