Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having a high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:19-22)
Last fall, I went to a Greek festival with my wife. During the festival, we took a tour of a Greek Orthodox Church.
One of the most intriguing aspects of that church was a large panel that separated the back altar from the congregation. This screen was covered in icons (religious paintings) of angels, apostles or other men of the Orthodox religion. This screen is called the iconostasis.
This screen serves as a “dividing line” between the sacred and the common. Or as a kind of symbolic “portal” between heaven and earth.
Man Constructs His Own Barrier Between Him and God
Behind this screen is an area considered so holy that only the priests or special acolytes can enter.
This dividing line is actually a common theme in many religions. Where the holy areas are separated from the common areas. Where an altar is erected that can only be approached by those who are cleansed according to a ritual tradition.
The Hebrews, in the Old Testament, followed ritual laws established by the Lord. Ray Yungen, in his book, A Time of Departing, has said that, “… the Lord, for the purpose of teaching people a respect for His holiness and His plans, instituted certain ceremonies for His people (especially in the Old Testament). (From A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen; page 34).
The significance in this statement is that God was teaching men through his laws. He was not providing them a means to achieve righteousness.
In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he said that the Law was “our schoolmaster” to bring us to Christ. (Galatians 3: 23-26). And, in the Letter to the Romans or to the Hebrews, we see the same principle that God is using the rituals, the ceremonies and every aspect of the Law for the purpose of teaching us something about Christ.
To be an illustration of His Person and of His ministry.
But the world misses this simple truth. They believe that the Law, or one of a million variations on the Law (seen in all the world’s religions in some form), is a method to be right with God.
But the Law was never given so that men, by following it, would be right with God. To the contrary, the Law was given to show us how truly sinful we are. To, in a sense, drive us to spiritual despair so that we would turn to Christ. Because, Christ was the ONLY ONE to ever fulfill the Law.
In fact, He is the perfect expression of the Law in physical form. Just as He is God’s written Word “made flesh”. — the “express image” of the Father.
Therefore, when Jesus Christ died on the cross at Calvary, He satisfied the full demands of the Law upon mankind. And as the Great High Priest, He now applies His cleansing blood for forgiveness and salvation to all those who look to Him as the perfect Lamb of God.
ONE Sufficient Sacrifice
He made ONE sacrifice for ALL sins forever. Then He SAT DOWN.
Because the Eternal transaction was finished.
However, this simple, universe-shattering truth continues to elude the vast majority of this world; especially the religious world.
We are surrounded by every conceivable type of religious activity that men undertake to satisfy God. They follow rituals using ornate and expensive chalices, candles, windows, basins, screens, robes and statues to desperately reach out to please a God who has already provided the one gift for men to accept.
Recently, two Jehovah’s Witnesses came to our door. My wife spoke with them this time. Usually I will speak to them or to the Mormon guys or girls that stop by. But our answer is always the same. “It is done. Christ has finished the work. You don’t have to do this.” My heart actually breaks for these people. They are living in fear and bondage with only a vain hope that their good works can save them.
The Way is Free and Clear
When Christ completed His work upon the Cross, the thick veil in Herod’s Temple was ripped from top to bottom. A miracle that God performed by His own hand. It was God unmistakably saying that, by the rending of the “veil” of Christ’s flesh (of which the temple veil was a symbol), the way into the holiest is now open.
The way into God’s presence is open to all who come to Him by faith alone, in Christ Alone. Who rest in the sufficiency of His blood offered upon Heaven’s altar 2000 years ago.
The message is clear. God is satisfied with Christ. “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied:“ (Isaiah 53:11)
Are you seeking some other way to satisfy God? Are you trusting in your own good works and religious rituals to satisfy God?
Are you a Christian thinking that you can satisfy God by rituals, by good works or other efforts?
For a believer, God’s satisfaction is all in Christ; not in me.
Abide in Him, rest in Him. And let Him be your joy, your strength, your sanctification, and your holiness.