Veil - Live Beyond It

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, October 10, 2013 0 comments

One of the most powerful tricks that I constantly see the devil using on people is making them feel like there is no way they can get away from their past mistakes. I work in a profession where parents who mean well and truly love their children are often caught in a terrible cycle of abuse and neglect. Most of the parents who intentionally or unintentionally harm their children were harmed themselves as children. The combination of being victimized and having unhealthy coping abilities has led them down paths of substance abuse, anger, promiscuity, and bitterness. I and my colleagues often see the joy in our clients when they begin to take positive steps toward wholeness and redemption, only to see their return to devastation and hopelessness when one wrong decision sets them back. Many seem to accept the lie that they aren’t worth any more than their bad choices and that they’ll never be able to escape the vicious cycle. Maybe you’ve felt this way before, or maybe you’re even feeling this way right now in your life. We all have made mistakes and are all equal as sinners, regardless of the scope of the consequences we have faced. I recently spent several months pouring into a Christian friend who was battling alcohol addiction. But that wasn’t even the biggest stronghold in his life. He had months of beating the addiction, relying on accountability from others, and working hard to better himself. However, there was one stronghold he never shook. Every time he faced a setback, he would remind himself and me how many years of his life he had wasted and how much of a “screw-up” he was. This lie from Satan would lead my friend right back to the bad choices he was escaping because it convinced him that he didn’t deserve anything better.

As Christians, we know that the veil has been torn and we can have a relationship with the Holy God. Yet, we so often live as if the veil is still there! The purpose of the veil was to protect sinners from God’s holy presence, which could literally kill them. We can say it was to keep the inner place holy, but I think we know what prevails when man’s sin meets God’s holiness. Let’s just say that God isn’t the one who is in danger of death! When the veil in the temple was torn, it symbolized that Jesus’ sacrifice cleanses us and makes us holy, so that we no longer need “protection” to be in the presence of God. It also means that we don’t have to live as miserable, hopeless sinners. Yes, we will still sin. But we know that God sees us as “holy and without blemish” (Colossians 1:22). The only reason you would continue to need to be protected from God’s holiness would be if you have not accepted Christ’s sacrifice for your sins!

For those of you who have accepted Christ’s sacrifice and made him Lord of your life, Scripture tells us that you can “approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that (you) may receive mercy and find grace to help (you) in (your) time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). The writer of Hebrews tells us just before this that the reason we can approach God with confidence is because Jesus is our “great high priest” (v. 14). This is important because only the high priest was allowed beyond the veil in the temple. When he went at a specified time and place, he went as a representative for all those who would never be able to follow him there. But friends, that’s where Jesus is different. He didn’t enter the presence of God as a mere representative, but as a forerunner for you and me to follow.

Later in the letter to the Hebrews, the writer again encourages the believers. “Therefore, brothers, 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, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith” (10:19-22a). He urges them to “hold unswervingly to the hope (they) profess, for he who promised is faithful” (10:23). If you read earlier in Chapter 10, you see that many of the early Jewish Christians were still hanging on to ritual sacrifices to cleanse them before God. But the writer says that all those rituals do is “remind” us of our sins, “because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (10:3-4).

You probably don’t practice animal sacrifices to “get right with God”, but is there something else you DO in order to feel like you deserve to be in God’s presence? Do you go to church each week because you feel it’s a duty? Do you feel guilty if you don’t pray before every meal? Do you feel hopeless every time you fall back into a sinful choice that you have walked away from? I urge you, if you have accepted that Christ died for your sins and entered God’s presence ahead of you, to live beyond the veil. There is no reason and no time to waste beating yourself up over your failures. You have nothing to hide from God. He invites you into His presence through Christ’s blood, and it’s His presence that brings everything into the light and allows you to pursue righteousness boldly and freely, beyond the veil!