“. . . let us draw near . . .” Hebrews 4:16
It’s almost impossible for us to realize the revolution that Christianity brought about in man’s relationship with God. Century after century, Judaism had seen God as untouchable and detached. To the Jew, the basic idea of God, at the time, was that God was Holy, and in no way did He share human experience. He was incapable of sharing it, just because He was God. God and man were separated.
The great day of Jewish worship was the Day of Atonement, the one day a year the priest would enter into the holy of holies. It was dangerous to enter the presence of God, and if he lingered, he might be struck dead.
Then came the covenant, where God offered access, but only if they kept the law. There were priests, along with a series of sacrifices, established to remove the barrier. But with time and experience, they realized they were fighting a losing battle. The priest was imperfect, and the system of sacrifices had to go on and on. All their efforts were only a copy of something real that was needed.
What they needed was a perfect priest and a perfect sacrifice. Someone who could bring to God a sacrifice which would, once and for all, open the access to God.
That is exactly what Christ did. He is the perfect Priest because He is perfectly man and perfectly God. In His manhood, He can take man to God, and in His divinity, He can take God to man. He has no sin, so the sacrifice He brings, is the sacrifice of Him – a sacrifice so perfect it, never needs to be made again. He has made a way for us to be in God’s presence.
We have groped our way along with rule-keeping and doing rituals, trying to get out of the shadows into the truth. This is what Jesus Christ enables us to do. He brings us into God’s presence, treats us with deep mercy, a spirit of understanding and unconditional love. All that is left for us to do is draw near.
In your relationship with Jesus, make it a point to stop trying and start trusting in His finished work.