Today is the Monday eight days following Easter Sunday. In preparation for our Wednesday night study on the book of Hebrews I was reading Hebrews chapter ten and read verse 19 which says…
Hebrews 10:19 (NIV) Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus…
It is in the context of having just come through Easter combined with a study of the book of Hebrews that this verse took on a wonderful meaning for me this morning. In order to fully appreciate the weight of this verse you need to see a section of scripture from the Old Testament.
In Leviticus 10:1-3 we read… Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, contrary to his command. 2 So fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. 3 Moses then said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke of when he said: ‘Among those who approach me I will show myself holy; in the sight of all the people I will be honored.’ ” Aaron remained silent.
In this passage from Leviticus we see two of the sons of Aaron struck dead for proceeding into the presence of the Lord in a manner outside the bounds and in a manner unworthy of the directions and holiness of the Lord. It was a strict and immediate punishment. What I want you to notice is the severity of the immediate punishment that befell these men for coming into the presence of the Lord in an unworthy manner. Looking at this, there can be no question about the holiness of the Lord and what that holiness demands in response to unrighteousness.
With that in mind, consider this. According to the above passage in Hebrews, you and I now come with confidence into the most holy place and there is no doubt that we are equally unrighteous. Something has mightily changed! That something is that you and I come, “by the blood of Jesus.” This is the ultimate, “who you know” scenario.
You and I are now seen in light of our relationship with Jesus. We have a friend in a very high place! You see, these sons of Aaron had only their merit, actions, and righteousness to be judged by and as such, they were worthy of death. In our unsaved state, that’s exactly how you and I find ourselves as well. However, because of the sinless, atoning death of Jesus in our place, you and I now stand in the most holy place and we are no longer judged based on our righteousness but on Christ Jesus’ righteousness. You and I are judged holy enough to stand in God’s presence not because of what we have done but because of what Jesus did.
The difference is literally that we are allowed to live while those who come without Jesus are not. It is a powerful and profound gift that we have been given.
That gift demands a life of gratitude, worship, and service.