Thursday, September 19, 2013

Jesus, the Veil to the Most Holy Place

One of the things that excites me about Christianity is the Revelation of the Mystery of the Church. Hidden in times past from the eyes of the Jewish nation, but in plain sight of the Father and spoken of through the mouths of the prophets, was the plan of the Father for the institution of the Church through the veil of the flesh of Jesus our Lord. I am so thrilled to know that even though I am not Jewish, God still cared for me. I am not alone. This same excitement can hardly be contained in the life of the Apostle Paul as he approached the Ephesian church with this very self-same fact. In Ephesians 3 Paul reveals the cause of his excitement as it also pertained to the fulfillment of the calling Jesus spoke of concerning him in Acts 9.

In Acts 9 Saul (later known as Paul) was on his way to Damascus, Syria to find and put into chains those who were preaching the gospel of Jesus, an action he was fully prepared to contain. When news of his coming came to the ears of a Christian man named Ananias, via a vision (Acts 9:10), Jesus had to reassure him that he need not fear Saul; that things would be ok, (remember Jesus is in charge). Here is what Jesus shared with him:

But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name's sake."  -Acts 9:15-16 (NKJV)

Later in Paul's life (around 61 A.D.), while under Roman house arrest for his faith, he wrote the following to the Ephesian church:

For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles--if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.--Ephesians 3:1-7 (NKJV)

The unfolding of the mysterious plan of God had been revealed; salvation was not for the Jewish nation was also to be instituted to all non-Jewish people (Gentiles) who had faith in God (Adonai).* This idea of the Dispensation of Grace, what is referred to in Christian circles as the "Church Age," was present in the Old Testament but many believe that for some reason, it was either misinterpreted, counted as symbolic, or simply overlooked. Maybe the ancient Scribes and Lawyers just counted the referential passages in the prophets as non-essential so they ignored them. But a more probable answer is they were overlooked because of a spiritual problem. The Bible teaches that it takes the Holy Spirit of God to interpret the deep things of God, (Num. 11:17; Neh. 9:20; 1 Cor. 2:10). In the ancient dispensations the Holy Spirit was not present in all of the "Religious" folk. Only prophets, kings and, those empowered for special work, revelation, or duty were given the Spirit of God. In this new Dispensation of Grace the expansion of the gospel message would be exponentially greater and reach all nations around the globe because of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit would be in each believers heart.

What this teaches us is that the Holy Spirit is the Person of the Trinity that empowers every believer to be unified in the mission of God. If it is the Holy Spirit who revealed God's plan for the building of a Church, consisting of individual members, that would span across continents how much more should we be ever cognizant of what His work in and through us will accomplish! Believers cannot afford to be apathetic toward God's ongoing work. We must be cognizant that each of us has an important role in God's plan to take the message of faith wherever we go.

Previously, this door into the "Most Holy Place" of the Jewish Temple was closed except for once a year. During the "Day of Atonement" the High Priest of Judaism would enter through a veil into the area of the Ark of the Covenant where he would offer the sprinkling of blood, first for his own sin, then again for the sins of the nation. People could feel legally clean but not renewed in Spirit. The Bible teaches that when Jesus was crucified this veil to the Most Holy Place was miraculously torn asunder, Mt. 27:51, making a way for all to freely enter into the presence of God. But that's not all, there is still a veil that exists between us and God. Hebrews 10:20 tells us it is the crucified flesh of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now the veil into the Most Holy Place can only be entered through faith in Christ.

So here we are two-thousand years later and the Veil of Christ's flesh is still the only thing that blocks all of humanity from approaching God in confidence. Oh, but how easy it is to enter by faith! The gospel is simply this Jesus died for your sins and for the wages of sin against you by taking the penalty upon Himself. Every nail, every scream of the whip, every thorn in the brow was the wrath of God against sin and He took it for you! Has there ever been such a greater love toward mankind demonstrated?

But that is not all, after He voluntarily gave up His life, John 10:18, He arose three days later victorious over sins wages, death. If you can accept that and then believe that you were the sinner He took the wrath of God against sin for, then by faith all you have to do is believe upon Him, ask forgiveness for that sin, and give your life to Him in faith. Ask Him to take over. Won't you give Jesus your life today? He stands ready to receive you. He made the way into the Throne room of God, that Most Holy Place, open just for you. The offer is there. It has been extended. But you must make your choice to believe or pass it up -- to live for self and without God till death or to allow Him to accompany you through this life until death and always thereafter.

Jesus waits...and He waits. Today He is calling to you. Make the right choice while there is time. If you truly care about your life as much as He does you will commit it to Him today. I am praying you will.

God Bless

*(NOTE: This had always been God's plan, see Gen. 12:2-3). There was never a time in history that a gentile could not be saved. The wonder of the mystery is revealed in that a period referred to as the Dispensation of Grace would now begin. It would be during this dispensation that the gospel would go to the ends of the earth, prior to the Second coming of Christ and His subsequent setting up of His Millennial throne in Jerusalem.