Editor's Note: Today we are pleased to announce the launch of the audio/podcast version of the Crosswalk Devotional. Email subscribers will continue to receive this text version, but please note the links that will also allow you the options to listen online or subscribe to the audio podcast! You can also visit our Facebook page. We hope you enjoy!
August 2, 2010
John UpChurch, Editor, Jesus.org
Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:16, NASB
I hung up the phone when the code-blue alarm blared. Nurses poured out from every direction with stethoscopes flapping behind them. Equipment and carts squeaked and squealed and converged on a single room only feet from where I worked.
I'd never felt so out of place. Someone might have been suffering a heart attack, and all I could do was fix computers.
After graduating with a degree in English, I took a detour through the world of IT. My first job kept me safely within the walls of a corporate office, but the second and third propelled me into the antiseptic rooms of mental health wards, surgery centers, and ERs.
The funny thing about computers is that they open doors. No matter how secure or locked down the facility, my ability to fix broken equipment or install software gave me access. With accustomed grace (I'd like to think so, anyway), I scanned my ID badge and confidently strolled through the halls closed to the public. Bored nurse after bored nurse buzzed me into locked-down areas when I told them who I was. True, I did occasionally have to don surgical garb (complete with hairnets and masks), but I could be confident in my credentials, my right to be a room away from people being sliced open or mere feet from chilled bodies in the morgue—even if I wasn't so confident in what I had to wear (of which there are no pictures).
What set me apart from those who couldn't enter such areas had little to do with me personally. After all, even though I'm still the same person, I no longer have the right to waltz into the medical records office. Instead, my pass stemmed from borrowed authority. By working for the IT department, I could cash in that authority to move into protected areas.
Intersecting Faith & Life: The writer of Hebrews tells us that we have the same type of access to God. Because Jesus took the nails for us, the thick veil once separating humanity from the Most Holy Place ripped completely apart. And we're not talking about a thin sheet barely held together. According to Alfred Edersheim, the veil was "40 cubits (60 feet) long, and 20 [cubits] (30 feet) wide, of the thickness of the palm of a hand, and wrought in 72 squares, which were joined together; and these Veils were so heavy, that, in the exaggerated language of the time, it needed 300 priests to manipulate each" (The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, p. 611).
But that thick barrier no longer exists.
Living in the post-crucifixion world, we may not always consider how amazing our access—our confident access—really is. Jesus tore through the separation that had existed since the fall of humanity. Because of His authority, we have a direct line of communication with the Father because of the authority of our ever-present and sympathetic High Priest.
No ID badge or surgical garb required.