The world is three days: As for yesterday, it has vanished, along with all that was in it. As for tomorrow, you may never see it. As for today, it is yours, so work in it. — Al-Hasan al-Basri
As humans, work is often motivated by a desire for something in the future. For example, we desire to retire, so we set aside a portion of our income. “Work today and live tomorrow” is the mantra of many.
Working without experiencing was characteristic of old covenant Jews, as they struggled and worked through a faith unrealized. When Christ came, all their hopes materialized with Him. But did they know it? Moreover, do we know it?
To answer that question, let’s look at three things Old Testament Jews worked for but didn’t experience:
- Holiness—To be holy was to be set apart and pure for God’s purposes. Old covenant Jews had the law to tell them what holiness looked like, but the law didn’t enable them to live holy lives.
- Forgiveness—To be forgiven was to be in right standing with God. But trying to live by Mosaic law led to failure. A system of sacrifice was in place, but the blood of animals only covered their sin—it never canceled sin. Jews longed for complete forgiveness.
- Intimacy—Only one person, the high priest, was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies one day a year. No one else was allowed to enter God’s perfect presence. Intimacy with God was like a foreign land—unfamiliar and just out of reach.
Many Christians still long for these three things. Do they love Jesus? Absolutely. But they continue to strive for holiness, facilitate forgiveness, and mistakenly believe that others—like their pastor—have more access to God. Nothing could be further from new covenant living.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain … (Hebrews 10:19-20)
Friends, we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place—the throne room of God. We don’t own it sometime in the future; direct access is ours now. How is this possible? We have more available to us than we realize.
Jesus, usher me into the fullness of salvation, setting me free from my striving for more. As I voice my desire for You, show me what I already have. Amen.
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