Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. – Hebrew 4:16
Who would dare come boldly unto God’s throne? This was written to the Hebrews because there wasn’t a Jew alive that thought this was actually possible. Remember Uzzah in 2 Samuel 6? All he did was touch the ark to steady it and he was struck dead. Not a person alive reads that and says, “serves Uzzah right.” It terrified everyone that saw it that day, and it should terrify us now. In Exodus 19:24 the Lord says, “The people must not force their way through to come up to the Lord, or He will break out against them.” Needless to say, Hebrews 4:16 would have been the opposite of what most Jews had been taught.
So now, what is the difference?
Today, our mediator, Jesus Christ, has made us clean. If the great exchange has been made, your sin for His righteousness, God sees you as Jesus. On the cross, God saw Jesus as you and me, so that all who would ever come to Him could be seen as Jesus. “For He has made Him, who knew no sin, to be sin for us; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21). It is with this in mind that we are allowed to “come boldly.”
As I think about all of this, I am also convicted. How many times have I just barged into prayer? There is a difference in coming boldly to the throne and presumptuously making requests for Him to grant. Americans tend to think of God as Aladdin’s lamp. If you rub Him the right way, you can get what you want. In reality, we come boldly so that we can grasp just how merciful God is. We come boldly so we can receive help to live this stuff out. Once you are aware of how great sin is, you become aware of just how great a sacrifice God made so that you can be remade and forgiven. With that in mind, of course you can come boldly because you realize it isn’t because of anything you did at all . . . it was all Jesus!
Walking through the tabernacle slowly and methodically makes me hyper aware of this. By the time I get to the Holy of Holies where the Ark of God is, I feel that I have respected God and honored Him. I didn’t just treat Him casually. I’ve honored all that it took to make me clean and with a heart of thankfulness and praise I enter into His Holy presence.
Let’s go through the whole process together.
We walk through the gate of the tabernacle and bring Jesus’s words to mind: “I am the gate; whoever enters through Me will be saved.” (John 10:9). Thank You Jesus for making a way! Thank You for being the way, the truth, and the life.
We pass the brazen altar where the great sin exchange took place. In our mind, it is the cross of Christ. We kneel and remember that glorious day we were saved. We remember the day that He took our sin and He made all things new! Lord, I’ll never be able to repay you, nor will I ever be able to thank you enough! Thank You for being so good to me!
We walk by the bronze laver and realize that even now we’ve got some cleaning up to do. Lord, I’ve been selfish lately. I’ve walked in this world and things have stuck to my mind that I wish would leave. I’ve only been interested in comfort and making things as easy as possible for myself. I’ve forgotten about you way too many times during the day. I wash these sins away and ask You to make me clean. Purify my mind. Clean me up, Lord. Forgive me.
We go to the inner court and pass by the showbread. Jesus, you are the bread of life. Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from your mouth. I get way more concerned with what I physically eat than what I spiritually eat, Lord. Help me flip that script. I want to live by Your Word! I praise You God for Your Word!
We walk to the golden lampstand. Lord, I have emptied me of me the best I can so that I might be filled with You. Send the Holy Spirit as a rushing mighty wind and fill me up. Rush through my body, rush through my heart, and rush through my mind. Help me follow You and Your ways as well as any man on this planet ever has.
We go to the altar of incense. A coal from the brazen altar has been placed upon it. As the smoke rises in a thin stream you realize that it is ascending to the great, the mighty, and the living God. He invites you to come in to the Holy of Holies.
The Holy of Holies
As you walk in, you see the Ark of God with two cherubim on top overshadowing the mercy seat. Blood has been sprinkled upon it. It is a reminder that it is only through the blood that I am here. It is only through the blood that I have access to all of this.
If you look back in Genesis 3:24, God placed cherubim to guard the tree of life. Yet, here we are allowed to go between those cherubim. We now have access to God. We now have access to the tree of life. We can walk with Him. We can talk with Him.
Enjoy His presence.