When you read the Old Testament, there are many rules about “cleansing” yourself before you pray, or eat or enter the Temple. There were rules about clothing, eating, methods of worship, and even buying and selling. Rules, rules, rules. Why in the world so many rules?
Stop and think now. All those people who lived before Jesus had no access to God. No one was clean, no one was righteous, no, not one. Only through an annually absolved priest could the people have any access to God. And only through obedience to His law could they stay His wrath.
What a huge difference in the New Testament. Those who lived by the “new and living way” through Jesus were “clean” in God’s sight. By Jesus taking the “capital punishment” for your crimes against God, you were made clean and acceptable in His sight. Wow!! No more priests, no more sacrifices, no more Temple nor ablutions needed. Just come as you are and He takes it from there. Don’t get me wrong now—you come as you are, but in Jesus, you don’t stay as you are.
A picture is worth a thousand words and the one I think that describes this now possible access to God the best is the one of young John Kennedy, Jr. (John-John) in the oval office. President John F. Kennedy is at his big, stately desk discussing the world’s weightiest matters of the Cold War with some of the most notable men in the world…and peeking out from under Kennedy’s desk is his young two-year-old son, John-John. The loving relationship of father to the son allowed that young, untrained, uninformed waif access to the most powerful man in the world!
And in the same way, you and I have that same kind of access to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. No more rules to keep control of only the external behavior or provide a semblance of vicarious cleanliness. Through Jesus Christ, you now have access to the Sovereign God of all creation. The indwelling of God’s Spirit now allows you to be the “Temple of God”, housing the holy nature of God. The only thing you need to do is allow the Spirit of God to come forth in all you do, instead of letting the broken Adam nature rule. You don’t need the Law anymore—just the love of Christ ruling you. In that way, you will obey all the directions of God and not sin.
I thank God He has made the way and that heaven’s gate does not have a big “no jerks allowed” sign on it. We all have access now through Jesus. Thank You Lord. Endure the fire…it’s producing pure gold!