"You . . . are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 2:5).
Christ’s death provided access to the Father for all believers.
Throughout history, false gods have been portrayed as remote, indifferent, and apathetic to human needs and generally unapproachable by the common masses. Out of fear, a man might attempt to appease his idols but he has no desire or capacity to draw near to them.
Even those in Old Testament times who worshiped the true God had limited access to Him. The average Jewish person could commune with God through prayer, but was forbidden to approach Him physically. Only the high priest was allowed to enter into God's presence in the Holy of Holies—but only once a year on the Day of Atonement. Even then he had to go through a ceremonial washing and offer a sacrifice for his own sin. If he failed to prepare himself properly, he could forfeit his life.
Anyone daring to usurp the office of a priest was also in danger of severe punishment by God: King Azariah (also called Uzziah) was afflicted with leprosy, King Saul's lineage was cursed, and Korah and his rebellious followers were destroyed when the ground opened and swallowed them.
However, we as Christians enjoy unlimited access to the Father through Jesus Christ. Hebrews 10:19-22 says, "Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith."
As a member of God's royal priesthood, you can approach Him with confidence, knowing He loves and welcomes you into His presence just as He welcomes His own Son. Take full advantage of that access by communing with Him in prayer and offering each day as a spiritual sacrifice to Him.
Suggestions for Prayer
- Praise Jesus for shedding His precious blood so you can have access to the Father.
- Praise the Father for being a personal and approachable God.
For Further Study
Read Exodus 19.
- What did God tell Moses?
- What were the people to prepare themselves for?
- Was God approachable to the people?
From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.