We can now have access to the Holy of Holies through Jesus death and resurrection instead of a curtain stopping us from accessing God due to our uncleanness.
The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia [2,200 km] in length, and as wide and high as it is long. The angel measured the wall using human measurement, and it was 144 cubits [65 metres] thick. The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.
I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendour into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honour of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
At the heart of the Old Testament’s temple was a cubed shaped room. It was a special space, because while it could never truly contain God, the cube shaped room represented God’s personal presence with Israel. He was present with them, but their uncleanness, their sin meant the heavy curtain hanging across the front said “No Entry”. Their sin and uncleanness kept them from God’s immediate and intimate presence.
BUT, by the end of the Bible the picture has changed. After Jesus fulfils the message of the Old Testament, the cube shaped room from the temple appears again, but it’s radically changed. It’s grown into a super-big box, big enough to house an entire super-big city. A city big enough to comfortably house anyone from any time and place who chooses to enter. Instead of the heavy curtain across the front saying, “No entry – keep out!” 12 massive amazingly beautiful gates have been punched through its walls, 3 on each side, pointing in every direction of the compass. The gates are never shut, so anyone from any nation, from any direction, north, south, east or west, can enter.
This is a picture of how Jesus’ death on the cross opens access to God for any person from any nation or place on earth who trusts in him. John says about the city of God, where God lives with his people, “The glory and honour of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Revelation 21:26-27)
Head: Do I appreciate what an incredible privilege Jesus’ death and resurrection has given me, in having direct access to God?
Heart: How do I feel about God’s message of “welcome home” in the message of the cross of Jesus – a message pictured as 12 massive, beautiful gates pointing in the direction of all nations and peoples?
Hands: How can I help my church and growth group to give that same “welcome home” message to new comers?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the amazing “welcome home” message you’ve given us in Jesus. Thank you that his cross sweeps away the “keep out” sign and opens the way to you. Thank you for the forgiveness and cleansing in Jesus that takes away all fear of condemnation in my relationship with you. Please help me, my growth group and my church to give that same “welcome home” message to new comers. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
A song to listen to: The One Who Made Us One
This Grow Daily was originally posted as part of The Jesus in series in 2016. During the School Holidays we take the opportunity to look back at the best of Grow Dailys over the years.