“[We have] boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus” (Hebrews 10:19).
Access to the holy God who created us is the most precious commodity in the universe. So precious, in fact, that no person can afford it, can purchase it with any amount of money or sacrifice or even personal godliness.
This is the lesson we are meant learn from the Old Testament sacrificial system of worship. The innermost room (the “holiest”) of the temple was where God’s presence was experienced in a special way. Yet the writer of Hebrews reminds us that there is only one way to access the presence of God.
We too often feel close to God, feel that we have access to God, because we have been pretty good.
But at such times we are resting in false assurance! We have never once been enabled to commune with God because we were good enough that week.
Conversely, any time we have felt we could not come to God because we have not been good enough, any time we despair of communing with God because we just know we do not deserve to—we are works-oriented when we give in to such feelings.
What thousands of priests, over hundreds of years, could never accomplish—what billions of people over thousands of generations have never been able to do for themselves—Jesus did for sinners once and for all through his death.
We have boldness to enter the holy of holies, the special place of communion with God, through the blood of Jesus!
Because Jesus sacrificed himself on the cross for the sins of his people, those who are trusting in Jesus for their salvation are now able to walk confidently in where angels literally fear to tread.
Trusting in the sufficiency and effectiveness of Jesus’ work to save us, we come into God’s presence with God’s own assurance that we will be received. We will be received, not reluctantly or with rebuke for daring to come, but as a child who is crawling up into his or her father’s lap.
God is never reluctant to receive us in Jesus’ name.
There is never a time when you cannot come to God, through faith in Jesus’ sacrifice on your behalf, and find reception, forgiveness, love, and communion. God sent Jesus to take our place on the cross so that he could receive us day after day, time after time, moment by moment throughout our lives.
So, dear believer, the next time you are hesitating to go to God in prayer – feel too tired or discouraged or guilty or hopeless or busy to pray – remember to take your eyes off prayer and set your gaze by faith firmly on Jesus. On who Jesus is, on what he has done for sinners, and on the love of God displayed on the cross.
With Jesus as the center of your focus, you will suddenly discover that you see prayer plainer than ever in your peripheral vision. You will see God beckoning to you, through Jesus, and saying to your soul: “Draw near.”